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My 2 Cents on Vlad
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Bilbo67
Heretic


Joined: Fri Oct 27th, 2006
Location: The Daisy Hill Cluster Lizard Farm
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 Posted: Tue Jun 24th, 2008 06:45 pm

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My 2 Cents on Episode 4.08: Vlad
(6/24/08)




Good God, it’s officially summer again already. If you had asked me this time last year if I thought I would still be plugging away at episode reviews one trip around the sun later I would have thrown my head back and dismissed your insipid query with a mighty scoff the likes of which I typically reserve only for my doctor. "Balderdash!" my profundo midwestern baritone would echo from here to Proxima Centauri, "why at the rate I’m goin’ I’ll have the rest of these suckers cranked out in no time. I dare say come solstice next you’ll have forgotten all about those trivial little episode reviews, for surely by then I will be known the world over as an independently wealthy, multi-award-winning author/satirist/philosopher/social critic/working-class superhero/benevolent president-for-life of my own small, hurricane-proof island nation that is home to both the mythical fountain of youth and a rare form of combustible tree sap that gets seven thousand miles to the gallon, thereby ensuring immortality for myself and those I deem "Pretty cool, I guess," whilst simultaneously bringing about world peace, thanks to my historic "Cut that shit out or I’ll burn the trees down" ultimatum/crossword puzzle enthusiast whose works are so widely distributed and universally beloved that they tap into an ill-definable yearning deep within the collective human unconscious that builds and swells until at long last we as a species transcend this mortal plane and become as gods…at one with the universe, hearts beating in time with the very pulse of Creation. At least until I sell off the movie rights and some La-La Land hack undoes all my good work with a studio-approved twelfth script punch-up that would embarrass even Joel Schumacher. Oh…and I’ll have re-caulked that pesky showerhead too."

Well, it would appear I got just a wee bit ahead of myself. Meh…it happens. Truth be told I don’t mind the pace I’ve set for myself…especially considering every new review I post brings me one hour closer to that fateful day when I’ll run out of episodes, forcing me to rely wholeheartedly on…*gulp*…my own thoughts and personality traits. Oh the horror. The piercing, unmitigated horror.


But that dark day is at least a couple months off, so for now I can sit back and concentrate on sweatin’ the small stuff (like remembering to save from time to time when I’m typing during a Biblical-class thunderstorm).

Okie-day then, as anyone who has followed my reviews, read my posts, rifled through my DVD collection in search of some juicy character assassination ammo, had the pulse-jamming misfortune of engaging me in conversation, or bothered to glance at my avatar is no doubt aware, my favorite movie in the whole wide world is Aliens. It’s difficult to sum up just what exactly it is about that film that elevates it to the top of my list…I guess you could say it’s the sum of many parts. You’ve got solid acting, engaging characters you actually come to care about, some great effects that still hold their own in the CGI era, pervasive suspense, and a third act so gut-wrenchingly intense that by the time the credits roll there’s a good chance your heart may find itself lodged halfway up your throat (of course that’s just an overwrought hyperbole…if your heart ever feels like it is anywhere other than inside your chest, for God’s sake call 911 immediately!). On top of that it is one of those ultra-rare examples of a sequel done right, as it manages to expound on the familiar characters, settings, and themes established by its predecessor, taking them in an exciting new direction while remaining doggedly faithful to the original.

So why am I telling you this? I assure you it is not to pad the length of this review (that’s what the opening paragraph was for). Rather, it is because Aliens was the first thing I associated episode 4.08 with when I saw it during season 4’s initial run—something a second, more scrutinous viewing all these years later has in no way changed. Why? Because the mountain of praise I just heaped atop my favorite movie could be applied verbatim to Vlad as well. Little surprise, then, that this is my second or third favorite episode of all time (it tends to trade off with Brigadoom for the coveted #2 spot behind you-know-what).

I sense some of you feel I may be overreaching, and I see where you’re coming from. Unlike the season 2 ep 791, which was a direct parody of/homage to the original Alien, this ep contains little in the way of direct references, so you may find yourselves tempted to brush my association aside, pass summary judgment on my sanity, and confine me to a dank, ill-lit mental ward with third-rate food and a staff of hard-bitten, broad-shouldered, man-hating nurses until such time as I am deemed fit to re-enter society. Well, do what you feel you must, because I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Hell, I’ll even take it to the next level and go the psychoanalytic route:

In addition to the numerous circumstantial similarities I’ve already laid at your feet, both stories revolve around iconic monsters that, at their core, are walking sexual metaphors. Hell, the very structure of the two stories could be interpreted as a grand allusion to sexual release (as could most action movies…all the more reason why I love summer): a slow, gradual, borderline-agonizing buildup that swells, and quickens, and intensifies until BOOM, at long last it gives way to that blissful, mind-numbing explosion…of, you know, gunfire and violence and stuff blowing up. Of course I say that knowing full well that this metaphor only works in the loosest sense…if either Vlad or Aliens actually mirrored the real thing they would be over in two and a half minutes, and most of the dialogue would consist of "I’m sorry," "It’s not you, it’s me," and "Hey wait, where are you going?"

So ends this session of Filmic Interpretation for the Hopelessly Unapproachable with Professor Bilbo. Moving along.

The preceding episode ended on a cliffhanger worthy of one of those old Republic serials. Kai and Xev, having slugged it out with Renfield and learned the anticlimactic secret of Castle Dracul, jumped straight to the conclusion that everything was hunky-dory and that the portentous foreshadowing that so permeated the preceding six episodes was a colossal waste of runtime that could have been devoted to mindless Rambo-inspired violence, glitzy song and dance numbers, or some of that hastily blurred, TV-friendly nudity that was all the rage in the previous seasons (two of those things we’ll see plenty of before it’s all over…one of them they’ll skimp on something fierce…I’ll let you figure it out). Stan, meanwhile, found himself ensnared in the apparently-spider-like clutches of the Queen Bitch, to whom he promised an everlasting supply of protoblood (which I’m about 60-70% certain was naught but a euphemism). Definitely a helluva way to end an episode…and a helluva place to pick back up! So…


…we open with our heroes returning to the Lexx…which means that at some point between episodes there must have been an off-screen scene of Xev and Kai standing around outside the castle waiting for Stan to finish his business. Not checking to see if Dracul’s newly vacated abode is rent controlled or spooning some dead thing pie into a Tupperware bowl…just standing there. Maybe Xev idly twirled her hair or did that flirtatious fidgety…thing…of hers that makes it look like a colony of fire ants are going to town on the soles of her feet while Kai stood stoically aloof, unblinking, as the bats sent a lone ambassador to attempt to broker a peace treaty by landing on his head and infesting it with Transylvanian wood mites. Oh yes, I can just about picture every painfully awkward second of it.

