Monday, May 5, 2014

3 Short Paragraphs: Afflicted

2013, Derek Lee, Clif Prowse (some shorts) -- cinema

The first thing I learned was that, yes, vampires can be caught on video. And even video blogs. Afflicted is an indie Canadian movie about a pair of world-travelling video bloggers who don't get very far before a casual sexual encounter has led to an unfortunate SDT -- vampirism. OK, he didn't get it from that but that he was bitten during the encounter. Despite my dismissive tone, the movie is quiet effective and serious about Derek Lee's transformation and the ramifications of becoming a creature of the night.

Derek and his best friend Clif are embarking on a world trip, video blogging all the way (thus, found-footage style movie) because Derek has been diagnosed with a condition that will make this his last likely trip. He could die any moment and wants to do what he loves most. Clif is the camera geek following him with all sorts of camera equipment. Almost immediately their trip leads to a rather violent sexual encounter in Paris. Derek avoids doctors or hospitals, knowing they would learn of his condition and send him back to Canada. Nope, that's not going to happen. Not even when the bite starts to have weird side effects, like extreme strength and a rapidly increasing cravings. They get the vampire thing very quickly but are so fascinated with the super heroic antics, they forget the bad part. By the time Derek's condition worsens, and moral gray lines are passed fully over, Derek's only goal is to find her and be cured.

The camera work is rather fun, always inventively from Clif's point of view, as the two test out Derek's vampire super powers, jumping from Italian street to building wall, running like a 6 million euro man and accidentally sending motorists flying through the air. When full on vampirism takes hold, Derek is a ravening beast with spooky eyes and a camera strapped to his chest bouncing from one victim to the next, ignoring a hail of bullets. The fact that he is still somehow uploading all this footage to a YouTube account is a little silly but I suggest you ignore that and run with it. The movie is not without the tragedy of becoming a supernatural predator, leading to the shotgun blast and its minimal effect, from the movie poster. Rest assured, he is not cured and given success, sequels are left open.