Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Information

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is a 2009 American film adaptation of the Vampire Blood trilogy of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan.

Plot

Darren Shan and his best friend, Steve Leonard, go to a traveling freak show and Steve recognizes one of the performers as a vampire. Steve goes to see the vampire, Larten Crepsley, after the show and tries to convince him to turn him into a vampire. Crepsley insists that becoming a vampire means having to give up any hope of a normal life, and Gavner Purl notes that children aren't supposed to become vampires anyway. Steve then reveals that he hates his life, and wants to be a vampire more than anything else. Crepsley reluctantly tests Steve's blood, but quickly spits it out, saying he has bad blood. Steve furiously swears revenge on Crepsley and leaves. Darren, who is hiding in the cupboard after stealing Crepsley's spider, Madam Octa, overhears the whole thing.

When Crepsley realizes that Madam Octa has been stolen, Darren flees from the theater with Crepsley hot on his trail. Outside there is a limo waiting for him, which he is told to get into. Inside he meets Desmond Tiny and mad Vampaneze Murlough. Murlough is unimpressed with Darren, but Mr. Tiny is certain he has great potential. They drop Darren off at his house where he sneaks back into his room.

The next day at school, Darren tries to take a look at Madam Octa, but Steve catches him and tries to get a close look at her while holding her cage. The bell rings, startling Steve and making him drop the cage, and she escapes. As Madam Octa tries to escape the school she creates chaos and Steve chases her, trying to kill her, and Darren follows after trying to save her. At the last moment Madam Octa slips into Steve's shirt, bites him, and makes good her escape. Madam Octa's poisonous bite leaves Steve in the hospital, and it is likely he will not survive. Darren then goes to Crepsley to ask for the antidote and is offered a deal by him. Crepsley will keep Darren safe from Mr. Tiny and give him the antidote if Darren becomes a half-vampire and Crepsley's vampire assistant. They administer the antidote to Steve at the hospital, after which Darren, who still wishes to be rid of Crepsley, sounds the hospital alarm, forcing Crepsley to leave without him.

Even as a half-vampire, Darren finds continuing with a normal life too difficult. After nearly attacking his sister out of bloodlust, Darren agrees to leave his family and go to the Cirque Du Freak with Crepsley. He fakes his own death and a funeral is held for him. During the funeral, Steve notices the scars on Darren's fingers and realizes he has become a vampire.

When Crepsley digs up Darren's grave they are attacked by Murlough, who tries to kidnap Darren and make him into a Vampaneze. They lose Murlough and return to the Cirque. Darren meets the snake boy, Evra Von, and Rebecca, the monkey girl. Meanwhile, Steve is contemplating suicide. Mr. Tiny stops him and offers him a chance to become a Vampaneze, like Murlough. Mr. Tiny tells Steve that he is neither a vampire nor a Vampaneze, but someone with an interest in both. Tiny learns Darren has not fed on humans yet and sends Vampaneze after him, knowing that he will be weak. Darren escapes, so they kidnap Rebecca and have Evra tell Darren to "come home".

Meanwhile, Mr. Tiny makes contact with Steve and entices him to join his Vampaneze by playing on his resentments and insecurities. Steve is turned into half-Vampaneze and then he and Murlough capture Darren's family. Darren arrives home to find his family missing and a flier for Cirque du Freak. Darren arrives at the theater, where Murlough and Steve are waiting for him. They fight, but Darren is weak from not feeding. Crepsley arrives to fight Murlough. Rebecca frees herself, while Mr. Tiny watches from the balcony. Rebecca offers Darren some of her blood. He eventually agrees and fights with Steve using his new powers. Crepsley stabs Murlough and with his dying words Murlough declares that the truce between the two clans is broken. Steve and Darren continue to fight, but Tiny stops them and turns Murlough into a Little Person. Tiny and Steve then leave. Darren's family are hypnotized to have forgotten what happened to them. Left by themselves, Rebecca and Darren then share a long heartfelt kiss before being interrupted by Mr. Crepsley. Crepsley gives Darren his own coffin, and Darren accepts his new life as a member of the Cirque du Freak.

