Reviewed by Kryten Syxx
Starring Michael Ironside, Jodelle Ferland, Arjay Smith
Directed by Ernest Dickerson
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
“The V Word” had a lot going for it, honestly. This Masters of Horror episode was steering away from the usual staples of the series like sex and unfavorable characters. Instead it focused on two young men who like video games and creepy stuff.
The boys decide to switch their routine up from just playing DOOM 3 all night. What could be better than blasting demons on Mars? Seeing a real dead body at the local funeral parlor! It’s just too bad not every corpse wants to stay dead.
The boys find more than they bargained for after discovering the funeral home is inhabited by a real life vampire and a brutal one at that. There’s no romantic Anne Rice crap here. This bastard (Ironside) just wants your blood, and he’ll get it any way possible.
Necks are ripped out, blood flows, and it all manages to be a giant letdown.
“The V Word” had some strong elements, all of which were in the funeral parlor scenes. Before and after that part of the episode, the entire production fell flat. It was easy to spot Garris trying to make these two kids too hip. Video game references were abundant. and the overall tone of the dialogue felt more like an R-rated version of 7th Heaven.
The gore is good, and Ironside’s vampire is great fun to watch but not to listen too. Here again the script fails because it draws too heavily on Bela Lugosi. Nothing against Bela, but grand speeches about the “voices of the night” don’t fit into the nature and look of these modern vampires.
There are also tragic elements in the story that aren’t given enough ammo to be fully effective. Why should we care if one person dies and the other lives? We know little about them aside from a few facts that have been shoehorned in. That is a pitfall MoH has had to suffer through, being an hour long format and all. Some directors make it work, and some just don’t. Too late to try again.
Because here we are with the very last DVD for MoH‘s second season. It has been a pretty fun ride, like I’ve said before … lots of ups and downs. Sadly, the end of the line wasn’t marked with a better episode.
Like in previous MoH releases we get a healthy array of special features that help make even the most mediocre episode worth buying on DVD. Feeding Frenzy and Bite Me are the typical behind-the-scenes supplements that give us a look into a few special effects and how the actors felt about the material. What hurts here is that the material isn’t as strong as the others. When some of the biggest problems of the episode are continually touted as the strengths by both cast and crew, sitting through the feature can be difficult.
Luckily we have the Bite Me video to fall back on because there was some damn good gore in this one. The neck wounds were vicious and somewhat jaw-dropping even though they were accomplished with simple CGI. Watching how it all came together is just fun. The same is when we get a better look at how Michael Ironside’s vampire bites the bit one. That and the facial expression he wears right before death is just hilarious.
The commentary track with Dickerson and Garris is just dull. This attitude can be blamed on the overall lukewarm feeling the film itself gives off. There’s just nothing special about it, and listening to Mick and Ernest go on about how well it worked out just makes one shake his/her head. What exactly was great about constant DOOM references and vain attempts at being totally hip and “with-it”?
“The V Word” is a hard sell even on DVD. It has one really good, but short, feature and a slew of others that can be easily passed. As a vampire story it has some very strong elements that would have worked out if only executed better.
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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