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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead -- Film Review

The Bottom Line

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A horror spoof that has little reason for being, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead" pretty much uses up its quotient of wit with the title. This low-budget tale combining vampires with Shakespeare has enough prominent names involved to interest video renters, but cult status hardly is assured.

Jake Hoffman (son of Dustin, who's inherited some of his father's shambling comic style) stars as Julian, a young slacker and improbable ladies man who has resorted to sleeping in his doctor father's office after being dumped by his gorgeous model girlfriend, Anna (Devon Aoki).

Desperate for work, Julian answers an ad looking for a "young, controllable, human theater director" to stage a low-rent, off-Broadway production of "Hamlet." Or at least a new adaptation of Shakespeare's classic, as written by the very pale Theo (John Ventimiglia, of "The Sopranos"), who has a secret agenda involving a 2,000-year-old grudge between him and the real Hamlet, who, it turns out, also was a vampire.

Other characters who figure in the would-be satirical proceedings written and directed by Jordan Galland include Julian's self-aggrandizing actor friend (an amusing Kris Lemche); Anna's hyper-jealous mobster boyfriend (Ralph Macchio); and a police detective (Jeremy Sisto, clearly preparing for the "Law & Order" role that would come his way after this was filmed).

For the record, the film acknowledges its debt to playwright Tom Stoppard via a quick throwaway line, and the Danny Elfman-inspired musical score was composed by Sean Lennon.

Opened: Friday, June 4 (Indican Pictures)
Production: C Plus Pictures
Cast: Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, John Ventimiglia, Kris Lemche, Ralph Macchio, Jeremy Sisto
Director-screenwriter: Jordan Galland
Producers: Mike Landry, Carlos Velazquez, Russell Terlecki
Executive producer: Damon Giglio
Director of photography: Christopher LaVasseur
Editor: Connor Kalista
Production designer: Darsi Monaco
Costume designer: Cameron Folan
Music: Sean Lennon
No rating, 83 minutes