Cast

  • John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley
  • Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan
  • Josh Hutcherson as Steve "Leopard" Leonard
  • Salma Hayek as Madame Truska
  • Ray Stevenson as Murlough
  • Patrick Fugit as Evra Von
  • Willem Dafoe as Gavner Purl
  • Michael Cerveris as Desmond Tiny (Mr. Destiny)
  • Kristen Schaal as Gertha Teeth
  • Frankie Faison as Rhamus Twobellies
  • Jonathan Nosan as Hans Hands
  • Tom Woodruff, Jr. as The Wolfman
  • Wayne Douglas Morgan as Merman
  • Blake Nelson Boyd as Mr. Afraid of the Ground Man
  • Sam Medina and Gino Galento as Madame Truska's men
  • Michael Dean Baker as Mr. Piercing
  • Natasha Angelety as Cirque freak
  • Nokomis Callender as Cirque freak
  • Rose Lamarche as Cirque freak
  • Stefanie Oxmann McGaha as Cirque freak
  • J. J. Standing III as Cirque "Heavy"


Production

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant was shot between February 19-June 1, 2008 in New Orleans, and the villages of Folsom, Louisiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some of the characters required a great deal of prosthetics and makeup led by Steve Koch, Brian Sipe, and Mark Garbarino. Prosthetics did not quite add the height needed on certain shots for the character of Mr. Tall, played by Academy Award-nominated Ken Watanabe. Although Watanabe is six feet tall, a body double was cast for certain shots. Trevon Flores, a local basketball player who stands 6'10" tall and weighs 210 pounds, was used for certain shots to show the abnormal height of Mr. Tall. Additionally, Watanabe utilized dialogue coaches Kathleen S. Dunn and Francie Brown in pre-production and production to further enhance his performance as the circus barker. The filmmakers took advantage of computer-generated imagery to portray other fantasy elements.

John Marshall High School in Los Angeles was used to film a few parts of the movie. They also used Lusher Charter School in New Orleans to shoot a couple of scenes from the film.

The film began principal photography on February 8, 2008 in New Orleans and ended on June 3, 2008. The film was distributed by Universal Studios. A portion of The Vampire's Assistant was filmed on a set constructed within New Orleans City Park, approximately 1,000 feet off of the side of the road, along Harrison Avenue. In one of the manga additions of the saga, the director says that the character of Gavner Purl was a hint of the sequel he wanted to make.

Music

The score to The Vampire's Assistant was composed by Stephen Trask, marking his third feature film with director Paul Weitz. He recorded his score with an 86-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox. The movie also features "Something Is Not Right with Me" by Cold War Kids and Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis and Red Right Hand by Nick Cave. The trailer features the songs Asleep From Day by The Chemical Brothers, Bliss by Syntax, and Superhero by Immediate Music.

Release

The film was originally set for release on January 15, 2010, but was moved ahead to October 23, 2009.

Critical reception

Reception for the film has been mixed. According to Metacritic, the film holds a score of 43 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on 25 reviews. However, on Darren Shan's site, at the time of the release, he listed the review scores from well over 100 critics, and opinion from this larger sample of critics was divided almost equally between those who enjoyed it and those who did not. Still, Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a much lower 38% fresh rating from 134 critics, and an even lower 17% fresh rating from their "Top Critics".

Box office

The film opened in 2,754 theaters in the USA and made over $14 million, reaching #7 in the charts. In other countries, it made more than $25 million, giving it a worldwide box office total of more than $39 million. On DVD, sales in the USA made more than $5.5 million. Worldwide its chart placings included getting to #1 in Ukraine, #2 in Hungary, #2 in Russia, #2 in the United Arab Emirates, #3 in Mexico, #3 in Portugal, #4 in Egypt, #4 in Venezuela, #5 in Belgium, #5 in Peru, #5 in Singapore, #5 in the UK, #6 in Lebanon, #6 in the Philippines, #7 in Bulgaria, #7 in Japan, #8 in Chile, #8 in Colombia, #8 in the Netherlands, #9 in Austria, #9 in Romania, #11 in Germany, #11 in Malaysia, #11 in New Zealand.

Home media

The film debuted on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in Canada, the UK and USA at the end of February 2010. In Canada, at the end of its first week on sale and rent, it was #1 on the Rogers DVD bestselling chart and #2 on the Blockbuster Canada bestselling chart, and #6 on the rental charts of both. In the USA it was #2 on the Rentrak bestseller chart, and #6 on the Blockbuster, Home Media and IMDb rental charts. In the UK it reached #5 on the MyMovies bestsellers chart, and #6 on the Yahoo chart.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cirque_du_Freak%3A_The_Vampire%27s_Assistant" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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