By Brett Mullins
Directed by Cody Zimmermann
The Familiar is a vampire short that approaches the genre from a different direction than most: from the perspective of the vampire’s familiar. Sam has been in love with the idea of vampires from an early age. That is until he accepts the position as an assistant to the 400 year old vampire, Simon Bolivar (unfortunately, not the revolutionary Simon Bolivar from South America). Sam soon comes to realize that in reality vampires are not quite what decades of cinema have made them out to be.
This film effectively combines humorous and dark elements with a homage to classic films within the genre. Terrance Coombs, who plays Sam, fits the role nearly perfectly and provides just enough sarcasm for the audience to make the connection between Sam’s life and the daily grind at their place of work. Likewise, Paul Hubbard, who plays Simon, details a megalomaniac boss with great precision; Hubbard must have worked in retail at some point.
Director Cody Zimmermann brings us this well made film for around $15,000. This is oddly cheap considering the amount of detail and such featured in the film.
The only constructive comment I can give regarding The Familiar is that I could not shake the feeling that these roles were written for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Sam and Willem Dafoe as Simon.