On the other hand, Stan looks like a million bucks. He saunters off the moth like a man relieved, flush with confidence and eager to raid the fridge. Given his and my shared status as unjustly maligned majestical beings and our gender’s communal fealty to the Eleventh Commandment (Thou shalt always put they bros before thy hos), I’m obliged to give the stunner a shout-out for…whatever it is he did with the Queen Bitch (true, she’s probably a bit old for Stan’s tastes, but look on the bright side…that makes him the beneficiary of years of practice [insert eye-roll]).

And who should be there to greet them but 790. Did anybody else forget that he was in this episode? I sure did. As I’ve already mentioned once or twice this season, I was getting used to not seeing him, and I imagine Stan was too, but that hardly precludes him from bragging to the little guy about how easy Earth girls are because, let’s face it, his mother never taught him not to kiss and tell (a lowborn scribbler might attempt to spin that sentence into some sort of Oedipus complex joke…instead I think I’ll merely dangle the notion out there and let you come up with your own…it’s more fun that way).

Of course 790 could care less. All he wants is a reassuring, tongue-optional peck on the cheek from the dead man; and although Kai has shown himself ever-ready to oblige in the past, this time around he stands the poor little guy up, declaring that his protoblood is critically low (yet another pseudo-scientific story element that the beans like to play fast and loose with) as an excuse to leave him at the mercy of Stan’s artfully embellished tales of daring-do...

...until a wolf howls (oddly appropriate given the bad 790 pun that precedes it), triggering a horrifying metamorphosis wherein Stan discards the crotchety little cuspidor and dons that inexplicably chilling creepy face that Brian Downey seems to be able to pull off a little too well. It would appear that he either contracted some sort of communicable brain parasite from the Queen bitch (which would be a bit redundant, seeing as that’s already happened a couple times), or he’s being manipulated by some unseen force.

In the interest of fresh plot trappings, it’s the latter. A quick jump cut back to Earth reveals that the goth chicks are alive and well, and that in addition to selling cookies and making cootie catchers out of construction paper, the eastern European chapter of the Campfire Girls also teaches astral projection and long range psychosexual manipulation. That’s certainly a nifty little trick, but in the short time we’ve known them they’ve proven themselves to have the collective mental acumen of a week-old cantaloupe rind, so you’d think anyone with an experienced nose for trouble and an ingot of common sense would be able to rout their rudimentary shenanigans.

Gee...I wonder how Stan will fare...

By now even the most obtuse Lexxian is well aware that the main characters regularly play hot potato with their shared allotment of common sense. With Stan on the fritz it falls to Xev to take a stab at logic, which she does, all but ordering Kai into cryo in the interest of preserving his protoblood (which is all kinds of admirable...but at the same time, did it ever occur to her that the marathon roll in the hay she’s been petitioning Kai for since day one would waste protoblood as well?). He obliges and Xev—still reeling from their previous adventure and attempting to broaden her interpersonal horizons by fishing for an icebreaker that doesn’t begin with some variation of "So...does that codpiece of yours have some kind of windup key?"—idly asks him if he found what he was looking for for the dozenth time. For the dozenth time he allays her fears with a resounding "No," before reversing himself in the very same breath and admitting that although he didn’t find what he was looking for, the thing he was looking for may now be looking for him. Why he waited so long to let that shoe drop is anybody’s guess, and it seemed to me that Xev failed to grasp the full magnitude of his statement. Well, as luck would have it I took two elective semesters of Dead as a Second Language in college, so allow me to take a layman’s stab at translation:

"Darling Xev, I bid you hearty welcome to Shit Creek. Population: you!" (I’m functionally conversant…although my accent is atrocious).

From there we rejoin the goth chicks, who are either trying their damnedest to stave off hypothermia, or have mistaken their fire for a webcam. In the grand tradition of Zoroastrians, the Oracle at Delphi, and anyone who has ever stood in front of a bathroom mirror on Halloween night and chanted "Bloody Mary" in attempt to scare the hell out of their little sister, the girls are engaging in some sort of sacred incantation ritual. A ritual that involves swaying arrhythmically to generic bass-heavy porn music...which means that at best it’s about thirty years old...call me a wrongheaded product of my plebian upbringing, but I don’t really see how anything that contemporary could be classified as "sacred."

But hey...it works, so what the hell do I know? After just two or three catty mishaps and a quick glance at the French and Chinese pages of the instruction manual the goths manage to conjure up some swirling, phosphorescent tentacles of blue energy that ascend toward the Lexx, and in a cool little sustained tracking shot reminiscent of Lyekka’s first visit, take us on a de facto set tour while they scope out our heroes, who’ve collectively decided to hit the hay (I guess Xev figure’s Kai’s cryptic warning about a dreaded remnant of the Cluster infinitely more powerful than himself setting its sights on them could wait until breakfast). Through some draconian machinations that adhere wholeheartedly to the laws of science, the goths use their psychic tentacle to infiltrate Stan’s dreams, crying out for him and imploring him to "feel the urge." While I for one applaud their enthusiasm (many are the evenings I’ve killed the lights in hope that one or more nymphomaniacal telepaths might decide to go rooting around in my dreams, but I guess I’m too heavy a sleeper), the fact is that Stan’s fast approaching that age where he may only be able to feel the urge once every couple of days, so it might behoove them to cultivate a little patience.

Stan, alas, has not yet come to grips with his limitation, and so right on cue he shoots awake, hatless and therefore terrifying. Now then, I hate to keep stifling the mood by evoking things like continuity and previous episodes, but you would think that given the disastrous repercussions he was forced to weather the last…oh, we’ll say six dozen times an unfamiliar face showed its…face…on the Lexx, Stan might want to be on his guard…rally the others, shout for the intruder to identify his/her self, or at the very least lay hold of something that could double as an impromptu whoop-ass stick. But something about the spectral silhouette of one of the girls who tried to push him out a window convinces him that this time things will be different, and so off he goes at a randy half-gallop that would make Pepe Le Pew proud.

