For every Lost Boys there was an Interview with a Vampire. For every Blade, there are seemingly about a dozen Twilight films. Well here is some truth for you Mr Hollywood big shots – vampires are supposed to be cool bad asses, not a sparkly emo wannabe Morrissey with abs douche bags. [1] [2]

In my opinion, the greatest vampire film of all time was Blade Trinity because it had WWE professional wrestler and multiple World Champion Triple H repeatedly punching Ryan Reynolds in the face. Any film involving people hitting Mr Reynolds in the mouth ranks highly on my playlist [3]

I may be biased though. However, I have over the course of three years managed to watch over 72 seconds of Twilight movies but had to stop on each occasion when my eyeballs vomited with rage.

There is a new New Zealand vampire movie called “What we do in the Shadows” which has its local premiere in Wellington on 18 June 2014 at the Embassy and goes on general release the following day. The film makers decided to play it safe and debut the movie at the Cannes Film Festival where, according to noted movie critic Wikipedia, it received “mostly positive reviews.”

Generally sceptical of anything that is crowd sourced or written on Stuff Nation, I investigated further and I have to say What we do in the Shadows looks pretty freaking sweet though the vampire Viago von Blitzensberg (aged 379) looks awfully like local comedian Taika Waititi and his flatmate Vladislav (aged 862) looks suspiciously like the tall one from the Flight of the Conchords and the same guy who appeared in Muppets Most Wanted as the Prison King of Gulag 38B. [4]

Apparently the film was shot in September 2012 which means virtually every place they visit will have shut down by now – with the notable exceptions of Logan Brown and Jos at Garage Project. (Link below).

To the surprise of everyone, including me, this is actually a beer related vampire movie rant because former Champion Brewery of the Year Tuatara Brewing Company has made a very special beer for the New Zealand premiere of the film. Never known for his subtlety, [5] Carl Vasta has called this celebration beer Tuatara Delicious Neck.

My suspicions were first aroused when Taika Waititi posted pictures of him helping brew the beer on his blog and then writing that the proceeds would be used to expand the distribution of his film. I am a journalist, trained and skilled. [6] The movie may claim to be a documentary guide to Wellington for vampire flatmates but I think it is about as factual as “This is Spinal Tap”, “Borat” or anything by Michael Moore.

This entire narrative was confirmed when Wellington – apparently – officially changed its name to Velllington with the controversial Hollywood style sign altered to honour the film premiere. However, much more important than some temporary changes to a sign that most local people have, at best, mixed feelings about is the fact that the filmmakers got a beer made.

Tuatara Delicious Neck (5.2%) is perhaps the country’s first Immortal Pale Ale (IPA) which will be available next week at Malthouse. Despite constant rumours, I am not actually celebrity blogger Perez Hilton so I have not tried the beer far less been invited to the premiere. However, I have unearthed a copy of the bottle label. [7] Here are the key points from the text:

“… the only way to hammer a stake through that thirst is with a bl**dy intense ale. We took the creepiest hops, added malt and banished it for 666 hours to create a brew so seductively unholy it would make Dracula himself celebrate the sunrise. [8] If you’re going to live forever you may as well enjoy a few Delicious Necks along the way.”

Returning to the theme of vampires and sideburns, it is worth noting that the villain Deacon Frost from the first Blade film has some pretty awesome sideburns. He does die quite horribly but the movie is most notable for an unexpected number of rubber ducks on screen. [9] Following several weeks of writing about beer and facial hair (beards and moustaches) it is time to move on to sideburns so lots of angry brewers and beer writers and beer drinkers can get their revenge.

Sideburns, sometimes called side boards or side whiskers [10] are, objectively speaking, just awesome.

Here is a partial list of men who have sported great sideburns: Elvis, The Honky Tonk Man, Kerr Avon, Neil McInnes, Neil Miller, Wolverine, George Best, Alexander the Great, Charles Darwin and Liam Gallagher.

The news has not been all good. Dodgy side whiskers have been spotted on 70s Tom Jones, Colin Firth, Liberace, David Tennant, Lewis Hamilton, the new Spock, Luke Perry from Beverley Hills 90210 and Jason Priestley from Beverly Hills 90210. Overall however, sideburns rock.

On 20 June and 21 June Malthouse will be running The Darkest Days event which is a celebration of dark ales. The full list of beers will be announced here shortly bit until then check out the Facebook event in the link below.

Next time, we drink to Rik Mayall – the comedic genius who starred as both my favourite left-wing radical and greatest Tory MP on screen.

[1] That is officially the worst thing I have ever written about anyone, ever. Even Satan and, to a lesser degree, Michael Laws.

[2] In my first ever double footnote for a single sentence, can I acknowledge and apologise for the redundancy of using “emo”, “douche bag” and “Morrissey” when just Morrissey would have conveyed all of those terms?

[3] How did you manage to ruin the otherwise excellent concept of the Green Lantern, you moose snuggling North Pole toucher? (TM)

[4] For once, The Muppets reference does not relate to The Feelers.

[5] At 7 foot 2 inches tall, Carl Vasta is the Kiwi brewing equivalent of The Mountain on Game of Thrones.

[6] Neither of those assertions will stand up to any rigorous scrutiny. However, they may end up on Campbell Live.

[7] I used a tool known as Google. Worked surprisingly well.

[8] Disclaimer: Dracula has not yet successfully celebrated the sunrise.  He may be the only guy whiter than me or “Mitt Romney buying mayonnaise on the way to a Coldplay concert.”  That is why Jon Stewart’s writers win lots of awards and I don’t.

[9] Seventeen rubber ducks – the expected number was zero.

[10] Official motto: “Why women love a bit on the side.”


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Beer and Brewer Magazine

Cuisine Magazine


YouTube – What we do in the Shadows –

Facebook – What we do in the Shadows –

Stuff article on Vellington –

Tuatara Brewing Company –

Facebook: Darkest Day –

Malthouse Facebook –

Malthouse Twitter –!/malthouse

Malthouse Taps on Twitter –!/MalthouseTaps

Neil Miller on Twitter –!/beerlytweeting

Beer and Brewer Magazine –