The TV adaptation of Taika Waititi’s 2014 horror comedy vampire movie hit What We Do In The Shadows has quickly become a fan fan favorite, with the announcement that the series has been picked up for a second season before the first season has even finished. The series follows a group of vampires living in Staten Island including Ottoman Empire warrior Nandor The Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Nandor’s familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen), the vampire couple Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry), and their excruciatingly annoying energy vampire roommate Colin Robinson (Mark Proksh) as they’re documented and interviewed by a reality TV crew. Last night’s episode turned out to be a star studded cavalcade of guest-stars, so if you haven’t watched yet and want to avoid spoilers, avert thy eyes.
The What We Do In The Shadows series began with the arrival of the vampire’s master “The Baron” played with intensity by Doug Jones, as he crashes at their home as they try to implement his ridiculously difficult desire to have vampires take over America. When The Baron emerges, the group instead end up on a blood bender, drinking the drunk/drugged blood of people and getting messed up themselves. Leading to The Baron accidentally getting incinerated by an unknowing Guillermo when he enters the home during the morning, and leaving everyone else too hung over to remember what happened. With The Baron’s death, Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo are called before an international council of vampires for answers.
This leads to an absolutely amazing series of guest-stars and cameos in any work of vampire fiction. Firstly, they’re led by Flight Of The Conchords regular Kristen Schaal as a floating messenger for the council, then the group encountering Dave Bautista as a vampire wrongfully imprisoned for turning a baby into a vampire… that was in fact Laszlo’s doing. “In my defense, I was very bored.” he notes.
Then we get to meet the vampire council proper, and after an extraordinarily choreographed and eerie dance number they’re revealed to include numerous actors who have portrayed vampires in film and TV over the years. Their leader played by Tilda, Tilda Swinton who was in Only Lovers Left Alive and what helped spark the idea for Taika Waititi according to Entertainment Weekly. As well, there was Paul Reubens from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Evan-Rachel Wood of True Blood, Danny Trejo of From Dusk Till Dawn, and even Wesley Snipes of the Blade movies. Via Skype! With each ‘character’ being referred to by their first names only, but dressed reminiscent of their vampire characters. As well, the original What We Do In The Shadows New Zealand vampires Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) appear as a part of the council among the other vamps. Making for perhaps one of the greatest crossover of fictional vampires yet. On top of that, Colin Robinson was revealed to be on the council as well!
The episode was hilarious on so many levels, and opens the door further on the world of vampires in What We Do In The Shadows. Who knows what other ‘vampires’ could pop up in the future, especially with a second season on the way? Viago even mentioning other vampire council members like ‘Brad’ and ‘Kiefer’ couldn’t make it.