If you’re going to dig up the vampire-parody genre, you better have some . . . well, bite. From Bela to Buffy, the undead may continue to haunt our imaginations, but the well of original jokes about them has run drier than the old count’s veins. Greg Machlin’s Bloody Lies, a toothless throwback, should have stayed buried in the crypt of the dramatist’s drawer, so quickly does it disintegrate under even the rudimentary lights of the Midtown International Theatre Festival. For a young writer, Machlin’s material is surprisingly dated, rarely getting beyond the obligatory fang and mirror yuks of The Munsters.
Which would be fine if the jokes actually landed or Machlin had anything else to write about. But no consistent theme or satiric target emerges from the negligible plot of an all-American boy hitting up his ghoulish Transylvaniansorry, ” Rockhvorgeean”relations for rent money. Unaided by the amateurish production, the script dissolves into a catch-all of clichés, including zombies, evil landlords, and at least one shameless rip-off of South Park. There’s a difference between reinventing familiar tropes and merely recycling them. By settling for the latter, Bloody Lieslike an insatiable Nosferatunever stops sucking.