Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead (Jordan Galland, 2009)
The chorus of moans is unwarranted. Despite that approximately two hundred and twenty-five zombie movies get released every month in the U.S., Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead isn’t one of them. Instead, this is yet another retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with vampires. As Hamlet became the play within the play of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a crazed “reboot” of Hamlet threads through Jordan Galland’s horror comedy.
Jake Hoffman stars as Julian Marsh, an unlikely Lothario who lives in his father’s office, bedding down girls while unable to get back with his true love, Anna (Devon Aoki). Things start looking up for him when he gets a gig directing an off Broadway production written by the eccentric Theo Horace (John Ventimiglia) and Anna breaks up with her new beau, Bobby Bianchi (Ralph Macchio)—a tough talking thug trying to branch out into a new hand-cleaning venture. While his cast falls prey to Theo’s fangs, Jake finally notices that things may be rotten in Denmark when his blood-thirsty lead thespian sets his sights on Anna as the play’s new Ophelia.
Teetering on the edge of being insufferably silly, writer/director Galland manages to keep Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead on the right path, keeping the mix of laughs and groans to a happy medium.