Brief though it is, Stan poking around in Lexx’s various gangways and corridors is one of my favorite scenes. It’s very quiet, and the lighting and cinematography evoke an eerie, claustrophobic, intensely foreboding feeling, not unlike several identical scenes in the season 2 ep(s) The Net (and/or The Web). When the beans want to, they excel at serving up nuanced suspense, and I only hope that David Hackl paid close attention to scenes such as this, because against my better judgment I’ll probably wind up seeing Saw V.

The goths, meanwhile, having successfully infiltrated the Lexx via their projection tentacles (which I suppose is kind of like jacking into the Matrix with a cell phone…but not really) do…something…that morphs their ersatz appearances into those of 790, Kai, and a black haired Xev…for no particular reason other than to supply me (and those like me, pathetic meat creatures we be) with the image of a black haired Xev, and to set the stage for the 9:39 mark. Let’s see which one can get Stan to act on his urge first (wait for it...)

First up is the bubbleheaded blonde who—rather appropriately—has taken the form of 790. She craps out in near-record time by all but forgetting about their little exercise in long distance psychic seduction in favor of prattling on about her model railroad hobby. Strike one.

Next on the roster we have black-haired Xev. True to her borrowed framesake she lays the mojo on nice and thick: chest upthrust, tongue fulminating like a dying fish, soft, come-hither eyes inviting him to...come...hither (and perhaps thither...provided Lexx’s food chute can synthesize a big ol’ does of ginseng). Truly a command performance, and in the natural order of things, Stan would be clinging to her like a barnacle while the Lexx key exploded from his hand like a belt-fed solar flare. But then she has to go and open her mouth, imploring Stan to "Feel me inside you"...

...

...I have no joke here...Prince-related or otherwise. Not because the muse has abandoned me, or because I fear I may overstep my bounds and offend someone’s delicate sensibilities (delicate?...’round these parts?...sheeeeeit!). No, I have no joke here because thanks to the unrelenting slew of popups that have inundated my computer screen since I switched over to Firefox, I’m in the way of knowing that there are entire online communities--some boasting populations that surpass many moderate sized first-world nations--dedicated to such activities, prompting me to renew my boyhood pledge to kick Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Al Gore in the shin should my path ever cross theirs. For the love of God, strike two.

That leaves Muffy, who has taken Kai’s form. Like her comrades, she fails to win him over with words alone (Mike McManus must have had a blast saying her lines) and so, at exactly nine minutes and thirty-nine seconds, she ditches the script and plants a big wet one on Stan’s lips...and by "she" I mean "Kai." Now, I’m not altogether sure how many taboos this shatters, but it’s got to be more than four. And wouldn’t’cha know it...Stan all but sprints for the moth chamber—because by God now he’s feelin’ that urge (to...uh, you know...pound brewskis ‘til dawn and beat something up! YEAH! And watch football!...lots and lots of football...damn it man, where’s my chainsaw and my chewing tobacco, I’ve got to go judge a wet t-shirt contest!)—pausing only to admonish what he thinks are his friends, insisting that when he comes back they had better be acting the way they normally do (gotcha...so he wants Xev to absentmindedly lead them into danger while Kai withholds critical information), before his hand does a little Evil Dead action and spirits him back to Earth, where the goths--correctly assuming that Stan knows a thing or two about dealing with unconscious chicks--command him to help them revive their lady...by going straight back to the Lexx.

You know for an episode whose main selling point is Kai’s long-awaited grudge match with another Cluster alum, the first third of this show is pretty Stan-centric. Much as I like him, we’d better check back in on the other good guys, because sometimes gender-swapping hallucinogenic apparitions just don’t cut it. We’ll begin with that most time-honored of shameless voyeuristic traditions: a peek inside Xev’s bedroom, where she’s right in the middle of...

...aw crap...isn’t this just my kinda luck. Here she is, splayed out on that lumpy bugflesh mattress in the form-fitting remnants of that blue penguin suit she knows I love on the one night she remembers to slam back a fistful of Ambien so she won’t have that recurring "I’m floating on a cloud made of fingers" dream. Curse you Tom DeVille, and your sickening sense of irony! Consider yourself on notice, pal!

*Sigh*

Well, might as well check on Kai.

Which is precisely what Stan is doing as well. After exerting their control over him by threatening "little Stan" with the type of holistic savagery one normally associates with a week-long "business trip" to Thailand (what’s the capital of that country again?), he leads them straight to the cryochamber, where Muffy snatches up Kai’s protoblood espresso machine and helps herself to a sample dollop (like there’s a one of you lacking a Y chromosome who wouldn’t!)

There’s another reason why this is one of my favorite epsiodes. It comes at seventeen seconds of minute thirteen, and constitutes one of the top three or four fanboy geek-out moments of my pitiable life: Stanley Tweedle quoting The Simpsons (well, paraphrasing if you want to get technical...but I don’t). That just made my day...not so the goths, however. Perhaps if he’d said "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" instead, things might have turned out differently. Instead, Muffy cold-cocks him (by which I am implying that she has anger management issues...not that her hands are clammy) and they storm out with the protoblood...although not before Blondie gets her lips stuck to kai’s pod. All I’m going to say is that that looks like it hurts...and that for her sake it’s a damn good thing she didn’t try to wrap...aw hell, you do the rest, right now the bad guys are getting away!

And speaking of which: not to nitpick even more, but couldn’t our heroes have put the protoblood someplace a little more secure? I certainly don’t leave the good silver (by which I mean near-mint condition pogs) sitting out in the open on the credenza (by which I mean overturned cable spool) for just anyone (by which I mean the world’s most pathetic burglar) to tip-toe by and make off with (by which I mean auction off on eBay to geeks with disposable income). Hell no, I’ve got locks, chains, deadbolts, motion lights, a lovely set of steak knives (thanks again, Grandma), any number of blunt objects that can become a handy truncheon in a fix, and a beta fish with a bestial disposition. The Lexx gang really should think about beefing up their home security...then again, if my home was a mile-long bachelorette party novelty item that obeyed my every ego-feeding command and could spew the concentrated wrath of God from its eyes, I’d probably find myself lulled into a false sense of security too.

Though his intentions are purely self-serving, 790 inadvertently clicks off his last magnanimous act of the season by frantically rousing Xev, who races through the fungus-laden labyrinth of corridors toward the bridge to the steady back beat of a nice, suspenseful score (aces Marty...aces!). Of course her efforts might have paid off if she’d simply remember to do that thousand mile an hour Cluster Lizard barrel roll trick of hers, but I’m going to go ahead and lay that gaffe at the foot of grogginess (or barring that, the lately neglected "Bilbo you dolt, then there would be no story!" category).

