Death Valley REVIEW

Death Valley DVD review: Whoop! Whoop! That’s the sound of the beasts


Release Date: 21 January 2013
2011 | 15 | 255 minutes | £15.99
Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
Creators: Eric Weinberg, Curtis Gwinn, Spider One
Cast: Bryan Callen, Charlie Sanders, Bryce Johnson, Caity Lotz, Tania Raymonde, Texas Battle

Plenty of sci-fi shows have humorous elements, but there’s a reason why so few out-and-out comedies are worth peeling your arse off the sofa and popping a disc in the DVD player: it’s really, really hard to get it right. Death Valley’s first (and only) season almost cracks it.

This MTV-produced show is a law enforcement fly-on-the-wall mockumentary that follows the UTF (Undead Task Force), who police vampires, zombies and werewolves in the San Fernando Valley. Think Reno 911! meets Zombieland.

For the UTF, taking out some supernatural nasty is no different from regular law enforcement. Much of the pitch-black humour stems from the casual approach to their peculiar profession and the plethora of outlandish and ultra-gory ways the undead are dispatched. Vampires have been integrated into society, as in True Blood, so aren’t hunted, but they are closely tied in with the surprisingly decent season arc.

How much you enjoy Death Valley will depend on your tolerance for relentless bawdy humour, surreal asides and a fratboy mentality that’s only slightly more elegant than it was in Beavis and Butt-Head. It’s funny, but we’d advise against bingeing on all 12 episodes in one sitting.

Extras:

An alternate ending that was filmed as a contingency in case Bryce Johnson couldn’t fulfil his role after leaving to film another soon-to-be-cancelled show; a handful of short in-character interviews; a music video; and a great supercut of every kill in the show (with a counter).

Jordan Farley twitter.com/JordanFarley

Read our Charlie Sanders interview (he plays bumbling cop Joe in Death Valley).
Read more of our DVD reviews.