An evil clown with pronounced brow, curly red wig, and sharp teeth.

The Night Watchmen (2017) Review

The Night Watchmen (2017) is a horror-comedy about a group of immature security guards tasked with fighting an army of vampires. It’s a goofy story with a nice blend of action and bizarre humor. The interaction between the security guards is over-the-top fun. It’s a hilarious, raunchy narrative that parodies traditional vampire tropes. Dialogue is written like a series of extended skits on a late-night television show. Mitchell Altieri directs the Night Watchmen. Written by Dan de Luca and Ken Arnold, who also stars in the film.

Three men dressed in blue security shirts and black pants stare at someone on the floor.

The newest member of the night shift team is given a hard time on his first day. His “initiation” is not as mean-spirited as you would think. However, they refuse to address him by his name and call him Rajeeve (Max Gray Wilbur), the previous guard. This is a recurring joke, along with the use of garlic as a repellant, but I won’t spoil it. Jiggetts (Kevin Jiggetts), Ken (Ken Arnold), and Luca (Dan de Luca) are the senior members of the team with a long history of engaging in inappropriate shenanigans while on the clock. It doesn’t take long before the new hire “Rajeeve” is caught up in the madness.

Three security guards staring with flashlights pointed from a first-person point of view.

A fine female reporter enters the monitoring room, sending the men into a ridiculous frenzy. Right away, viewers learn how vulgar and crass the guys are—subplot forms involving two delivery service employees and a mysterious cargo in their possession. Randall (James Remar) shows up and engages in unethical behavior. James Remar is one of my favorite actors, and I’ve never seen him play such a degenerate role. It’s pretty refreshing, to be honest. I still can’t get over that whack portrayal of Raiden in the Mortal Kombat (1995) movie.

A bald, Black man, covered in blood looking terrified at something off screen.

Most of The Night Watchmen occur in an office where most employees work an evening shift. Settings are few in between; stock footage of a few locations and exterior shots of the property. As the vampire infection manifests, these scenes convey the threat’s seriousness. Unlike some bloodsuckers, these creatures are bestial. A couple retains some human characteristics or a semblance of personality. The filmmakers utilize this concept in every other scene, allowing some vampires to stand out from the evil horde of nocturnal killers.

A Black, female vampire screaming with bloody fangs.

Each time the protagonists combat the vampires, they learn something new. However, the how is where the true comedy shines. Seeing tropes turned on their heads or executed unconventionally is always a welcome surprise. Rajeeve is the viewer’s POV character and one of the main characters. He’s young with somewhat of a moral compass compared to Ken and Jiggetts. Ken is the typical douchebag, while Jiggetts suffers from some existential crisis throughout the story. Luca serves as the comic relief along with the supporting cast.

Five people covered in blood, armed with wooden spikes and handguns.

There’s so much to love about The Night Watchmen, from the violent fight scenes to the quirky humor. It rides the line between being self-aware and remaining a vampire movie. Not much explanation is given for the actions of the lead vampire menace. He shows up and wrecks anyone unfortunate to cross his path. Blimpo The Clown is what he’s called a towering monster of a man. His transformation progresses over time, making him appear more demon-like. The Night Watchmen is one of those movies I find myself revisiting every year.

A vampire clown grabbing a woman's shoulder with a clawed hand.

Who doesn’t love seeing a survival-horror story? A group of security guards stuck in a high-rise building is scary. Adding vampires only increases the storytelling potential. This low-budget gem can be streamed for free on Tubi and Pluto TV. Those subscribed to Prime Video and Paramount Plus have the leisure of viewing it commercial-free. The Night Watchmen packs a punch and is worth a 7 out of 10. I’m curious to read what you think about the movie. Don’t forget to like and share this spoiler-free review and use #TheStoryMonster. Also, sign-up for the newsletter to stay informed on upcoming content.

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