Canada, 2013, 85 minutes, Colour.
Derek Lee, Clif Prowse , Baya Rehaz.
Directed by Derek Lee, Cliff Prowse.
By the end of this film, afflicted seems to be a very mild word. Derek Lee is certainly far more than afflicted.
This is a film in the tradition begun by The Blair Witch Project. However, this is not found footage, but footage created along the way, designed for posting on social media and reaching its initial audience that way.
The film starts with two friends being introduced, rather happy-go-lucky types, deciding to go for a trip around the world for a year. However, Derek is diagnosed with the beginnings of some illness but decides to go nonetheless. Clif has a great deal of equipment to photograph the trip.
They do get to go to Barcelona and meet friends there who are playing in a band. They also get to Paris and they get to Italy. However, on the way, they encounter a young woman named Audrey – and she has quite an effect on Derek.
Derek begins to manifest extraordinary characteristics including smashing through a brick wall, running at 60 km an hour, an ability to climb buildings – touch of the parody of a superhero. Clif is continually worried, does film a lot of the episodes, but wants to get Derek to have medical care, to get him to a hospital. Sometimes this does happen.
However, Derek develops a thirst for human blood, waves down an ambulance, causes mayhem in hospital, Clif has to cut himself to provide some temporary blood… By this stage Derek seems to be completely vampiric, even trying to kill himself by bashing his head against a wall – but it heals.
Clif is concerned, disappears. A cousin comes from America to help Derek but is accidentally killed. Contact is made with Audrey and she comes to visit Derek but is unable to give him any solace at all.
What starts out like a young adults’ journey to Europe, transforms into an effective variation on horror themes and vampires.
Needless to say, it has its target audience and mainstream audiences will probably find it bizarre and offputting.