Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The X Files: 3 – review – TV Episode

DVD set

Directed by: David Nutter

First aired: 4.11.94

Contains spoilers

There seems little point in explaining what the X Files were, to be honest you’d have had to have been living under a rock to have missed the TV phenomena. However, just in case, these were a long running TV series about (primarily) FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as they investigated the weird and wonderful cases held in the basement of the FBI – marked X as they were deemed strange and unexplainable. Primarily about UFOs and Government conspiracy, the alien episodes actually became, for me, quickly wearing. However they did investigate a whole range of Fortean and supernatural events.

This episode was from season 2 and was in a period when Scully had vanished, and so was not in the episode, and sees Mulder investigating vampires. It actually contained some very interesting concepts and unusual lore aspects within it.

Bloody lipsIt begins with a man looking from his balcony at not too distant forest fires. He is married and yet has a woman with him. He is quick to say he doesn’t normally do this but is even quicker into the hot tub with her. We see a man enter, with a needle in hand, the woman bites his arm and then there is screaming.

Having created an X File regarding Scully’s disappearance, Mulder gets a call about the murder. A cop tries to prevent his entry to the crime scene but Mulder describes it, including writing on the wall in the victim’s blood, this is not the first time they have killed.Justina Vail as the unholy spirit It turns out that there are three vampires involved, hence the title, as this episode is based on a parody of the Christian trinity. As things progress we discover that they are known as The Father (Gustavo Moreno), The Son (Frank Military) and the Unholy Spirit (Justina Vail). They kill in threes, each victim analogous to the father, the son and the spirit – then they vanish, switch towns and start again.

factually incorrectThe writing on the wall is a biblical reference, which is factually wrong! The writing says “John 52:54” and Mulder quotes the passage as “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” However, there is no such numbered passage; the correct chapter number would be John 6:54. The biblical reference, however, is interesting in itself for content.

slurping bloodMulder, who states he no longer sleeps – making him analogous to the vampires he hunts, checks at nearby blood banks for new employees and ends up going into one, where he finds the Son slurping on a blood pack. Captured, the vampire is put into an interview room but screams that the room’s lights hurt and are killing him. Mulder brings in a subdued red light and the Son agrees to talk – only to Mulder. He will not reveal where the others are, however.

shake and bake vampireBelieving the man to be delusional (for instance, he says he has no reflection, which Mulder disproves) he is left in a cell for the sun to rise. Mulder tells him that he will cover the windows if he talks. As the sun comes into the room the Son is more and more frantic. Sunlight touches his shoes and he smokes and screams. By the time the cops get in he has fried. The coroner mentions Gunther Disease – a form of porphyria – but that can cause lesions but not instant shake and bake. He has a stamp on his hand for Club Tepes – where Mulder heads to.

In there he meets Kristen (Perrey Reeves who, at the time, was Duchovny’s girlfriend), a woman obviously into blood sports. Could she be one of the vampires or something else?

We get some additional lore that is rather interesting. The baking of bread, filled with blood, Mulder recognises as a vampire deterrent. Actually it is a twist on a rather obscure folklore belief mentioned at
everything you need to know about vampires
: “Mix flour with the blood of a "slain" vampire and make it into a bread and eat it to prevent against vampire attacks.”

The Son returnsWe also discover that to become a vampire the person must taste the blood of a believer and take a life. A little convoluted one feels but it seems to do the trick as the Son makes a reappearance, much of his burns healed.

improbable romanceProbably the most interesting aspect of this was the fact that it concerned a group of psychotics, who believed they were vampires and that belief became a reality. I was a little less convinced by how quickly Mulder ended up physically attached to Kristen. The characterisation of the vampires was sparse to non-existent.

Not a bad little episode, all in all it is worth 6 out of 10, especially for the use of blood bread, which is a rarity, and despite the mistake on the bible reference – simply sloppy scripting.

The imdb page is here.


smith said...
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Taliesin_ttlg said...

I have deleted the above comment by Smith as it was essentially an advert for a download site. Adverts for such commercial ventures will not be allowed without express permission by myself.