You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead

A horror comedy much closer to the actor-riffing drollery of Edgar Wright and Christopher Guest than "Scary Movie"-style splatstick, "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead" is one sly slice of the ridiculous.

With: Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, John Ventimiglia, Kris Lemche, Geneva Carr, Graeme Malcolm, Chip Zien, Waris Ahluwalia, Azie Tesfai, Carmen Goodine, Joey Kern, Lou Carbonneau, Ralph Macchio, Jeremy Sisto.

A horror comedy much closer to the actor-riffing drollery of Edgar Wright and Christopher Guest than “Scary Movie”-style splatstick, “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead” is one sly slice of the ridiculous. Feature writing-directing bow for musician/model/cartoonist/clothier Jordan Galland chronicles (mercifully, not in mockumentary form) the backstage drama behind a very loose Shakespearean adaptation conceived by Manhattan vampires. Good reviews, word of mouth and some familiar faces might generate modest theatrical success, though cult following should really take off via home formats. Limited release kicks off June 4 in Gotham.

A mopey slacker living in the office of his doctor father (Chip Zien) since being booted by g.f. Anna (Devon Aoki), Julian (Jake Hoffman) answers an ad looking for a “young, controllable, human” director for an Off Broadway “Hamlet.” Without much ado, he’s hired by the mysterious, very pale Theo (John Ventimiglia), who insists Anna play Ophelia. Other roles are filled by the protag’s actor friend Vince (Kris Lemche) and Theo’s comely, self-professed “slaves” (Azie Tesfai, Carmen Goodine).

Vince is stalked by undead-hunting secret society member Charlotte (Geneva Carr), who informs him: “You are in the middle of a 2,000-year-old conspiracy. If you have any questions, watch this DVD.” He thus learns the production is the latest chapter in a longstanding grudge match between two immortals, Theo (nee Horatio) and ex-vampire Hamlet (a late-appearing Joey Kern). The Holy Grail, Rosacrucianism, garlic and crucifixes are also involved.

Other noteworthy turns come from Ralph Macchio as “the sleaziest guy in New York,” Jeremy Sisto as a police detective and Waris Ahluwalia as a turbaned hypochondriac. They’re all pretty funny, and Galland displays considerable chops in never belaboring a joke, overindulging a performer or letting the pic ramble past its welcome. Christopher LaVasseur’s sharp Red camera lensing and Sean Lennon’s score make notable contributions to the low-budget but expertly handled tech/design package.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead

Production: An Indican Pictures release of a C Plus Pictures presentation in association with Offhollywood Pictures. Produced by Mike Landry, Carlos Velazquez, Russell Terlecki. Executive producer, Damon Giglio. Co-producers, Marco Henry, Chris Carroll. Directed, written by Jordan Galland.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Christopher LaVasseur; editor, Connor Kalista; music, Sean Lennon; production designer, Darsi Monaco; costume designer, Cameron Folan; art director, James Bolenbaugh; set designer, Jade Healy; sound, Mike Guarino; sound designer, Matthew Polis; assistant director, Chris Carroll; casting, Eve Battaglia. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, April 19, 2010. (In 2009 Slamdance, AFI Dallas film festivals.) Running time: 83 MIN.

With: With: Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, John Ventimiglia, Kris Lemche, Geneva Carr, Graeme Malcolm, Chip Zien, Waris Ahluwalia, Azie Tesfai, Carmen Goodine, Joey Kern, Lou Carbonneau, Ralph Macchio, Jeremy Sisto.

More Film

  • Photograph by Svetlana Cvetko

    Blitz Films' Eryl Cochran Talks About Indie Film in Challenging Market

    Eryl Cochran heads production & development at production and financing shingle Blitz Films, where she works alongside company founders, filmmakers Nikolay and Sergey Sarkisov. Blitz, launched in 2018, is carving out a niche in the indie world with an eye for emerging talent. Blitz’s slate includes “Show Me What You Got,” directed by cinematographer Svetlana [...]

  • Echo in the Canyon review

    Film Review: ‘Echo in the Canyon’

    Arguably the most sturdily crafted and entertainingly anecdotal documentary of its kind since Denny Tedesco’s “The Wrecking Crew,” a similarly nostalgic celebration of artists who generously contributed to the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation, Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” offers a richly evocative and star-studded overview of the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene. [...]

  • Alain Berliner To Direct Cannes-Set ‘Second

    ‘Ma Vie en Rose’s’ Alain Berliner Directs Star Cast in ‘Second to Nun’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Page Three Media and Artemis Productions, which backed “The Danish Girl,” announced in Cannes “Second to Nun,” a new feature from Golden Globe winning director Alain Berliner. Berliner’s decades-ahead-of-its-time “Ma Vie en Rose,” the tale of a young transgender girl with dreams of growing into a mature woman and marrying the boy next door, was [...]

  • Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed

    Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed in Johnny Depp Starring 'Minamata'

    Andrew Levitas has carved out a unique place in the art world, having used his considerable skills across multiple creative platforms. A filmmaker, painter, sculptor, producer, writer, actor and photographer, Levitas is also the founder of Metalwork Pictures, a media production company that develops and produces original content, including his 2014 directorial debut, “Lullaby,” as [...]

  • Oliver Laxe

    Cannes: ‘Fire Will Come’s’ Oliver Laxe on Classicism, Avant-Guard, Egos

    CANNES  —    Spain’s Oliver Laxe returns to Cannes for the third time with“Fire Will Come” (O Que Arde), competing in Un Certain Regard— the first time a Galician-language film is selected for Cannes. He has pedigree. His first time round, in 2010, Laxe snagged a Fipresci nod for his Directors’ Fortnight title “You All [...]

  • Gael Garcia Bernal'La Belle Epoque' premiere,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on Cannes Out of Competition Screening ‘Chicuarotes,’ Hope for Mexico

    CANNES  —  There’s a scene right at the beginning of “Chicuarotes,” Gael García Bernal’s second movie as a director, where Cagalera and Moleteco, two teens from the humble San Gregorio Atlapulco district of Mexico City, board a bus in clown’s makeup, and launch into a clumsy comedic sketch. Maybe because it’s delivered in San Gregorio [...]

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content