Vampires everywhere

Friday, June 1, 2007

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What is it about vampires? TV can't seem to get away from them. It's been 10 years since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" premiered, and once again, vamps are trolling the streets. Lifetime has "Blood Ties" (10 p.m. Sunday) and this fall CBS debuts "Moonlight," about a vampire private detective.

Photo courtesy here!
Damian (Peter Stickles) bares his fangs on "The Lair."  

Today, the on-demand gay-themed channel "here!" premieres its own vampire show, "The Lair" (available for purchase on a per-episode basis starting today via Comcast On Demand). "The Lair" is better than the supernatural-themed here! show "Dante's Cove" by virtue of its brevity (a half-hour vs. an hour) and the acting talent of its cast. Where "Dante's Cove" features almost exclusively painful-to-watch acting, "The Lair" features bad acting alongside some decent performances, particularly David Moretti as newspaper reporter Thom, who begins investigating a sex club called The Lair. It's run by Damian (Peter Stickles, "Shortbus") whose staff includes a Billy Idol lookalike (the worst actor in the bunch).

Thom gets more interested in the evil doings at The Lair after his boyfriend, Jonathan (Jesse Cutlip), has a run-in with the Idol clone.

Two episodes, written and directed by Fred Olen Ray, were sent for review. Each suffers from amateurish pacing and editing. It's clearly targeted at a niche audience that wants to see naked guys having vampire sex (the only full frontal shot was of a corpse from a distance); think of it as the gay equivalent of Cinemax After Dark.

Awful as it is in a general sense (production values, acting, etc.), "The Lair" does benefit from some true camp value. A preview for episode three made me laugh out loud when Thom's co-worker, Laura (Beverly Lynne), declares, "It doesn't prove there are gay vampire witches operating a sex club on the island!" Top that, "Desperate Housewives."


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