The Hustle (2019)

Opening with a fun and blood-fueled gag about vampires getting paid to walk dogs and the consequences of such an action, Down and Out in Vampire Hills makes its intentions clear. This short film is for fans of Halloween who want more than a little TREATS with their TRICKS. It’s funny and fearless, putting vampires - who are normally depicted as rich - on poverty row.

"this short film is both engaging and completely silly."

Directed by Craig Railsback and starring the one and only Dawna Lee Heising as Vampire Queen Penelope, Down and Out in Vampire Hills is an outrageous flick, which begins with the Queen wishing for new heels and a more spacious living arrangement than the tent they are currently stuck in. Her companion, the “intellectual” Harold (a fun Ken May who balances out the zany), comes up with an idea on how they can get a condo and escape the small tent they are currently living in.

But, first, they must hit up the library for some information on how to rise above their unfortunate situation. Picture it, vampires picking up trash in the park . . . in daylight. That’s right. Working for a living is literally killing them! Hard times have befallen everyone, including the supernatural! They go from job to job until murder - because they are vampires, after all - happens and they have to come up with the next hustle.The Hustle (2019)

Their latest victim, Boris (LeJon), has other plans, though. Convincing a vampire hunter (Bill Houskeeper) NOT to kill him, he teams up and attempts to put an end to their job-hopping. It goes sideways fast, resulting in even more unfortunate kills. Full of black humor and poking fun at the whole idea of vampires (and what we’ve come to expect from them cinematically), this short film is both engaging and completely silly.

Down and Out in Vampire Hills, written by Heather Joseph-Witham, is also sympathetic toward these vampires’ path, as they turn from the non-traditional route they’ve been hitchhiking on to a more traditional one, giving audiences more of what they expect . . . for a few minutes. But even that goes backasswards in an unexpected manner.

These vampires have no luck at all! Down and Out in Vampire Hills is now available to stream!

3/5 stars

Film Details

The Hustle (2019)

MPAA Rating: unrated.
20 mins
: Craig Railsback
Heather Joseph-Witham
Dawna Lee Heising; Ken May; LeJon
: Comedy | Short

Memorable Movie Quote:
Railsback Productions
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 5, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Vampire Queen Penelope and the intellectual Harold are living in a homeless camp, and they decide to go out and see the world.


The Hustle (2019)