When watching a comedy for the first time, I usually prefer to do so in a group rather than by myself. This is because some comedies tend to be more funny when there’s somebody else to laugh with. Like the jokes can only be funny when you’re surrounded by a specific atmosphere. A “we’re here to have fun and laugh” kinda atmosphere. And I don’t mind that. There’s been plenty of comedies that I’ve first watched by myself, and found boring, and then I’d watch them with my family, or some friends and I’d find them hilarious. It happens. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does come off as if it’s lacking something. Something important, even. Because, had it not been for the comedic atmosphere provided by the group of people surrounding you, this movie would be a bit boring, and definitely not as funny.
This is not the case with ‘What We Do in the Shadows’. (Which, btw, is a mocumentary about 3 vampires “living in a flatting situation” in New Zealand, and the domestic problems they have to deal with throughout.) It is one of the most bizarre movies I have ever seen, and somehow that makes it truly, and beautifully, a work of art. A masterpiece. Because never have I enjoyed watching a comedy alone as much as I have with this one. I’ve watched this movie plenty of times by myself, and it only gets funnier and funnier every time I see it. It’s so ridiculous that it works. The script, the execution, the general vibe of the movie, is, quite honestly, outstanding. Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (the writers and directors of the film) have produced a true gem. So without further ado, here’s a list of my favorite quotes/conversations from “What We Do In The Shadows”:
“Every few years a secret society in New Zealand gathers for a special event: The Unholy Masquerade. In the months leading up to the ball, a documentary crew was granted full access to a small group of this society. Each crew member wore a crucifix and was granted protection by the subjects of the film.”
(Vladislav, Viago, and Deacon are sitting in the kitchen having a “flat meeting”)
Vladislav: Is Petyr coming? Should we wait?
Viago: Petyr is 8000 years old. We’re not going to have Petyr at the meeting. Okay, so… I wanted to have a quick chat about flat responsibilities because… uh… guys, I think we’re not all pulling our weight here. We’re not just pointing the finger at you, Deacon. You’re a cool guy but you’re not pulling your weight in the flat.
Deacon: [whilst knitting] Well, I’m glad to hear that I’m cool.
Vladislav: No, that’s not the point though-
Deacon: Yeah, no, I know.
Viago: It’s not a flat meeting about how cool you are.
Deacon: I do my flat chores.
Vladislav: No, you don’t!
Deacon: Yes, I do.
Viago: No, that’s why we’re having the flat meeting.
Vladislav: [angry] the point is, Deacon, that you have not done the dishes for 5 years.
Viago: Vladislav is right. It’s unacceptable to have so many bloody dishes all over the bench like that…
Vladislav: [even angrier] I’m so embarrassed when people come over.
Deacon: [Incredulous] Why does it matter?! You bring them over to kill them!
Vladislav: [convinced] … yeah.
Deacon: Vampires don’t do dishes.
“One day I was selling my wears, and I walked passed this old creepy castle. And I look at it and think, ‘very old and creepy’. And then this creature… flies at me! It dragged me back to this dark dungeon. And bit into my neck. And just at the point of death; this creature forced me to suck its foul blood. And then it opened it’s wings, like this. And hovered above me. Screeching. ‘Ahhh-haha! Now you are vampire.’ And it was Petyr. And we’re still friends today.” – Deacon
Viago: [voiceover] Vladislav is like this older vampire who grew up in the medieval times. And you know, to be living this long, and to have seen the things that he’s seen, and still, like, kind of have it together… I mean, hats off to him. He’s a really great guy. A bit of a pervert. He has some pretty old ideas about things.
Vladislav: [present time] We should get some slaves!
Viago: I went into the lounge the other day and there was blood all over my nice antique couch.
Vladislav: Which one, the red one?
Viago: Well, it’s red now, yeah. If you’re going to eat a victim on my nice clean couch put down some newspapers on the floor! And some towels. It’s not hard to do.
Vladislav: We’re vampires! We don’t put down towels.
Viago: Some vampires do.
Vladislav: Well, not serious ones.
Deacon: [as he does the dishes] This is bullshit.
“Vampires have had a pretty bad rep. We’re not these mopey old creatures who live in castles. And while some… most of us are- a lot are… but… there are also those of us who like to flat together in really small countries like New Zealand.” – Viago
“We are trying to attract victims to us. I go for a look which I call ‘Dead but Delicious’. We are the bait, but we’re also the trap.” – Vladislav
Viago: Vladislav used to be extremely powerful. He could hypnotize crowds of people.
