Friday, September 23, 2011 Review

You know what I like in my pornography?  Blood, mutilation and a plot.  The problem is that the only porn worthy of my erection is my gory scissor reel of Eli Roth movies (unfortunately, such films lack a plot, making it very difficult to enjoy a good old fashioned blood orgasm…But this is a discussion for another day).  Luckily I recently stumbled upon something far more entertaining than any monstrous spank material put out by a thousand Eli Roths powered with atomic rays.  This tasty title of titillation is called, a horror comedy internet show about a clan of sex crazed female vampires who lure unsuspecting viewers to their doom through their porn website, 

It's not ok to hit a child, unless you
make it look like an accident
Like a horny teenage prom date with an initial fear of the almighty penis, I was titillated yet hesitant to jump into bed with this piece upon watching the first episode.  My brows frilled at the exposition delivered by some loud-mouthed jockey boy.  But as soon as said jock became the first victim of a vampire babe in a corset, I realized that what I had just watched was nothing more than a prologue meant to introduce the theme of the overall show, which is very tongue in cheek.  Just like how Judd Nelson slipped the panties off of Molly Ringwald in “The Breakfast Club”, this webseries managed to charm me instantly after the very catchy theme song played juxtaposed to two voluptuous vampire women spreading gratuitous amounts of fake blood all over their human female victim’s mostly naked body with their mouths.  Instantly, the show introduced who would eventually become my favorite character, Detective Valentine.  In the first two minutes, the bitch-slapping cop (played by Jay Bingham) knocks around a baby face student under the suspicion that he is a murdering peeping tom at the local college.  His constant shouting of “bullcrap” and frequent slaps in the face of a kid probably not old enough to buy beer at your local Bevmo was honestly one of the funniest things I’ve watched in a while.  The best part is that Bingham plays it straight, even when the characters in the show realize how ridiculous this guy’s fast fisted tactics are.  I mean it, every time he slaps someone, which is a lot; they either gaze at him blankly and confused or they start laughing at him.  To which his response is to slap them again, for they don’t seem to realize how much he means business.  He even goes so far as to shout at his boss when he gets kicked off the case for his use of excessive force.  I just love how over the top he is with his bad cop routine; it’s as though he’s got something to prove but no one seems to take him all that seriously.  This is the kind of guy who goes home and beats his wife over a miscommunication about why she was out so late with the girls the night before, after drinking his 6 pack of Milwaukee’s Best of course. 

Sometimes, it takes a man with a really sexy O-face

By the fifth episode, the main cast of characters is set up, as are their relationships.  Terry, the protagonist (also the campus pepping tom…but not the murderer) and his best friend BJ, a Chris Brown-esque side kick team up with Professor Wang, a whimsical and flirtatious college professor/vampire hunter to take down the Femvamps and stop their sexy murderous webshow.  All the while, Detective Valentine continues to hunt down Terry, for he thinks he is the one murdering the local college students, even though Valentine has been kicked off of the case due to his violent and silly tactics of retrieving information.  Most of these characters are likeable.  Though I do admit I am not a fan of BJ (he’s mostly played up for laughs and I was never a fan of Chris Brown’s humor) I feel there is a great deal of room for growth with the character, so I am more than willing to stick around and see where it goes.  The jokes that hit, hit very well, and the use of back-story adds a great deal of likeability to the characters.  Specifically, we get a wonderful opportunity to see our “Van Helsing” character, Professor Wang as a young man training to be a vampire hunter.  As it turns out, he was very different as a naïve fledgling pupil studying the art of vampire murder.  I’d love to see more vignettes like this one peppered throughout the series.  It allows us to see our heroes in different stages of their lives thus getting to know them beyond the masks of their social personalities and idiosyncrasies.  The second most important selling factor of this show is the clear level of fun the cast is having while performing and frequently that alone is enough to keep my attention.  It’s really ok to chew the scenery, so long as the scenery is made up of delicious blocks of ham and cheese. 

 It is also worth mentioning how much I like the art direction.  It is especially impressive, since the series has a fairly low budget.  Most low budget projects can’t seem to grasp the idea that filling the negative space in the frame makes the film’s environment look more authentic. But this filmmaker goes out of his way to make the locations look lived in and the props look real.  On a shoestring budget, they build a pretty comfy looking coffin big enough to fit two bodies (kind of reminds me of the crypt of carnality I built in my basement.  You know what I say, when the tomb stone’s-a-rockin…).  Professor Wang sports a crossbow, a vest packed to the teeth with ammo, and giant syringes filled with silver liquid nitrate.  These fine details are what make this show stick out to me as well thought out.  

Miles Whitmon fantasizes about some pretty sick shit, apparently

There is only one thing I don’t like about the show, and that is the method in which jump scares are implemented.  The use of jump scares in the horror genre is one of the oldest and easiest approaches to literally force audience members out of their seats.  The basic formula of an effective jump scare is as follows…

1.              The Setup, or the introduction of a foreign element into a sequence (i.e. a strange noise down the hallway).
2.              Followed by a suspenseful build up used to create tension, (the character’s curiosity is perked and they are unwisely drawn to the mystery).
3.              Finished off with the reveal of something wicked, usually accompanied by a sudden change in volume and intensity of the score and the action (without warning a loud music sting breaks the suspenseful silence and a hellish abomination pops out from the darkness to kill our curious clod).

One of the most famous and in my opinion best examples of an effective jump scare is from the film House on Haunted Hill.  Two guests of a party (a man and a woman) at a haunted house search the basement for a mysterious attacker that may still be hiding somewhere.  They find that the walls in certain spots in the basement are hollow and soon enough the two split up to figure out why.  However, the young lady is unfortunate enough to discover…well, perhaps it would be best for you to see for yourself what she discovers.  

I can definitely see where the filmmaker was going by incorporating jump scares into his series.  After all, a good horror comedy joins both dread and comic relief into a beautiful unholy matrimony.  But I feel the execution of the jump scares were harsher on the ear than on the heart, for they begin with a brief silence followed by a particularly loud sting.  In fact, the loud sting hinders the scare, for when I turned the volume down to mute and watched it again, they were significantly more effective.    But since the jump scares take up about a second or two of only two or three episodes, it is more than fair to say that I am splitting hairs in this critique. has the attributes of a high school charmer.  Its personality is both cocky and funny, able to unapologetically make a face palm joke as if to say, “if you don’t like it, someone better will”.  That’s the kind of gusto I appreciate with my humor.  If you take the content of an Ed Wood movie and the delivery of a PG13 cut of a John Waters film (good luck ever finding one) you will be pretty damn close to the feel of  If you dare incur the wrath of a fine assed blood sucking leech in hopes of cumming blood all over your Mom’s new carpet (as I know I did before I ate the harlot), go watch the show and tell me what you think.   And remember to keep an eye out for Detective Valentine, I hope that once this show has released a couple of seasons, he gets his own spinoff titled “BULLCRAP!...SLAP!”

Come check it out here.  You'll be glad you did.

1 comment: