Well, I dug out the tape, so here are my observations on the episode. Things aren't all organized as well as they could have been, but I had to rush this one more than the others. Hope you all enjoy it.
Medicocrity with no bounds! JOC seems to be obsessed with camera angles from inside things. We see a shot looking out from the grave, out from the coffin, out from Van Helsinger's truck, etc. I'm surprised we didn't get a shot from inside a vampire's mouth.
|CELEBRITY IMPERSONATION OF THE WEEK:|
- No, it's not all the characters named after those from DRACULA, but Van Helsinger's wife who does a magnificent Cyndi Lauper impersonation when she gets shot with the crossbow bolt. You just gotta see that. (Big part too, we get to see a picture of her followed by her line "AHHH OOOO AAAA EEEEYYYOOOO!" Sounds like she's making full use of the Stanislav method of acting there.)
|THE DON'T-TRY-THIS-AT-HOME AWARD:|
- Goes to Quinn who, with his loaded crossbow, points it at Van Helsinger when he turns toward him in the museum. I guess when you accidentally create a wormhole and turn up the power, an arrow in the head seems a mere trifle.
Also: when hiding outside the vampire lair, Quinn jumps up to go to the building before the car leaving has even passed by, thus being perfectly visible to the driver and occupants (who still didn't see him!)
- Runner-up status goes to Wade, who demonstrates an unconscionable lack of concern for her own health by ingesting coffee, aspirin and blood (!) in short order. Besides, wasn't she trying to get to sleep?
|DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB:|
- Quinn again. Watch his face when he stakes the vampire that got Van Helsinger. He has the crazed glint in his eyes that we saw in SLITHER when he grabbed the gun from Rembrandt. That boy needs a psychiatrist more than Rembrandt did in PTSS.
|SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS OUT BETTER:|
- Apparently these vampires do not like sunlight and it may (or may not, we're never told) kill them. Yet the drummer, who is a vampire judging by his reaction to being hit with holy water and staked through the heart, is outside in the sunlight with the snivelling music critic. Somehow the sunglasses don't seem to account for it for a number of reasons (such as why the vampires have a human getting their blood for them during the day, etc, etc). Then again, we don't get much scientific explanation of anything here.
- Rickman does a wonderful job of concealing his identity by assuming the name of Father Rickman!!! In fact, most of what he does is stupid, like why he bothered with the alleged corpse (posing as him) in the first place.
- Maggie says she is going to look in the slums for Quinn. When we see her next, she's sitting in the blood clinic reading a magazine!! Did she need an appointment to ask if anyone had seen him?
- Maggie barely reacts when she notices Rickman. When he goes into the next room with the doctor, she waits until after the blood guy goes in and leaves and THEN she enters just after the doctor gets his brain fluid extracted (I can't believe I used that phrase) to enter.
- Why did Rickman even bother killing the guy? Since he was never seen to use the fluid on himself (thus depriving us of another Oscar worthy performance by the new Rickman where he injects himself then stares at the camera for several minutes waiting for the special effects crew to get off their butts and do the morph, like he did in the beginning of the episode), it appears it was just a quieter way to kill him than the gun. Since he didn't have a DNA match done for the doctor, and since we never saw him inject himself, I can't say this is a gaffe (had he injected himself, it would have been contradictory to his whole reason as he had no DNA match done). But the point still stands that he had no reason to kill him in the first place.
- It only occurs to someone that there may be more than one Rickman in the city when they're digging up the grave! Maggie's reasoning for why it is likely to be him is also a bit iffy as she assumes every Rickman has his number in the phone book.
- Though Bram Stoker allegedly never wrote DRACULA, the band is called STOKER, the vampire hunter is called Van Helsinger and a number of other characters have names from the book.
- When one of the coffins opens up before VH gets killed, Quinn just glances at it and keeps going. Is it any surprise that a vampire gets the jump on them? The vampires later reciprocate this gesture of goodwill by ignoring Quinn while they chew on Van Helsinger, even though Quinn was barely a few feet away.
|THE CRINGEE AWARD:|
- And the recipients of the CRINGEE for STOKER (it's a tie) are . . . the snivelling music critic and Van Helsinger. One was an over-acted wimp and the other was an underacted idiot. Couldn't you just feel Van Helsinger's love for his wife when he kills her after rattling off a half-hearted: "Oh my God, it's my wife. [ULF?] I love you Charlotte, forgive me", BANG, stake in the heart. And what does he say between those two sentences? It sounds like he says "ULF", whatever that means.
Anyway, his acting resembles that of the villagers in SLITHER. Seems to be the most consistent continuity of the season. Perhaps he was just left out and the casting director felt bad, so gave him this role. Or perhaps Rickman got to him already, he certainly seemed like he was in a coma to me. :)
|NAME THAT RIP-OFF:|
- DRACULA, in case you didn't already know.
- LOST BOYS and other such modern vampire films.
A lot of clichés and lame lines. A lot of badly delivered lines too.
- "I'll do ANYTHING to be in the band." - The groupie trying to get in the band by seducing the vampire (lamely). I guess she took seduction lessons from the woman in SLITHER. :)
- "You'd think that someone who sucks brain to stay alive would stand out in a crowd." - Maggie talking of Rickman. Who says she doesn't get all the best lines (there are more to come for her).
- "Did you get lucky or run over?" - Quinn remarking on Wade's hung-over appearance.
- "You'll have to speak up, I think I blew a few frequencies last night." - Wade to Quinn. A few "frequencies"? How DO you blow a frequency exactly?
- "It's an old family recipe." - Morgan talking to Wade about the blood she's drinking and somehow not knowing it. What's the recipe, you may ask? Who knows. Perhaps it is his special blend of 11 herbs and spices...
- "Always good to have new blood in the group." - Morgan to band/Wade. Did we really need to have a double meaning sentence based around the word "blood" in this episode?
- "Rickman." - Maggie to Rickman, apparently reminding him of his real name. The way this line is delivered, I half expected her to add "So, we meet again." Then they could have borrowed from SPACEBALLS as well and said "We meet again, for the first time, for the last time."
- "And I'll be the one to kill you!" - Maggie talking tough to Rickman. She has all the conviction of a limp zucchini delivering this line.
- "Not this time." - Rickman's answer to the preceding line. Who killed him the last time then?
- As discussed, Van Helsinger's last words to his wife (and Cyndi Lauper impersonator) before killing her. Brings tears to my eyes, that does. Tears of pain, anyway.
- "I only have one major screw-up a day." - Maggie talking of how she lost Rickman. That's a pretty good thing to have when you're a pilot in the military. No wonder she was grounded. :)
- "I'll do extra Hail Marys." - Maggie responding to Rembrandt's question of what she'll do if she kills the wrong priest. Need I say more?
- "Really big pigeons?" - Quinn's suggestion as to what the flapping noise they heard was.
- "I think we're going to need more stakes."
"Oh yeah." - Van Helsinger's ever-intelligent response to Quinn's pseudo JAWS dialogue ("I think you're going to need a bigger boat.") Why need that many stakes anyways? They could just use one over again! Buffy knows that much...
- "I've never heard a decapitation sound so positive." - Quinn referring to the beheading of a vampire. Gotta give the writer credit for keeping the character true to his Season 1-2 persona (listen to the dismissive tone).
- "So happy to disturb you." - Macho Action-Hero Quinn dialogue as he shoots a vampire in the heart. See previous comment.
- "If the spirit gets trapped in the body at the time of death, it freaks out." - Van Helsinger giving the most scientific explanation of anything in this episode. Looks like Maggie doesn't have a monopoly on stupid dialogue.
- "I can't move my legs. He broke my back." - Van Helsinger after being bear-hugged. What believability! He delivers that line as one would say "I can't go out tonight, I have a prior engagement."
- "That... sucked." - Vampire drummer after getting a stake through the heart. I assume he was referring to the episode, or perhaps some of the performances in it.
|STUPID ACTIONS TO ADVANCE THE PLOT:|
- Maggie waiting in the blood clinic when Rickman shows up (also note that Rickman contributes nothing to the plot at all except to provide stupid filler between the equally stupid vampire segments).
- Nobody hears the cop car approaching when Maggie and Rembrandt are at the grave. Remmy doesn't even see the flashing lights though they are clearly shining on him, and Maggie has long since noticed them.
- Quinn learns there is more to these band members than he thought when he is grabbed by the throat and lifted into the air by one of them (using only one arm). Problem is, nobody else even noticed that a man was using supernormal strength to choke another.
- When Maggie enters the office after Rickman has killed the doctor, her posture does not suggest that of someone about to confront her worst enemy. Its more like the posture of someone just dropping by to visit and discovering an old friend (her hand stays on the door while the other just hangs at her side).
- Rickman then pulls out his gun, waits for the blood guy to return (to be a clay pigeon), then misses Maggie entirely (hits the far side of the door, it looks like), hits the wall (is he cross-eyed or what?), then shoots the counter! He shoots (almost looks accidental) the blood boy THREE TIMES (who wasn't doing anything anyway) instead of walking around the counter and killing Maggie. He then pauses to look around AND LEAVES WITHOUT DOING A THING!!! Is this guy a military genius or what?
- The vampires get Van Helsinger mere seconds after Quinn turns away, none having the idea to go after Quinn.
- Morgan plans on picking up the timer by driving straight at Quinn. Smart. Quinn also tells Morgan to let Wade go, even though she conveniently got off the bike and was standing in the alley when Morgan drove off to turn around anyways. If she was on the bike, we wouldn't have been treated to that staking, would we? Rather too convenient.
|DEFIANCE OF PHYSICS/BIOLOGY/LOGIC AWARD:|
- The amazing ability of the drummer to get a car to lock itself, turn the radio on, drive, not respond when the brakes are pressed, etc, without even touching it (unless you think his clicking his drumsticks did it - makes about as much sense as the rest of the story).
- The brain fluid Rickman uses must have a particular DNA pattern? This is ludicrous. What explanation was given for this?
- When Morgan is killed, his body disintegrates. His clothes do as well and disappear. Must have been VAMPIRE SHIRTS and VAMPIRE PANTS. They can only be killed with a stake through the cross stitching or too many runs through the rinse cycle.
- Rembrandt gets zapped with the magic ray-gun guitar. Rather than shoot the vampire, Maggie runs away to get under cover to fire at him AFTER he is done frying Rembrandt. Quinn wasn't much help either.
- As the music critic walks to his car, the camera crew can be observed on the car's highly reflective door.
- When the critic's car hits the wall, a single jet of fire shoots out from the alley. Obviously not from an explosion, but a sad pyrotechnic effect.
- THE GUITAR. Man that was stupid. Rembrandt's convulsions and the way he floats backwards after the guitar beam is stopped made me feel embarrassed for poor Cleavant. Could you imagine him doing THAT in rehearsal? It looked dumb WITH the special ray effect: try to picture him doing that WITHOUT the effect!!!
- The sound effect when Rembrandt is blown away by the guitar. The crash sound seems totally off. It sounds like Rembrandt flew through a brick wall and a window!!!!!
- The bible with the syringe in it. Nice coffin-shaped notch cut out of it.
- The hole left in the neck of Rickman's victim seemed rather larger than one would expect, to say the least.
- Van Helsinger's back is broken by a guy who grabs him from behind and lifts him into the air twice (his hands being up around Helsinger's chest).
- The bike coming at Quinn has the headlights squarely on him as though the bike is going to ram Quinn. Next shot, the bike is off to the side and passes by, allowing Quinn to stab Morgan.
- When Morgan gets staked, there is a time delay before he flies backwards off the bike. Must be some trait of vampires to use time delay when they are dying (e.g.: The first vampire who gets staked by Van Helsinger.)
- First shot of the groupie, Mina. The camera starts on Mena's midsection and pans upwards. I guess Jerry O' was taking directing lessons from Peckinpah.
- Try the first shot of Maggie, which starts by showing us her belly button and then panning upwards.
- A long, slow pan of the camera across the cells filled with scantily clad women when Maggie is making her phone call.
- The shot of one of the women in her casket. When Quinn and Van Helsinger open the casket, the camera is aimed at her legs and up her skirt!! (though you can't see anything).
- When Maggie is talking to Quinn and Rembrandt in front of the water fountain, her butt seems to "protrude" very noticeably.
- Wade's two dresses with short skirts. Also shots of Wade's black bra.
|WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?:|
- That THING in the pitcher of blood. Scariest thing in the whole %$#& episode.
- Wade has always wanted to be in a band, couldn't resist singing when she saw the keyboard (also comes under PLOT ADVANCING POINTS as this is how the vampire hears her voice which just happens to sound like the voice on his record. Sure. If you say so.)
- Wade suddenly needs to be told she isn't alone.
- The first vampire Van Helsinger kills. The vampire runs at him, stops abruptly (apparently anticipating the action), gets shot, PAUSES dramatically . . . then screams (sounds like "YYEEEEEEE AAAAAHHHHHH!") and falls. Hilarity ensues.
- Special tattoos that appear only when the soldier dies? Yeah, riiiiiight, Maggie.
- A vampire jumps down from the ceiling to attack Maggie, Rembrandt and Quinn, but is content to just hang upside down waving his arms about until someone puts a stake in his heart. I guess he couldn't take the pain of being in the episode any longer.
- The guard vampire pulls the door off without any signs of the door ever having been attached to the car in the first place (no resistance, no sounds that would be expected). Some vampire hunter too, he wasn't even expecting a vampire to be a guard.
- When Quinn breaks the stick at the end to use against Morgan, we get another shot of him with a psychotic look in his eyes. Very in character. Quinn seems really unhinged since the season started. Who could blame him?
Well, that's a lot longer than I had anticipated. What a string of bad episodes. What were the suits thinking? Were they even thinking at all?
This episode also seems to be distinguished by all the things it has in common with SLITHER (something to be proud of, I'm sure). I don't know what else to say. This was just awful and there is more that I don't have time to add in here.
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