Movie Review: Irish Bloodsuckers face the “Boys from County Hell”

Sure, I’m as done with vampire movies as anybody. But a Bram Stoker riff in thick Irish brogues? Let’s have it, then.

“Boys from County Hell” is about an outbreak of the undead in the homeland of “Dracula” author Stoker. It’s slangy and profane, bloody and bloody funny, as well.

“Most people don’t even know Stoker was Irish,” Eugene (Jack Rowan) gripes to a couple of Canadian tourists he’s just picked up in The Stoker, the pub in tiny Six Mile Hill, a village connected to Stoker. He’s leading them to see “The Cairn,” a rock pile of local lore that may have something of a bloodsucking variety buried beneath it.

The story is that Stoker got inspired by a local legend, and merely grafted it onto accounts of Vlad the Impaler is much-more-exotic Transylvania.

But Six Mile Hill is due to get a highway bypass. Eugene’s contractor dad Francie Moffat (Nigel O’Neill) has the contract to move the earth, and maybe the cairn.

If only Eugene and his mate William (Fra Fee) hadn’t taken that shortcut home from having a few “scoops” down t’the pub. If only this beast hadn’t charged them and gored poor William to death.

That’s cast a pall over cairn-tearing down day — that, and the warning by William’s under-taker dad (John Lynch).

“Don’t toss that cairn, Eugene. Yer not f—–g cut out for all this.”

All what? The undertaker knows.

And when the blood starts to splatter and the dead won’t stay dead, the Moffats are the first to find out. Will there be enough “Boys from County Hell,” with barmaid Claire (Louisa Harland) pitching in, to stop this?

The story’s another variation on the “‘Dracula is fiction,’ this is real life” vampire formula. As in, don’t expect all the old standbys to “kill this thing.” The violence is just serious enough to pass muster and the effects are quite good.

But it’s the Irishness that sells this, the “craic” and “cute hoor” slang, the effective deployment of beer, profanity and “feckin’ eejit” and the like.

“Is he on droooogs?””Aye took th’coke once. Through six different scraps, didn’t feel a ting

“The wee f—-r tried t’bite me!” “Bite? Like a…”

“Like a (rhymes with RUNT).”

And on and on it goes, with many “scoops” and slashings, bites and impalings to keep the faithful and the diaspora amused. There’s nothing much you can do with this genre any more except mock it. Mocking is one thing the Irish are quite good at.

MPA Rating: unrated, bloody and profane as all get out

Cast: Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Fra Fee, Michael Hough and John Lynch.

Credits: Scripted and directed by Chris Baugh. A Shudder release (April 22)

Running time: 1:29

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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