Night Zero- This World Could Really Use Blade

For these first four or five episodes of The Strain I definitely won't be recapping.  We'll see after that.  Also I'm going to try to avoid stuff that's been really hit upon by stuff that I'm listening to and/or reading unless I'm going to say something different.  So let's jump in.

The vampires.  I really like the mythology the show is building.  Obviously regarding vampire physiology, but (at least in the pilot) a bit less obviously you have several tiers of vampires.  Physiologically, the vampires in The Strain are pretty much maxxed out Blade 2 vamps.

Blade 2:

The Strain:

Okay, the airline pilot turned vamp in the last image is dead, but we have can still see the hairlessness, split jaw, and proboscis that these particular undead jerks have in common with the Blade 2 variety.  After all, they're both Guillermo del Toro projects.

When vampires aren't just mindless eating machines (or drinking machines, if you will) they're Nazis, dickbag One Percenters, or some combination of the two.  It usually feels a bit heavy handed because, well, immortal leeches obsessed with power and blood/bloodlines.  On the nose almost doesn't begin to cover it.  That said, we have Nazi vampires.  Or at least one.

And from that we get one of our better protagonists so far, the Armenian (going by the name) concentration camp survivor, Setrakian (played by Mr. Filch/Walder Frey).

Other things of note:

When Bolivar turns around to deposit his wig while in quarantine, the camera dips down for a gratuitous ass shot.  It's hilariously deliberate, and (I like to think) a delightful wink and script flip of the usual gratuitous shots of women in the horror genre.

The coffin/box:

Nothing good is coming out of this thing.  Nothing good is happening to anyone in contact with it.  Everyone in this show who's handled this thing and isn't a vampire fails remedial horror survival.  (Like the first crew of the Event Horizon.)

The Master's coffin brings us to the last bit- this show looks awesome.  Guillermo del Toro's visual style is unmistakable and helps distract from the less than stellar elements that weigh the show down.  I haven't mentioned the pacing, the occasional crushingly cliche aspects, the hilarious hairpiece, or the characterization because everyone else has- not because I didn't notice or it didn't bother me.  That said, I'm increasingly glad that I was undeterred by the pilot with each passing episode.

I'll post on episode 02- The Box sometime within the next day or two..  Thanks for dropping by.  If you listen to podcasts The Canary Underground is pretty solid choice for The Strain.

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