Friday, August 28, 2015

Vamp or Not? Freak Encounters – Vampire Virus

I have to admit that I have never been one for hidden camera shows. Freak Encounters purports to be one that takes the concept of a creature from cryptozoology and recreates it on an unsuspecting butt of the joke who has just started working for a group or company.

In this case the episode (which likely aired late 2010 or early 2011) sets to recreate the unleashing of a “Vampire Virus”. Of course I do wonder if the stooge (in this case Camille) is not actually also an actor (and the joke is actually on the audience) as one wonders how someone with no apparent background in geology could think that getting a job with a geological expedition team and doing said expedition at night makes any kind of sense?

So they are out in a quarry and they have Camille describing rock samples and then (in a portacabin) running a UV light over them when, outside, a woman taking core samples causes an explosion (causing the portacabin to apparently shake) as a vent of steam escapes the area she was drilling. The sfx of the steam is not seen by the stooge (it is by us) and one wonders again at why an effect would have been set up that the stooge wouldn’t see.

hazmat suit
The drill operator has “contracted a virus” and this involves 1) foaming at the mouth and 2) biting a colleague's arm whilst outside (again out of the stooge’s vision, though the bitten person shows her the bite marks later). Before the reveal there is the appearance of “emergency services”, all wearing hazmat suits as this has happened before, and her three companions all succumb to… well foaming at the mouth, basically. There is nothing to justify calling it a “vampire virus”. Perhaps if one of them had apparently been killed and had their blood sucked? Though that might have been a little extreme (on the other hand they dropped a "severed foot" onto a windscreen, to freak out the stooge, in the Ahool episode, which I also watched as it concerned a giant bat).

vampire graphic
Really it was a contagion with no real vampire element, rather it had a similarity to rabies (in the foaming and the bite response), and indeed rabies is mentioned during the show. There was an attempt to tie a “vampire virus” to Genghis Khan, which was a push as it was, but mention of him being light sensitive was a joke – I don’t know whether Genghis was reputed to have such a sensitivity or not but the vampiric sensitivity to light was an invention of the media vampire. Poor TV and Not Vamp.

The imdb page is here.

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