Finding nothing at the bridge but an equally groggy Stan with a mouthful of chicklets, Xev reanimates Kai who, despite having been out of commission when all the heavy stuff went down, immediately declares that his protoblood was stolen by the servants of his hunter, who will use it to give his hunter life...

...so let me make sure I’ve got this perfectly straight: if Kai hadn’t drug the others halfway across the world in search of a vague threat that he wasn’t even certain would be there in the first place, then there would be no threat at all. Wow...just, wow...

I need something to take my mind off that blunt force quandary. I figure a pasty, shirtless Stanley Tweedle ought to be enough to get that job done (though I must say Brian Downey’s looking good for a guy pushing 60...he and Harrison Ford need to let me in on their secret). In yet another example of Lexx’s frat-prank inspired approach to all things science they’ve decked the hairiest parts of his chest out in electrified nicotine patches and are attempting to coax him into placing something called the "protein regenerator" in his mouth (my doctor who I mentioned earlier…I’ve got all the faith in the world in him, but if he ever so much as grouped those two words together in a sentence he’d find himself staring down the barrel of the best malpractice suit my scant salary can buy). God only knows where they found that thing...or if they’re even certain it still works after sitting in storage for the last four thousand years...or why, for pity’s sake, you have to stick it in your mouth to make it work. I merely pray, for Stan’s sake, that that thing wasn’t previously stashed next to--or for that matter, anywhere near--the carrot searching...thing.

After far too little reassuring from Kai, Stan chomps down on the regenerator, which spins and whirs and make a few sciency noises, indicating that his veins contain trace amounts of a substance called parablood, which was transferred into his bloodstream via a kiss (yet another lie they told us in eighth grade health class).

Being that she’s the curious sort (and speaking for the audience to boot), Xev asks what parablood is, and wouldn’t’cha know it, Kai gets up and leaves! You know...I can’t prove it--yet--but I believe that Kai’s inability to supply his friends with critical, life-saving information in a timely manner is in some way tied to his crippling fear of intimacy (lip-locking with Stan notwithstanding).

In times past (by which I mean earlier in the day) Xev may well have accepted Kai’s ducking of the issue as a simple matter of fact, but since then she’s discovered that prying information out of the dead man is a delicate process best accomplished by following him around and pestering the unliving hell out of him until he throws you a bone (don’t even think about it...) in hopes that you will leave him alone. This she does, to which Kai prevails upon her to stay as far away from Vlad as possible, before revealing the whole truth about the thing in the castle:

Vlad is not another Assassin, but rather, a Divine Executioner, an elite breed of hunters designed by His Shadow to track down and kill Asassins who failed to serve their purpose or--presumably--turned rogue. In yet another wicked awesome tracking shot, Kai’s exposition is accompanied by flashback footage of the sprawling, mechanized belly of the Cluster where we watch Vlad come to life in a bizarre cocoon-like structure. This begs the question: are Divine Executioners also reconfigured undead humans, or are they grown/bred from the ground up (which I suppose would make them a type of cyborg...albeit in the loosest possible terms)? There’s really no telling. After all, while it’s been shown that mere physical contact with a drop of protoblood is sufficient to reanimate a corpse, we’re well aware--having seen his various implants and heard early references to HDS’ bioengineers--that the transformation Kai underwent was far more complicated than that. Could this quick shot of Vlad’s genesis parallel what Kai went through? Ultimately that’s for the beans to know and fan-fiction writers to try and figure out (if they haven’t already). Either way, I figure the Executioner project was something HDS kept close to his chest. It’s likely that high-ranking bio-viziers such as Mantrid and Brizon were aware of it (both were instrumental in the creation/streamlining of the Assassin project, so it stands to reason that they would know exactly how to tear down what they built up), but I doubt the workaday bioengineers knew much of it...save that any an all questions would be answered by the protein bank!

So Vlad’s a tough customer. In addition to boasting strength, speed, reflexes, and weaponry that leave even the most brace-savvy Assassin in her dust, she has a nasty little habit of injecting her victims with parablood, making willing, mind-wiped accomplices of her human victims and circuitously giving rise to the vampire myth. For the sixth or seventh time, the planet is likely doomed. When pressed as to why, if Vlad is so blatantly superior in every way, is he so eager to rush off and fight her, the dead man merely proclaims that he has to, to keep her from laying waste to the Earth...even though the dead, on general principle, should not give a hoot about such things, and they’ve already attempted to destroy the planet themselves. Hey, here’s a nifty little everybody-wins scenario: why not lead Vlad to Prince? Let them kill each other over and over again while you soak up some rays on one of the last non-carrot-infested beach on the planet? Whadda ya say?

No takers…figured (idiots).

From there we’re whisked back to Castle Dracul, where the longest rain-free electrical storm in recorded history is still a-ragin’. Deep within the castle’s innards the goth chicks, protoblood in tow, release Vlad from her cryopod. The figure that emerges is less than imposing: a weathered old crone with a face full of fissures and a dry, hoarse voice that weakly proclaims "The blood is the life" (which I know for a fact is a quote from several Dracula movies, although I can’t for the life of me remember if it appears in the original novel). The quote proves true after she happily gulps down a hit of protoblood from Kai’s decanter and viola; suddenly she’s young, pretty, and vibrant (take note ladies).

Clad like a Matrix dominatrix and boasting an inverted ice cream cone to Kai’s beehive, Vlad steps forth, demanding to know where Kai is. The goths, having obviously slept through that part of the henchmanship seminar, tell her he’s on the Lexx instead of offering to lead her to him, and are messily dispatched for their years of faithful service...in the name of His Shadow, of course.

All the pieces are now in place...it’s time to get visceral. As Vlad is testing her impaler on some supple young emo flesh, Kai and Xev are barreling back toward Castle Dracul in a moth, primed and ready for the worst. Xev seems skeptical...after all, they were just at the castle, and there was no Vlad, although Kai maintains that they merely saw no Vlad (no, no, no, no, no, no, NO! YOU FLAT OUT SAID YOU DIDN’T FIND WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR, THEN LEFT!!!), and before Xev can even begin to formulate her twelve-point rebuttal he does a swan dive out of the moth directly into one of the castle towers and from there the mood shifts gears entirely.

