Home Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires

Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires

Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Paul Whitehouse, Michael Mort, Samantha Coughlan
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Michael Mort
Director: Michael Mort
Release Date: 29/10/2021 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 85mins
Country: UK
Year: 2018

Square-jawed LAPD detective Chuck Steel is haunted by the death of his wife Lucy at the hands of a criminal arch-nemesis. He manifests rage and grief by physically assaulting his cross-dressing commanding officer, Captain Jack Schitt. When billionaire industrialist Harold Brownlow is attacked by a half-vampire half-tramp denizen of the night. Steel reluctantly joins forces with doddering trampire hunter Abraham Van Rental to eradicate the bloodsucking threat from the streets.


LondonNet Film Review
Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires (15)

Justice walks the streets of 1980s Los Angeles as a politically incorrect, chauvinist police detective in writer-director Mike Mort’s foul-mouthed spoof of buddy cop comedies and B-movie horrors. Dripping with stop-motion animated gore that nods and winks to Gremlins and The Golden Child, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires begins strongly with a night-time attack by the titular bloodsuckers before a nostalgic, big-haired blast of Burning Up by 1980s rock band Tobruk…

Lethal Weapon is an obvious inspiration for Mort’s profanity-strewn script (Danny Glover’s catchphrase as Sergeant Roger Murtaugh is lovingly recycled) along with Die Hard and Fright Night while the film’s animation style pays homage to a pioneer in the field when a trampire hunter leaps onto fanged prey with the battle cry: “Harryhausen!” Unfortunately, Mort’s picture runs dry of creativity before the final splashes of holy coffee have restored peace to the city.

Indeed, the more time we spend in the company of the “misogynistic Neanderthal” hero, whose life philosophy is to never stick an appendage in a manhole, the greater our desire to see him with a stake through the blackened heart. Action sequences are amusingly overblown, including a car chase that culminates in an exploding petrol tanker and collateral damage which Steel estimates to be, “more than a little, but less than a lot”. That perfectly sums up the amount of enjoyment to be gleaned from Mort’s picture.

Square-jawed LAPD detective Chuck Steel (voiced by Mort) is haunted by the death of his wife Lucy (Samantha Coughlan) at the hands of a criminal arch-nemesis. He manifests rage and grief by physically assaulting his cross-dressing commanding officer, Captain Jack Schitt (Mort again), and recklessly destroying public property in pursuit of justice. Psychiatrist Dr Alex Cular (Jennifer Saunders), who is dedicated to coaxing “emotionally scarred police officers back from the brink of self-destruction”, has the unenviable task of counselling Steel as he works through a list of expendable partners including wide-eyed rookie Koslowski (Sam Roe) and Swedish cultural exchange recruit Ingrid Klutz (Romano Marenghi).

Steel refuses to curb his suicidal tendencies – “I’ll have a fire in my body till I’m dust in the wind,” he growls – which comes in handy when billionaire industrialist Harold Brownlow (Dan Russell) is attacked by a half-vampire half-tramp denizen of the night. Steel reluctantly joins forces with doddering trampire hunter Abraham Van Rental (Mort… again) to eradicate the bloodsucking threat from the streets.

Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires is evidently a labour of love for writer-director Mort and the painstaking on-screen artistry to manipulate hundreds of expressive puppets is impressive. It’s a pity his script can’t match the ambition and a strong voice cast, particularly Jennifer Saunders and Paul Whitehouse, is poorly served by the writing.

– Sarah Lee


London Cinemas Showing Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires


From: Friday 26th November
To: Thursday 2nd December

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From: Friday 3rd December
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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires


From: Friday 26th November
To: Thursday 2nd December

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 3rd December
To: Thursday 9th December

No cinema infomation at the moment