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Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires

average rating is 2 out of 5


Alasdair MacRae


Posted on:

Sep 25, 2022

Film Reviews
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Directed by:
Mike Mort
Written by:
Mike Mort
Mike Mort, Jennifer Saunders, Paul Whitehouse

Night of the Trampires is the feature-length follow-up to the initial public Chuck Steel outing, the 2013 short film Raging Balls of Justice (creator Mike Mort had made a few unseen films with the character prior). It follows the 80s parody alpha cop as he faces a burgeoning city-wide crisis of tramp-vampires, or trampires, who come at night to drink the blood of unsuspecting sozzled prey.


The titular potty-mouthed Johnny Bravo look-a-like is introduced as he jumps a motorcycle from a helicopter, spraying bullets at black-clad ninjas, explosions and Wilhelm screams aplenty, a textbook action sequence. And though that may sound great, adherence to the formula is actually the film’s biggest flaw. There is an abundance of 80s cop film clichés to make fun of, and vampire ones too, but Chuck Steel only harvests the low-hanging fruit. With familiar jokes about his hard-ass chief, a string of disposable partners, and copious amounts of collateral damage, it makes a person begin to wonder if they have seen more films that parody these tropes than actually use them unironically. Aside from exploiting over-used genre clichés most of the gags amount to little more than an interjection of a four-letter word or maybe a rude hand gesture into a scene. Infantile humour is incredibly hard to pull off as it requires a significant amount of charisma, and Chuck Steel and co. are ultimately too wooden for it to work.


Which is a shame as the fluid 24-frames-per-second claymation is undeniably a remarkable technical feat. Animortal Studios’ style will appeal to fans of British animation, comparable to the likes of Aardman’s designs. This is not wholly surprising as writer-creator-director-animator-etc. Mike Mort, a man who wears innumerable hats on this production, is credited with working on the first series of Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep, as well as other familiar British animated shows, Fireman Sam and Gogs. But fans of those shows, who likely will have grown up since, will be blown away by some of the goretastic horror sequences, as puppets’ skin and flesh melt away into gloopy sinewy grotesquery.


Night of the Trampires features some impressive animation but the consistently unfunny comedy makes it a slog. Fans of the prior short, Raging Balls of Justice, will surely be glad to see Chuck Steel’s return, as it is largely more of the same. For those who are unfamiliar, it is probably best to check out that 15-minute production as a taster before diving into the feature.

About the Film Critic
Alasdair MacRae
Alasdair MacRae
Digital / DVD Release, Animation
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