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Netflix's 'Vampires vs. The Bronx' Puts Young PoC Talent Front & Center!

10-25-2020 by Tyler Bey

  ( © Netflix)  

 

"You don’t want no smoke with the BX"! That’s the final message young actress Imani Lewis’s character Gloria leaves to grinning audience members. The Netflix movie Vampires vs. the Bronx is a love letter to the New York borough, a a horror-comedy that’s more funny than bloody. It features SNL's Chris Redd after all. The director himself, Osmany Rodriguez, is most known for his project "Creating Saturday Night Live", so, of course, this movie will have you smile-laughing just like the late-night sketch show does. 

 

 

 

The film trails Miguel Martinez, played by the bubbly up-and-comerJaden Michael, and just like a star, he gleams in this movie! Miguel and his squad, Bobby Carter (Gerald Jones III), Luis Acosta (Gregory Diaz IV), and, sometimes, Rita (Let it Shine starCoco Jones) are tossed through a rollercoaster of different situations, leaving them running in and out of trouble. 

 

We first find Miguel handing out flyers for a block party to raise money for his friend Tony’s (The Kid Mero) bodega. The core problem of the film is the encroaching vampire real estate business that’s making black and brown business owners disappear, turning their properties into machines of gentrification. 

 

 

 

The movie is precious because of the young actors that make it. It brings me joy to see young boys of color playing complex characters on screen. I should also mention that this is one of the first times I’ve seen a dark-skinned Black boy have a dark-skinned Black mother on screen! It’s a beautiful thing to see and the result of diversity in front and behind the camera. This movie is a testament to the fact that Black kids need to be in more horror movies! 

 

 

 

By the end, the film is ultimately about mothers and sons, and friends and sticking together. It has that same vein of New York pride every movie about New York has, and it does it with an abundance of satisfying complex metaphors and undertones. If you’re looking for a movie to get you started on your Halloween binge-fest, Vampires vs. The Bronx (now on Netflix) is the perfect movie for you!