Jun 10, 2022

"The Little Vampire 3D": An Inch Away from a Fully Open Gay Romance


The Little Vampire (2000) had a strong gay subtext (plus Jonathan Lipnicki, who grew up into a super-hunk), so I was interested in seeing what would happen with the new anmiated adaption, The Little Vampire 3D (2017).  Would they turn the subtext into a text, or diffuse it by giving the boys girlfriends?

Scene 1: Transylvania, Romania.  Weird to have both the historic region and modern-day Romania juxtaposed like that. A swarm of vampires flies into an abandoned church to celebrate the birthday of Rudolph, the Little Vampire (actually 13 in human years).  He's not into it: he never ages, so what's the point? We meet various humorous characters, like Rudolph's industrious sister, his chubby mother, his bickering uncle and aunt who flew in from Germany.  Did a whole extended family become vampires at the same time, or do vampires reproduce the way humans do, or are "uncle" and "aunt" just honorifics?

Scene 2:  An American family on vacation, complete with camper in tow.  13-year old Tony is obsessed with vampires, but his parents point out that there is no such thing  Plus they're tired of hearing the v-word.  Suddenly their car slides off the road, down an embankment, and crashes right into the vampires' graveyard.  

Scene 3:  Transylvania Tech Works.  The boss, Rookery, wakes up his abused employee, Maney (who looks like an older version of Tony).  "They're swarming," so he needs the truck.  

Scene 4: At the catacombs, Rudy's teenage brother is arguing with his parents: he's old enough to go hunting alone!  Finally he storms out -- Rudy follows him to a gas station sitting alone in the forest.  A man is walking his dog.  Prey!  But at that moment the vampire hunters arrive and shoot Big Brother -- Gregory  He falls to the ground, severely injured.  Rudy rushes to the rescue, and flies him back the catacombs, with the vampire hunters on their trail!

He's always called Rudolph in the movie, but I prefer Rudy.

Scene 5: The American family is rescued by a stereotypic German couple (in Transylvania?), who run a bed and breakfast in a huge, ornate castle.  Wait -- they were planning to go to the B&B all along, so why the camper?

Back at the catacombs, they tend to Gregory's wounds. Rudy goes outside to see if the vampire hunters tracked them.  Yep.  Now they're sealing the vampires in the catacombs!  The main family manages to escape, with the vampire-hunters in hot pursuit -- in an airplane?  Rudy draws it away so the others can hide in Uncle and Aunt's crypt -- in Germany? It's a thousand kilometers from Cluj to Munich.  Those vampires are fast fliers!

Now Rudy has to hide, so he ducks into the B&B/castle where Tony is staying.  Ok, the B&B is in Germany, not Transylvania. 

 Finally, the two boys meet!  Distrust -- posturing -- obvious flirting -- let's shake hands and not let go -- gazing into each other's eyes.   

Tony: "You can hide here, just no..."

Rudy: "Don't worry, I haven't sucked human blood in a long time."

Tony: "So you're not going to...um...bite me?"

Rudy: (Puts an arm around him, smiles).  Only time will tell.

Whoa, that's hot.  He came within an inch of saying "suck my cock."  These guys are going to kiss any second now.

Scene 6:  Rudy is hungry, but it's still daylight out, so Tony wraps him in aluminum foil and leads him to a cow to suck; but he takes too much, and turns it into a vampire-cow.  Meanwhile, Maney the Vampire Hunter is feeling guilty because his light-invention hurt a vampire.  

Scene 7: 
 To add a little tension to the relationship, Rudy becomes angry because mortals like Tony have trapped his clan and are hunting his family.  After they argue and fight a bit, Tony promises to help.  

Rudy demonstrates that, when they hold hands, Tony can fly, too. Wait -- how does Rudy know about this, unless he's flown with humans before?  Apparently Tony is not his first human boyfriend.

Rudy is apprehensive about introducing his new human boyfriend to the family.  Dad disapproves: "You can have your mortal friend, or you can be a member of this family."  He chooses Tony.

Mom and Sister Anna are more supportive of Rudy's...um...coming out.  Sister Anna flirts with Tony, and he gets all goofy, but not to worry, it's not really hetero-romance.  She put him under a spell.

Scene 9:  The vampire hunters capture Tony, "The little vampire lover," and tie him up.  Could you get any more obvious?   Rookery wants to kill him, but Maney feels guilty.  Meanwhile, Anna and Rudy follow; Anna denies that she is love with him.  Uh-oh, is a heterosexual fade-out kiss imminent?

Tony tries to escape by swimming across the lake, but almost dies of hyperthermia before the vampires rescue him.

Scene 10: The vampire-hunters go to the B&B and reveal the Tony-Rudy relationship to his parents.  They are shocked.  "The family is always the last to know."  How blatant can the gay symbolism get?

Meanwhile, Anna and Rudy argue over who will save Tony from his hypothermia (Rudy wins).  

 The vampire-hunters are returning to Transylvania to kill the vampire clan, so Anna, Rudy, and Tony have  to save them. Tony can't leave without telling his parents, but if he tells them, he won't be allowed to go.  Not to worry; Anna casts a spell on them, and they all drive to Transylvania.  Rudy and Tony fly (more hand-holding and hugging).  

Scene 11: Rudy and Tony don't reach the catacombs by dawn, so Rudy goes to sleep in an empty crypt in a cemetery, and Tony goes on by himself.  He has to remove the steel net from the catacomb entrance (why couldn't the vampires do that?)  More hugging.  These guys are definitely boyfriends.

Scene 12:
  Rudy awakens and flies to the catacombs, arriving just in time to see the vampire-hunters about to shoot Tony.  He intervenes.  

They have rigged a bomb to seal off the catacomb entrance, trapping the vampires inside forever (Rudy and Tony hug as they await the explosion).  

Surprise!  There's another way out of the catacombs.  (So all of this plot is for nothing?  The vampires could have escaped at any time?)  Big Brother Gregory is reunited with Rudy and "my...um...friend."  He is reluctant to accept a human boyfriend, but finally gives in.  They shake hands.  

Scene 13: The vampire-hunters want revenge on the boys who ruined their plans (how? they didn't do anything but get captured and rescue each other).  They chase Rudy and Tony with crossbows and bombs.  Anna jumps out of the parents' car, and she and Tony, on the back of the vampire cow, rush off to save the clan, leaving Rudy behind.  (Wait -- why don't they hold hands to fly?  Because that would be too close to romantic, and the writers want to emphasize the Tony-Rudy romance?  Anna doesn't even hold on to Tony while riding the vampire cow.)

While the boy and the girl are gone, Rudy saves the carload of parents from being pulverized by the vampire-hunters.  Maney, upset over all their evil deeds, breaks up with vampire-hunter Rookery.  Then Rookery gets squashed by Tony and Anna on the flying vampire cow (unconscious, maybe dead).

Scene 14: 
The vampire and human parents decide to trust each other after all.  They join the kids, plus the rest of the clan for Rudy's belated birthday party (yeah! Anna stops sitting behind Tony on the vampire cow!). 

Rudy is sad because the clan has lost its home in the catacombs, and it will be dawn soon (he's the only one who thought of that?).  Tony suggests the castle B&B.  They all arrive and move in.  The movie ends with the vampire cow winking at us before flying off.  Rather a let-down ending.  No hugging, no "we'll be together forever," no nothing between Tony and Rudy.  But at least there's no boy-girl fade-out kiss.

Wait -- there are curtain calls during the ending credits.  The boys appear separately, then together with the rest of the cast behind them.  But they're not holding hands.  They came within an inch of an open gay relationship, but didn't quite make it.  I guess they still needed deniability, so the movie could play in China.


  1. Oh Mary please- the two heroes are gay and clearly in love with each other- even when the try to push the girl vampire into the scene

  2. I mean, vampires, at least in Stoker, were a symbol of seduction. Cue Victorian repression

  3. The people who made this movie should have put the kissing at the end for rudy and tony. They were about to kiss but it changed to a hug. talk about not liking a gay kiss.

  4. You forgot the part where the boys literally come out of the closet in the B&B.

  5. Whatever happened to the toxic relationship between Maney and Rookery? I was honestly kind of invested in the one-sided crush parental-issues-Maney had on his older, definitely repressed, severely in denial, "partner" Rookery LOL. I honestly wanted them to have a happy ending, but I'm glad Maney told his toxic partner-not-partner to get a psychiatrist... Rookery really needed one NGL.


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