Police procedural TV shows like NYPD Blue, Law & Order, CSI and The Bill not to mention documentary cop shows like COPS have been bread and butter telly for decades now. They’ve already been spoofed brilliantly and mercilessly by must-watch Reno 911. Where is there left for cop spoofs to go that hasn’t been done before? MTV went with comedy/horror – natch! It’s the crossover genre that keeps on giving!
Death Valley wins, and wins big, when it could very easily have fallen on its face. There are only twelve episodes (including the excellent pilot, which establishes some running gags) each about twenty minutes long, which keeps things quick & punchy. Every show shamelessly milks every lowbrow, bro-tacular gag it can.
The set up revolves around a documentary team embedded with the UTF – “Undead Task Force” – a specialist team assigned to bust the vampires, keep the werewolves under control and kill zombies any damn way they feel like.
The series quickly sets up a repartee between the main characters while they wade through horror and gore, kicking ass and wisecracking all the way. Captain Dashell (Bryan Callen – Oz, The Hangover) enjoys bizarro rambling speeches, delivering some of the best lines in the show. Family man Sgt. “Stu” Stubeck bickers constantly with his lecherous partner Billy Pierce, while Officers John “John John” Johnson (played by the epically named Texas Battle) and crack-shot Carla Rinaldi deal with simmering sexual tension as they dispatch the undead.
New rookie Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz – Mad Men, The Pact) is probably the least consistent character in the show, being introduced early on as a Buffyesque asskicker, improbably able to beat up supernaturally strong vamps twice her weight! … Yet at other times she acts like a helpless little moppet in need of saving. However, getting that nerdy about the show’s internal consistency is probably taking it waaaaaay too seriously. Also, she is cute as a button. Bless her.
Somehow, in with all the jokes, the entire series actually has a story-arc that links everything up towards the end, and leaves you on a wtf!? cliffhanger. Will MTV make a second series? Let’s hope so!
So, ride along with the UTF as they hang around busting blood-for-sex vampire hookers, chase a werewolf around a porn set, and ask the question that has nagged everyone – what happens if you find a swollen zombie lying in the street on a hot day aaaand…. poke it with a stick??
Death Valley Trailer:
Extended Gore version of Death Valley Trailer: