It’s tough to be a vampire today, as seen in this horror-comedy short film from Craig Railsback.

Vampire queen Penelope and her ward Harold thought they would be living the good life being one of the undead. However, life has not been easy for them, and they come to the realization that they have to start finding actual work. Thanks to a new kind of sunscreen, Penelope and Harold can always walk in the daylight and work. However, even being part of the workforce is not easy and they find themselves in the craziest of predicaments. With vampire hunters on the horizon, Penelope and Harold can’t seem to catch a break, even when they need to. Can vampires survive in the modern era?

This 22-minute short film is pretty wild and does pose a question. That question is, can vampires survive in the modern age. Where we had Twilight, where the leader of the vampiric Cullen clan is a doctor, it did pose a question of can vampires not only hold regular jobs, but how they survive in daylight. Director Craig Railsback gives us a comedic look at the possibility and while things are something bloody, it does get pretty funny as well.

Dawna Lee Heising is wonderful as Queen Penelope, who is just trying to deal with surviving. She can’t do much else because well, she’s a vampire. Her attempt at dog walking leads to something disastrous when she turns an unsuspecting victim into one of the undead. Her attempt at a car wash doesn’t bode so well either because she has a vampire hunter threatening her that ends in disaster. Ken May’s Harold is the one who tries to console and try to bring Penelope down to reality. The two leads’ chemistry is the heart of the film and for his hard effort, we get to see Harold have a “reward” for his action. All this while a news show goes on about whether vampires can live in the real world despite their primal instincts.

Down and Out in Vampire Hills poses a serious yet fun issue in whether vampires can live in the modern world. Dawna Lee Heising and Ken May’s chemistry drives the comedy and at times horror to a tee. A fun short film to enjoy!


An Eye on Excellence/Railsback Productions film in association with Renzone Studios. Director: Craig Railsback. Producers: Sean Glumace, Dr. Heather Joseph-Witham, and Joe Williamson. Writer: Dr. Heather Joseph-Witham. Cinematography: Craig Railsback and Vito Trabucco. Editing: Dr. Renah Wolzinger.

Cast: Dawna Lee Heising, Ken May, LeJon, Deborah Dutch, Bill Housekeeper, Dr. Heather Joseph-Witham, Vito Trabucco.