Deacon: Great orgies. Twenty- thirty women!
Viago: He could turn into all sorts of animals. But now he never gets the faces right.
Deacon: He would kill anybody. Men, women. Children. Burning… everything. It was totally great.
Viago: But, he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of his arch nemesis… The Beast. And, he’s never been the same.
“I think we drink virgin blood because… It sounds cool.” – Deacon
“Hi, my name is Nick. I’ve been a vampire for two months. Probably I reckon the best thing about being a vampire is flying. Like i’ve always wanted to- I think everyone’s always wanted to fly. And now I can do it.” -Nick
Deacon: The neighbors can see you flying around the house. You want to draw attention to the house, hmm?
Nick: You’ve got a whole documentary crew following you around.
Deacon: I’m doing an erotic dance for my friends. And you ruined it. I was in the zone. My friends were loving it.
Nick: I love it. I saw the end of it. It looked great.
Deacon: [sniffing the air] I can smell werewolves.
Vladislav: Okay, we’re just about to walk past some werewolves so some shit might go down.
Deacon: [as they pass the werewolves] Look out guys, don’t catch fleas.
Werewolf: What’s that mate?
Werewolf: Sorry, what?
Vladislav: [pulling Deacon] Keep going. Keep walking. Keep walking.
Werewolf: We heard that, mate. We’ve got sensitive hearing.
Vladislav: [turns to the werewolves] We don’t want any trouble.
Deacon: I do! Have I got your heckles up? Huh? Why don’t you go smell your own crotches?
Werewolf: What are you talking about? We don’t smell our own crotches, we smell each others crotches, and it’s a form of… greeting.
Werewolf (2): It’s ok, cause I know this guy. [pointing towards Viago] He’s count Fagula.
Pack leader: Hey, hey, hey! Don’t swear. We’re werewolves. What are we?
Pack: [unanimously] We’re werewolves, not swearwolves.
Vladislav: That’s a very offensive word to call people.
“I’m the main guy from ‘Twilight’. You know the main guy? Twilight? That’s me.” – Nick
Deacon: Shut up, Nick! You’re not Twilight.
Nick: What your problem?
Deacon: You’re my problem. Telling the world that we are vampires.
Nick: [Looking at the camera] And I’ll tell the whole world that you’re an asshole now.
Deacon: [As he pushes Nick] Shut up!
Nick: [As he pushes Deacon back] No, you shut up!
Deacon: No, you shut up!
Nick: I’m Dracula, man.
Deacon: You’re not Dracula. You don’t even know who Dracula is! You idiot!
[Nick turns into a bat]
[Deacon turns into a bat]
Vladislav: Oh, bat fight!
Deacon: I call into session, this trial of Nick of Wellington.
Vladislav: Read the charges.
Viago: [from notebook] Problems we have with Nick. Number 1: You brought a human into our house. Which is a big no-no in the vampire world.
Vladislav: [Interrupting Viago] Stu’s- Stu’s ok though.
Viago: Yeah, Stu’s fine. So I guess we’ll just cross that one out. Uh… [Looks for a pen]
[Stu helpfully passes one to him]
Viago & Vladislav: Thank you, Stu.
Viago: So, the new number 1: Nick’s been telling people he’s a vampire. That in turn resulted in an unwanted visit from a vampire hunter. Crime number 2: This is quite a biggy, Nick. The vampire hunter who killed Petyr. That’s… I actually should’ve… that should’ve been crime number one but we wanted to build up to that. Number 3: Deacon doesn’t like that you wear the same jacket as him. And he would like you to find your own original style.
Vladislav: For these crimes of which we the vampire council find you guilty you shall be banished from our flat. Indefinitely.
Nick: So I can come back?
Deacon: No, no, ‘indefinitely’ means that there is no end.
Viago: No, ‘indefinite’ means that it’s not a definite thing.
Deacon: Yeah, but it’s long.
Nick: It could be tomorrow, it could be six months.
Vladislav: No, it is not going to be tomorrow.
Deacon: You get at least six months.
Vladislav: You are banished. But, Stu, you can visit if you like.
Stu: Thank you.
“I hope you never see The Beast. The Beast.” – Vladislav
“‘The Beast’ is, uh, the name I gave to my ex-girlfriend Pauline. She prefers ‘Pauline.'” -Vladislav
“Some people freak out a bit about the the age difference. Uh, they think, ‘What’s this 96 year old lady doing with a guy four times her age?’ And, you know, I don’t care, they could call me cradle snatcher. Who cares?” – Viago