Main cast: Arjay Smith (Kerry), Branden Nadon (Justin), Jodelle Ferland (Lisa), Lynda Boyd (Carolyn), and Michael Ironside (Mr Chaney)
Director: Ernest Dickerson
Ernest Dickerson isn’t exactly a big name when it comes to being a horror movie director, as he is more of a genre TV director and screenwriter. His CV includes The Walking Dead and Dexter, and he will always have a place in my heart for directing so well that zany, campy thing known as Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. I’m not sure why he’s directing The V Word, though. Maybe he drew the short straw?
Kerry and Justin are in Justin’s room, and Justin’s mom Carolyn and sister Lisa are away. When Justin accidentally distracts Kerry from reaching a high score in Doom 3, Kerry complains that Justin promised something special for him that night, but so far nothing is happening. Justin then slyly asks him whether Justin wants to see something… Oh no, this is not the set-up for some gay raunchy moment, sorry to disappoint you all. Instead, Justin wants to show Kerry a dead body, so the two teenagers sneak into Collinswood Funeral Home, only to eventually find the staff all slaughtered and drained dry of blood. And who’s that coming at them? Oh no, a vampire! And oops, Kerry gets bitten. Lots of teen angst and clichés lifted from teen vampire flicks ensue.
The first twenty minutes of this episode feels a lot like a Goosebumps show as the two lads sneak along dark corners and jumping at shadows, when they are not narrating what they are doing to one another to help kids among the audience who may be a bit slow in catching up with the action on screen. And then, Michael Ironside shows up shambling and in full Nosferatu make-up, making me laugh. Wait, am I supposed to laugh?
The rest of the episode plays out in what is supposed to be a campy kind of fun manner, only to end up feeling rather lacking. It’s hard to put my finger on what is missing here, but the episode feels hollow, rather pointless, actually. It doesn’t have good build up, as too much time is spent on the two stumbling around the funeral parlor, leaving only about 30 or so minutes to compress some generic emo teen vampire story all the way in. I have no reason to care about the characters in this story, so my final reaction to the whole thing is, “Meh, whatever.”
There is one simple change here that could have improved the episode, though: make Kerry and Justin lovers. No, I’m serious: the previously wasted 20 minutes could have been used to flesh out whatever kind of strong emotional bond the two lads have, and then events in the later half of the episode would have been harder hitting.
As it is, well, meh, whatever.