Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead
Julian scores his big break when he lands the job directing an off Broadway version of Hamlet. Except it’s a bizarre adaptation written by a pale Romanian impresario named Theo, who is actually a master vampire!
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Living in the back room of his father’s doctors office, broke, frustrated ladies man Julian (Jake Hoffman) scores his big break when he lands the job directing an off Broadway version of Hamlet. Except it’s a bizarre adaptation written by a pale Romanian impresario named Theo (John Ventimiglia) who is actually a master vampire! Theo hopes to lure the real Hamlet (Kris Lemche) out of hiding so the two can end a centuries long feud over Shakespeare’s Ophelia. Meanwhile, Julian pines for his ex-girlfriend, Anna (Devon Aoki) who is dating a Mobster Bobby Bianchi (Ralph Macchio) intent on creating the next great invention – “Whack a Germ”. Added into the mix is a dimwitted Detective (Jeremy Sisto), the Holy Grail, the Rosicrucian Society, a bunch of Sexy Vamps, God and a score by Sean Lennon and you’ve got the perfect mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Terry Gilliam, Dude Where’s My Car and Woody Allen all in one fantastic film!
Runtime: 85 min.
Format: 1:85 (HD)
Sound: Dolby Stereo
AWARDS, FESTIVALS, PUBLICITY
Awards & Festivals – Premiere – Slamdance Film Festival
Official Selection – AFI Dallas Film Festival
Official Selection – Hollywood Film Festival
Official Selection – Fantasia Montreal Film Festival
Official Selection – Stonybrook Film Festival
Official Selection – Strasbourg Film Festival
Official Selection – Friars Club Comedy Festival
Official Selection – Newport Beach Film Festival
Official Selection – Delray Beach Film Festival
Official Selection – ICON Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival
Official Selection – Kaouhslung Film Festival
Winner – Best Comedy – DCIFF Festival
Winner – Best Comedy – Hawaii Film Festival
The cast is, quite simply, terrific. It’s a funny, interesting and rather unique take on the famous play, and definitely worth checking out. If you enjoy a tongue-in-cheek vampire flick or alternative takes on the Shakespeare’s works, UNDEAD will make for an enjoyable evening at the movies.
Okay, this project is automatically cool.
Ain’t It Cool News
It’s funny; it’s handsome to look at; it stars Artie Bucco from The Sopranos, Dustin Hoffman’s kid, and Ralph Macchio. And it establishes the creeping horror of a once-legitimate neighborhood being overtaken by soulless, pale, black-clad, nocturnal monsters. You know, vampires…
Dan Kois/Lane Brown — New York Magazine
There’s clearly immense talent on display. Hoffman is likable and believable…Ventimiglia’s vampire manages to be lusty, menacing and hilarious — often all in the same moment. The titular R&G hit their notes as a perfectly awful pair; one a wannabe highbrow thespian, the other playing Shakespeare as filtered through Dude, Where’s My Car?. There’s a poor man’s Terry Gilliam sequence (illustrated by the director himself) that does a clever and funny job of providing a lot of the exposition midway through the film. Intermediate title screens with plays on words that echo the title and a title sequence reminiscent of late 70’s comedy-mystery romps like Murder by Death help maintain the aura of fun. Galland and company have put together one of the more enjoyable comedies I’ve seen in the last couple years, one that hints at great things to come.”
Mike Orren — Dallas Pegasus News
The zanily creative brainchild of NYC indie-pop entrepreneur Jordan Galland (who wrote and directed), the film has a sugary downtown vibe to it… composer Sean Lennon bathes it in Danny Elfman–like manic waltzing. Will you ever see another film in which Hamlet’s name is screamed histrionically in a fake Egyptian desert?
Joshua Rothkopf — Time Out NY
The idea of combining vampires with Shakespeare is pretty ingenious. If you want to see the Bard with a little more bite, at least be sure to look for the film…
…it’s clear Mr. Galland has his funny bone in the right place. The film has a fairly clever setup, thanks largely to Mr. Ventimiglia, whose neck- and scenery-chewing give the film an injection of energy. Film is highlighted by the dead on score provided by Sean Lennon.
Joe Lozito — Spin Magazine
…the movie’s “like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Woody Allen’s Manhattan.
Throw in an ex-girlfriend Julian is obsessed with, the vampires’ master plan, not one single ounce of seriousness, some great editing which keeps the viewers attention and what comes out is a slick little indie vampire circus. This is a true adventure in whimsy.
It all comes down to the true test of humor – timing – and this film is loaded with it. From dialogue that zips by effortlessly, leaving the listener breathless, to narrative threads that bend and weave like expensive sports cars during a high speed chase, Galland consistently goes for broke and ends up winning the lottery. His cast is excellent, from Jake Hoffman’s romantically mucked up Julian to John Ventimiglia’s nutty Nosferatu in waiting. The film is also an exceptional entertainment on its own.
Bill Gibron — Pop Matters
The main pleasures of “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead” lie in its eclectic supporting cast. John Ventimiglia does an amusing Alan Cumming-Javier Bardem impersonation as the vampire…
Mike Hale — NY Times
…often witty horror-comedy…
This film is strange, sick and wickedly funny. It takes the iconic Bard and the mythos of the vampire straight to the wicked edge. Written and directed by Jordan Galland, Rosencrantz is sharp, intelligent and slightly kinky. The story is subversive and original, an intellectual treat. Galland does brilliant work with a shoestring budget, delivering horror comedy that sets a high bar. The dialogue is rich with pointed barbs, erudite observations and turns a classic tragedy cool and hip. Jake Hoffman is deadpan magnificent as Julian, Devin Aoki is smart, sassy and truly hilarious, delivering her lines with panache. Ralph Macchio gives an outstanding performance as the crass, self-absorbed Bobby Bianchi. Sean Lennon’s score is utterly magical. It’s theatrical and dramatic with a dark bite that adds an element of surrealism. He truly captured the feeling of the picture. The sets are moody and over-the-top, but they add tremendous depth almost as if they are characters themselves. For anyone who loves horror comedy, this film is a must see. I highly recommend it.
Melissa Bradley — Static MultiMedia
Beatles composer and producer George Martin must be proud of Sean Lennon’s latest endeavor: the largely instrumental and positively freaky soundtrack for Jordan Galland’s independent film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead. It seems we just can’t get away from those sexy-ass vampires in this campy farce that is loads of fun…
Rolling Stone Magazine
“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead is a refreshing throwback farce that, captures the madcap energy of theatrical comedies, packed with rapid-fire dialogue, absurd plot points, physical humor and self-conscious spoofing…”
Mark Harris — About.com
The story trucks along efficiently and the players are quirky without being obnoxious (Hoffman – son of Dustin Hoffman – gives an understated performance that makes him the ideal center for all the film’s kooky happenings). There’s a warm geniality to this movie that makes it feel like time pleasantly spent. While opportunities for mugging and overacting abound, no one in the cast tries to hijack their scenes. Christopher LaVasseur’s cinematography is outstanding and the score by Sean Lennon rounds out Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead’s impressive technical credits.
Shock Till You Drop
Jeremy Sisto makes a cute and clueless detective; Sean Lennon does the music; and Ralph Macchio plays a great mob man/squirt gun peddler. The film’s got high production values and mild amusement value…