A visceral--dare I say human--intensity the likes of which we have not heard since his encounter with the "petty bureaucrats" on Fire creeps into Kai’s voice as he slowly stalks through one of the castles inky antechambers, brace at the ready. Though we’ve been told at length that he cannot feel fear, in the strictest sense, the overt cautiousness he displays here is entirely unlike the dead man we’ve come to know, who time and again has flung himself headlong into any situation, heedless to the consequences (think back to Heaven and Hell). This time is different. For the first time since we’ve known him--possibly for the first time since his rebirth as an Assassin--Kai knows he is outmatched, and almost seems to have resigned himself to the fact that he is going to die. So perhaps--and I’m just spitballin’ here--Kai is proceeding with such extreme caution not because he is afraid of what is to come, but because he does not want to sacrifice his chance to give Vlad his all before she finishes him off. In other words, he wants to find a good way to die (now where have we heard that before?).

Vlad, on the other hand, has nothing to hide from, and why should she? She knows exactly what she is and what she has been bred for, and although we know next to nothing about her past, it’s safe to assume she’s collected her share of pelts. Being the ultimate sentient predator, she decides to have a little fun with her prey at first, ducking in and out of various corridors and archways, taunting Kai with her voice as the goths taunted Stan. Kai, to his credit, seeks shelter behind the nearest available structure almost as quickly, but to little avail, as Vlad is so inhumanly fast that she manages to instantly flank him every time. That she doesn’t move right in for what would seem to be an easy kill shot speaks volumes of her sadism; which is very much in contrast to the detached, methodical means by which garden variety Assassins go about their work.

Similar to that: while Assassins are generally the strong silent type, Executioners apparently can’t shut up. She flanks Kai time and again, attempting to gin up as much apprehension as possible while regaling the dead man with her plans for the Earth. In what is heavily implied to be a standard practice, she reveals to Kai that now that she has had her vitality restored by his protoblood she will infect the villagers with parablood and scatter them about the world, instructing them to infect as many people as possible until at last the entire planet falls into a suicidal blood orgy (a terrifying prospect...but at the same time, how exactly would this hurt Kai? That’s like a bitchy teenager claiming she’s going to hold her breath until her parents give in and let her go to her equally bitchy friends’ house party...there’s no bargaining chip). All this she says with no small amount of fiendish delight in her voice, as she’s been looking forward to it for a long time...almost as long as she’s been anticipating this meeting with Kai.

Yes, as it turns out the entire reason she came to Earth was because the Time Prophet told her Kai would one day arrive there...right before Vlad killed her. This one line is probably the most potent of the entire episode, as it not only opens the floor to a slew of questions about the Time Prophet, the Divine order, and the nature of Executioners, but it allows us to piece together a workable timeline of Vlad’s activities. Here goes nothing:

Vlad was almost certainly dispatched immediately after the Lexx fled the Light Zone and His Shadow’s disembodied essence returned to his brain on the Cluster. I say immediately because very shortly after our heroes escaped the cleansing began, and we know from Giga Shadow that it was so thorough that HDS even ordered his entire contingent of Assassins be shoved into the protein bank, so it’s a safe bet that he did the same with his Executioners. Now then, we know that information about the Dark Zone was sketchy at best, so consulting the Time Prophet was undoubtedly a necessity. Whether Vlad sought her out on her own or whether she was ordered to go see her first is up in the air, although I would tend toward the latter, as we also know from GS that His Shadow himself had previously visited the Prophet, and if you’re boasting HDS as one of your repeat customers then you’re obviously damn good at what you do.

Now this is where it gets really interesting...His Shadow was absolute evil incarnate who viewed the human race as nothing more than disposable playthings at best, free range meat at worst. And yet, based on what we saw firsthand in season 1, he dealt with the Time Prophet in a respectful, almost reverent manner. That alone is enough to suggest that she is not human, to say nothing of prescient abilities. That she is wholly devoid of fear during their encounters, and that she speaks casually with him about his grand designs for decimating the human race suggests a complete emotional withdrawal from the plight of the universe. All of this--again, coupled with her ability to look back through the cycles of time, thereby seeing into the future--suggests an entity far beyond human, and for that matter, far beyond merely alien. Indeed, I believe the Time Prophet is a fully supernatural being who, for all intents and purposes, occupies a higher plane of existence, and that the physical entity that Kai, HDS, and others sought out was but a corporeal tentacle of the metaphysical whole. Just like Brunnis Sun, Blue Star, and to a certain degree, Prince (I have my own ideas about what ol’ Izzy really is and what he merely thinks he is...but that’s another post).

So what does that pointless digression have to do with this episode? Simply put, I think Vlad’s boast about killing the Time Prophet is an assumption on her part (just as all three of our heroes, on multiple occasions, assume they have killed Prince). I think the Time Prophet, due to both her nature and her location ("uncertain moon" could be taken to mean some sort of extra-planar/extra-dimensional fold or junction...it’s possible that a being who exists in such a state would be unfazed by the destruction of a mere physical extension, or indeed the universe in which that extension exists...it would be like turning off all the lights in only one room of a house) was untouchable, and His Shadow knew it. What’s more, Vlad probably knew it too...she just didn’t care. It’s clear from her words and actions that she possesses a great deal of free will, something Assassins are denied on all but the most basic of levels. For that reason I believe that HDS kept only a handful of Executioners, and that they were dispatched only under the rarest and most extreme of circumstances...basically as a nuclear option. The decision to try to kill the Time Prophet probably came to Vlad on a whim, similar to how she offed the goths for no particular reason. Trouble is, when you decide you’re going to kill someone who can see into the future, they know what you’re going to do before you do it. Though she would appear incapable of lying (perhaps she merely sees no need to) I believe the main reason His Shadow stepped so lightly around the Prophet is because he feared she might screw him over, which is precisely what she did to Vlad. Rather than tell her where Kai was going to be in the immediate future--Brunnis, Klaagya, back on the Cluster--or even the distant future, she directed her to Kai’s final port of call, Earth. Perhaps she did so with the intention of weakening Vlad over time, thereby softening her up for Kai, but given the theory I’ve just postulated, it’s more likely she did it just to bust her chops for not showing her the basic respect that even the living god-king of the universe exhibited in her presence.

Hell hath no fury like a cosmically empowered woman scorned.

