The vampire as erotic symbol is a longstanding cultural trope, one that has borne such ripe, sexy fruit as David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve seducing Susan Sarandon in The Hunger. My affection for Nadja and Lazslo’s mutual commitment to perversion is also on the record, and so the idea of a comedic take on the trope where the What We Do In The Shadows gang throws an orgy—that’s it, that’s the whole episode, no real second storyline except for Guillermo’s reluctance to sacrifice his virginal pal Jeremy to the vampires, and that’s more of an offshoot than a side adventure—was extremely appealing to me. And the result? Mostly positive, but with a few questions.
This episode was full of what I’ve realized is my favorite thing about What We Do In The Shadows: long, silly tangents. Below, I’ve compiled everything the vampires ask Guillermo to get for the orgy to the best of my abilities, but the titles of Laszlo’s pornos were inspired in a similar tangent-heavy way. But perhaps the best examples from this episode of how What We Do In The Shadows is at its funniest when it’s on a roll comes towards the beginning, when Nandor describes vampire sex thusly: “Vampire sex is like pizza, in that even when it’s bad it’s still good. It’s designed to be enjoyed by eight or more people, there’s a choice of toppings, and in the morning you wake up like, ‘ahh, why do I have puncture wounds on my penis?’” I also enjoyed the fact that there were two separate in flagrante delicto reveals in this episode, the second of which reminded me of John Waters’ story about getting rats to mimic intercourse for his movie A Dirty Shame.
But while I hate to be that person, there were a few inconsistent details in this episode that had me going, “wait, what?” I was under the impression that the vampires had been roommates for hundreds of years, so how did Nadja not know about Laszlo’s porn career, which according to the episode lasted for at least 100 years? Was he keeping it a secret from the rest of the gang? If so, why isn’t she upset about that, rather than how boring the pornos are? (That being said, Nadja’s impatience with bad sex—not sex, bad sex—in this episode was inspiring.) For that matter, I guess the Vampire Council has decided to forgive and forget about the whole “dodging a death sentence” thing from episode seven. Maybe I’m just used to the nitpicky realm of film criticism, and should just chill the fuck out because this is a sitcom? Anyway, on to our sweet, sweet Matt Berry.
This was Berry’s episode to shine, and everyone’s favorite undead bush enthusiast (yes of course the pun was intended) did indeed seem to relish every silly, musky, casually pansexual moment. Matt Berry triumphantly shouting, “Orgy Stuff!”? Yes, please. “Fornicating, diddling, wiggling, snarling?” Pure poetry. “And what’s the deal with pagers?!” Move over, Jerry Seinfeld. But my favorite part had to be his sex faces in the clips from the vampire pornos. Shoutout to Kayvan Novak as well, along with the wardrobe assistant who covered him in all those dildos. Thank you for your service.
- And now, a recounting of all the vampires’ requirements for the orgy: A blood fountain, 10 kg of “real, pure” opium, a picture of Nadja and Laszlo naked with cherries in their bums, protective spray for the carpet, six ancient Burmese lingham and yoni sets, absorbent towels, a succulent virgin feast, a sex swing, a sex net, a nonstop butt machine, a cat o’ nine tails, Oliver Cromwell’s head, a codpiece, a bat codpiece, a 200-year-old peekaboo cape, Constantin, jade butt eggs, and a statue of Nadja’s parents at the moment of her conception.
- Guillermo’s third source of virgins? The “Monty Python Appreciation Society.”
- “Are you role playing as a depressed man?”
- Mister Fifties is back, baby!
- You can read yours truly going into geeky detail about Chinese hopping vampires here.
- Laszlo’s abbreviated history of erotic cinema is actually pretty accurate. The first porno was indeed filmed almost immediately after the invention of the motion-picture camera, and the oldest known example, the French wedding-night striptease Le Coucher de la Mariée, was first publicly screened in 1896—the same year as Laszlo’s Adventures Of A Very Randy Vampire. By today’s standards, Le Coucher de la Mariée is quite tame, but a lady stripping down to her petticoats was tres scandaleux in 1896.
- So, do we think Guillermo is going to have his Theon Greyjoy moment and finally stick up for himself in next week’s finale after eating shit all season, or nah?