Sorry for the lengthy aside, but as I’ve said before, I love how the beans tell us so very little up front, but gently dust their story with just enough empirical information for astute minded geeks to piece together. Hell, even if that isn’t their intention I still applaud them for it...any story that prompts its audience to engage in critical thinking is worth its weight in gold, regardless of how wrongheaded the resulting fan theories may be. I don’t hold the theory I just postulated as gospel, but I certainly believe it’s worth considering, as it casts a new light Vlad and Kai’s place in the overall narrative, and the nature of free will as it relates to the seemingly static cycles of time. But enough of that pseudo-intellectual crap, it’s time for the main event!

By now Vlad is just about to strike, and as she wraps up her taunts we are treated to a badass shot of she and Kai standing back-to-back, weapons readied with only a thin stone partition separating them. Then the dead man makes his move. He steps around the partition for his shot, but by the time he raises his brace Vlad is already behind him. In an instant he whirls around and sends his shrieking ordnance right through Vlad’s cranium, an action that elicits only a smile and a return volley from a much nastier, much cooler looking blade (umm...why didn’t Kai try to cut off her head...or maybe one of her limbs? Good Lord, are me and Tharin the only people who know how to fight one of these damn things?).

And just like that we cut away! WHY!?! I absolutely hate it when that happens right in the middle of an action scene (this is hardly a Lexx-centric criticism, as I’ve seen it in far too many movies, shows, books, comics…virtually any medium in which a story can be told). I like the other characters too, but given that the whole episode—the whole season up until this point—has been building toward Kai’s confrontation with Vlad, I’d much rather see their rumble from beginning to end without a single cut. But then again, the beans only throw me a bone once a or twice a season…and they already used up one of those favors when they transformed Digby from a sniveling set piece into the acne-ridden angel of death, so I’m in for a dry time between now and 4.18.

Desperate to help, Xev barges into the local pub, announcing that Vlad has risen and everybody should skedaddle. Of course they ignore the beautiful half-dressed woman, as all barflies would, so she decides to plead her case to good ol’ Joey, who’s attempting to atone for his previous uselessness by spit-wiping a tankard. I don’t know about you but I’d honestly forgotten about him too, and with good reason, because just like last time, when the opportunity to step up and play the hero arises he reverts to shoveling drinks down Xev’s throat and bragging on and on about his family legacy (Joey, my man, learn to branch out…I mean hell, my ancestors were booted out of Scotland for being horse thieves, but you don’t hear me crowing about it every time some stranger so much as tilts his ear in my direction…which is too bad, because it’s actually a pretty amusing story).

Well, while Joey’s content to leech off the accomplishments of others, Xev decides that the best course of action is to paw through a dead man’s belongings (for if trash television has taught us anything, it’s that people over the age of 65 tend to have treasure maps tucked away amongst all those dusty phonograph cylinders and grainy, wallet-sized photos of their last nine cats). After a little prodding and a few fingers of ninety-proof Romanian Robitussin, Joey escorts Xev to Father Borscht’s recently vacated bachelor pad. But for the scourging stink of mothballs and oleo and a neon white "Beachcombers Do It In The Sand" novelty sign they find little of interest…until Xev picks up Borscht’s Necronomicon Cookbook and conveniently opens it to a page featuring the Divine Iris and a passage that reads "The beast cannot dim the light of a pure heart." There’s no telling if this will have any bearing on the plot…only that it will probably prove more useful than the section on coping with an engorged prostate.

Kai’s not doing so well. After the killshot that wasn’t backfired he finally decided to take my advice and go for her limbs, loosing his brace with the tendril attached into one of Vlad’s arms…possibly with the intention of ripping it off and beating her with it. No dice. As soon as the pincers touch her flesh Vlad turns the tables by lassoing Kai with his own tendril and flinging him across the room. 0-2 with the handy wrist gadget there, dead man. Looks like you need a new trick (come on think…what would Thodin do? You know…besides stand in one place with his arms by his side).

Well the dead guy’s stubborn, but he certainly isn’t stupid. Rather than trying for the hat trick he puts his brace to some practical use and bugs out, retreating up the tower to the rooftop. Just like before, Kai barely has time to retract his brace and get to his feet before he spies Vlad right behind him, gliding on a current of air like some kind of shapely demonic bird as lightning cascades all around them. Beset with desperation, Kai frantically scans the rooftop for anything that might give him some slight advantage while Vlad touches down and continues to taunt him, running her spring loaded Gene Simmons tongue over her knife while declaring "I will swallow every drop of your juice" (contrary to popular belief, the ensuing concussion is not the rumble of thunder, but the collective voice of every card carrying lady Lexxian on Earth screaming "Wait your turn, bitch!")

As she stalks closer Kai makes a mad grab for the closest thing his hands can find; in this case, a metal spire. With a heave he wrenches the metal from the foundation and slices the broken end deep into Vlad’s gut, only to watch the wound fuse just as quickly (a very subtly suggestive image that fits right in with the sexual nature of vampire mythology, as well as the undercurrent of domination that permeates this fight scene). In little more than a continuation of his initial slash Kai rears back a second time, attracting a massive jolt of lighting that infuses his poor man’s pike with a current of white fire a second before he drives the rusty business end straight through Vlad’s chest! Surely if that doesn’t faze her, nothing will.

Apparently, nothing will. Like scratching an itch, Vlad yanks out the spear and discards it with a wry quip before piercing Kai’s chest with her own blade. At this point, as she slowly reeled him in for what looked to be the kill, I found myself ruminating on the irony that Kai, when pitted against a superior opponent, resorts to the same sort of useless, self-defeating tactics that a panic-stricken human would employ against an Assassin. Were you to ask Kai about it, he would probably tell you that he has seen this exact scenario play out thousands of times, only with himself on the receiving end of some terrified lesser opponent’s blows…in other words, Kai is well aware that his attacks are pointless, and yet he persists. That’s a fight-or-flight style survival mechanism right there, something you wouldn’t normally associate with the dead. I wonder what he would have to say about that after the fact?

If there even is an "after the fact." By now Kai’s strength is virtually sapped. Sensing they’ve entered the endgame, Vlad reels him in, extending a small, but menacing tentacle-like appendage from her chest as Kai uses his few remaining minutes of consciousness to drift back to boyhood and recall the older friends who filled his head with wildly farfetched stories about what making it to third base really meant.

It looks like Kai is done for…but not if Xev has anything to say about it. And she would have plenty to say…if Joey would shut his yap for two seconds. Instead he prattles on about how a good shag may improve their situation (I can’t possibly see what an old carpet’s got to do with all of this…unless that’s his way of calling dibs on old man Borscht’s rug…’cause you know, it really ties the room together). Instead of playing his desperation to her advantage by saying "Fine…go back inside, close your eyes and count to a hundred," she invites him into her moth so they can go pick up the other moth; a dangerous errand with a high probability for disaster that could have been completely avoided had Kai simply taken the time to carve a second ocarina…but then he’s proven time and again that he’s hardly as master strategist, as the first-class ass kicking transpiring in the castle bespeaks.

After so much increasingly intense buildup, the Cluster clash climaxes as Vlad’s protoblood sucking tentacle pierces Kai’s chest. It’s interesting to note the expression on his face…he’s obviously in pain—difficult to destroy, but not indestructible—but I read his expression as one of shock…disbelief…ultimately giving way to a labored acceptance. The crushing realization that the struggle was for naught and that this really, truly is how it’s going to end. Very much the type of reaction you would expect from someone who is watching his own death play out. Very much a human reaction. All this from a man who has stated time and again that all he wants is to die. For all the joshing around I do about Kai reversing himself, I don’t believe this makes him a hypocrite. I believe it makes him human…no matter how much he denies it.

Of equal interest in this exchange is Vlad’s response to Kai’s revelation that he killed His Shadow (well, technically it was Squish who killed him…but the dead man’s clearly delirious at this point, so I’ll let that one slide…but just this once!). It comes as a complete surprise, as well it should, after which she merely smiles and fatalistically declares that regardless of whether or not there is any purpose to her plans for Kai, or for the Earth, there is still pleasure in it. That’s the same type of cheerful sadism you would expect from Prince. More so than any of her other character traits, it stands in sharpest contrast to the demeanor of an Assassin, and further suggests to me that His Shadow may have created/dispatched Executioners sparingly because their sentience and violent, unpredictable nature made them almost impossible to control. In other words, I think he was afraid of them.

Vlad, Vlad, Vlad…you’re as badass as the day is long. But like so many great villains throughout history, you talk too much. Had she drained Kai from the get-go, that would have been the end of that. But instead she decides to savor the flavor, and since that corn starched clown cone that sits atop her head is now the tallest point on the castle roof, it is only a matter of time before the lightning keys in on it. This it does, blowing both predator and prey off the roof, allowing Kai to wrench himself from her grasp just before he slams into the ground.

Rather than capitalize on the situation by, oh, I don’t know, following him and finishing him off, Vlad flees back to her cryochamber at the mere sight of two people she could eviscerate from a distance without lifting a finger (man, her mystique sure fades fast). While she’s securing her protoblood stash Xev swoops down, hands Joey a fake phone number and shoves him into the other moth, then locates Kai in record time…presumably either by scent, or because his black-on-black attires stands in such sharp contrast to the inky void of night. Whichever the case, she collects his ravaged carcass and books back to the Lexx while Vlad, protoblood hookah in hand, commandeers Joey’s moth after putting him out of the world’s misery. And so our heroes, having narrowly delivered themselves from terror beyond telling, head for home, blissfully unaware that the Queen Bitch is hot on their heels and thirsty for revenge. Can’t possibly think of where I’ve seen this before (cue that badass James Horner music).

Truth be told, this could have been an interesting place to end the episode, but there’s still like ten minutes of show left, and while I love a good cliffhanger as much as the next, I don’t see how they could have spread the final confrontation with Vlad out into an entire sixty minute episode without applying an entire bucket of plot spackle. And so with that, we return to the Lexx, which Stan has conveniently ordered not to destroy any approaching moths (umm…why not be a little more specific? We know the Lexx can easily scan approaching crafts, and we know bad guys have stolen moths before. Remember what I said last time about learning from your mistakes, Stan? No…no, obviously you don’t), but to allow them to board, after which they will destroy the planet Kai very nearly gave his life to protect (fine by me, that would lend my Aliens comparison that much more credibility).

No way in the world could that possibly kick back on him…you know, unless Vlad somehow figured out how to fly her moth at supersonic speed.

One neckful of parablood later and the Queen Bitch has got herself a Helper Monkey Class 4. From there we’re treated to another one of those cool looking but deeply unsettling shots of a moth snaking its way through Lexx’s various orifices as Xev augers her bug in and attempts to drag Kai to the cryochamber. But her efforts prove futile. Stan blocks off the gangway while Vlad swoops down from who the hell knows where and snatches Kai from her arms.

Wrong thing to do. In an instant that mutated blood of hers comes to a boil and Xev cracks Vlad across the jaw with a vicious right cross while eliciting a shrill hiss that serves as the Cluster Lizard equivalent of "Get away from [him] you bitch!" It catches Vlad completely off guard, and though the damage is virtually non-existent it is sufficient to make her forget all about Kai—again—in favor of testing her mettle against some livelier prey...even though it would make much more sense to kill Kai on the spot, then stalk Xev at her leisure. But that’s her ego getting in the way. Another very human failing that lends to the Divine Executioners’ frightful volatility.

The ensuing chase—three in one episode—once again plays out like a sped-up version of Stan’s astral encounter with the goths, helped along as always by some great music. Meanwhile, Kai uses the last of his strength to beg Stan to take him to the cryochamber, claiming it’s what Vlad would want him to do. Without so much as batting an eye Stan obeys, which points to a major flaw in the parablood design. Then again, if I’m right about His Shadow being creeped out by Executioners, perhaps he intentionally designed for parablood victims to be easily swayed morons…anything to give him the slightest advantage should he ever need it.

Xev gives Vlad one hell of a chase, but for all her willpower those taught, toned legs of hers have their limits. Eventually she tires and Vlad puts the bite on her, whereupon Xev submits to her will and declares that she is hers forever (could have done the cliffhanger thing here too).

Just as Vlad and Xev are finishing their little girl talk Stan drags Kai into the cryochamber like a bag of wet sand (I wonder if there are any outtakes of Brian plowing him into stuff). He presents him to Vlad, who unsheathes her protoblood sucker and rears back for the big finish.

Until Xev bird-dogs her! Out of nowhere she barrel rolls Vlad into Kai’s tube while Stan calls upon his last shred of free will to slam his hand down on the control. Yep, turns out Cluster Lizard blood is impervious to parablood, and Stan is pure of heart…you know, kinda sorta…in the same way that I’m sort of a Puddle of Mudd fan.

And so once again, all’s well that ends well. Kai replenishes his protoblood, Stan is once again tied shirtless to the helm and forced to chew on a protein pipe (or whatever the hell that thing is, I’ve already forgotten), 790 makes a few acidic quips, and everybody smiles as the credits roll. Yep, that’s all she wrote. Move along now, nothing more to see here. It’s not like the SINGLE MOST DANGEROUS THING IN THE UNIVERSE IS TEN FEET AWAY BEHIND A THIN PANE OF GLASS! FOR GOD’S SAKE KAI, WHY AREN’T YOU WELDING THAT POD SHUT AND TOSSING IT INTO THE SUN?!?!?!?

Oh, right. Because no one asked.

And so the Tom DeVille micro-era comes to a close with one of the quintessential Lexx episodes. That guy—whoever he is—sure knows how to bow out on a high note. I really don’t know what else to say, which is probably a good thing, because this is by far my longest review ever. I guess between this being one of my favorite episodes, the long waits I’ve subjected you to between reviews, and the totally unplanned Divine Order/Time Prophet speculations that crept up from out of nowhere when I was midway through churning this monster out, I figured I might as well swing for the fences. Expect me to scale them back a bit from here on out (haven’t I already said that five or six times?)

A blast, as always. See ya next time I’m feelin’ the urge!



Cheery bye.



____________________
If you're normal, the crowd will accept you. But if you're deranged, the crowd will make you their leader.
— Christopher Titus
Angel
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Mana: 
 Posted: Tue Jun 24th, 2008 11:18 pm

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You know, Bilbo, I was going to go off and play a balloon darts game, but made a pit stop at the board and saw you had a new review up, boy was I glad I did!  It was magnificently riveting!  I read it through from beginning to end and I just love your descriptive version of the episode.

To quote Bilbo -

"Simmons tongue over her knife while declaring "I will swallow every drop of your juice" (contrary to popular belief, the ensuing concussion is not the rumble of thunder, but the collective voice of every card carrying lady Lexxian on Earth screaming "Wait your turn, bitch!")" unquote

HOW IN THE HELL DID YOU KNOW I SAID THAT!!??!!

I was laughing my ass off not only at that but at much of your review.  And you had the fight between Vlad and Kai on the roof top right on, I found it to be a very sexually dominating scene, ah hell it was a turn on.  (Oh shit, hope that doesn't make me a......nevermind).

I FUCKING LOVED IT!  :hlight:

 
You truly have a gift for the written word, Bilbo, and I sincerely wish you the best and hope that you get published SOON!




 



____________________
The dead do not squeeze and please....
Ketana
Divine Assassin


Joined: Wed Oct 25th, 2006
Location: Lioness' Lair, USA
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 Posted: Wed Jun 25th, 2008 10:08 am

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BILBO I AM YOUR SLAVE! :xgroupwave2::D:kneel:

 

FOR EVER MORE! I ADORE YOUR MIND, YOUR PECS AND YOUR SWEATY THIGHS! DO WITH ME AS YOU WISH!

WHAT A FANTASTIC FUCKING GREAT REVIEW!

WITTY INSIGHTFUL AND SO FULL OF FUNNY BIG WORDS..

 

Please peeps if you do nothing else..read this!! you simply must if you are a true lexxian fanatic..



____________________

Don't sprinkle sugar on your bullshit and then tell me it's candy!
mayaXXX
Divine Executioner


Joined: Tue Oct 24th, 2006
Location: Dark Zone, Naturally
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 Posted: Wed Jun 25th, 2008 11:24 am

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Oh. My. Gawd....that's all I have to say.
:147: :147::147::147::147:



____________________
"Blah blah blah, Vampire Emergency, Blah..."
IT'S OFFICIAL
Bilbo67
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 Posted: Tue Jul 1st, 2008 10:35 am

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Angel wrote: I found it to be a very sexually dominating scene, ah hell it was a turn on.  (Oh shit, hope that doesn't make me a......nevermind).
 


Hey, we're Lexxians...that makes us all quite a few things by default.

 

Ketana wrote:

 DO WITH ME AS YOU WISH!


How are you at working a cement mixer?  See, there's this guy I loaned twenty bucks to in college...

 

mayaXXX wrote: :147: :147::147::147::147:
Maybe I've been staring at these things for too long, but I swear one of them just pointed at me and mouthed the words "Tonight...you!"  Should I chalk that up to lack of sleep, or is it officially time to panic?



____________________
If you're normal, the crowd will accept you. But if you're deranged, the crowd will make you their leader.
— Christopher Titus
Ketana
Divine Assassin


Joined: Wed Oct 25th, 2006
Location: Lioness' Lair, USA
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Mana: 
 Posted: Tue Jul 1st, 2008 10:08 pm

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Bilbo67 wrote:  

Ketana wrote:

 DO WITH ME AS YOU WISH!


How are you at working a cement mixer?  See, there's this guy I loaned twenty bucks to in college...

 


They never did find Jimmy Hoffa or my ex-husband.  The ex made a lovely planter on my patio.  :SpinningDemona:



____________________

Don't sprinkle sugar on your bullshit and then tell me it's candy!
mayaXXX
Divine Executioner


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Mana: 
 Posted: Sun Jul 20th, 2008 01:47 pm

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Well you always did say it was better to work with what you have...*snort*

:adu-8:



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IT'S OFFICIAL
Doctor X
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 Posted: Sun Jan 11th, 2009 09:17 am

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Rewatching the series, I figured I would follow the reviews. Wondering what is happening to Minna Aaltonen--like has she lifted that restraining order--I found this nice description from the company who made her fangs:

Every so often we are given the opportunity to work on something really cool.
A few years back Sylak Special Effects received a call out of the blue, from Kate (a theatrical agent in the UK, representing DZ4 Productions in Canada).

Shooting on the fourth and penultimate series of the 'cult' Sci-Fi series 'LEXX - The Dark Zone stories' had hit a small snag. Last minute casting for a major new character/villain named 'Vlad' (a vampire - as the name suggests) meant that precious little time had been left to arrange for a set of prosthetic fangs to be made before the actress was due to board her flight from London's Heathrow airport to Halifax, Canada - in a matter of only a few days! The heat was now on.

The question was: could we manufacture a pair of custom made fangs from scratch, for a major television show (already in full production on the other side of the world); to fit precisely the mouth of an actress we had never even met yet?

...of course we could.


The pickies are worth it:





Smile!

--J.D.


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