'Death Valley': Bryan Callen REALLY loves his monster-killing role
If you read my syndicated feature story on MTV's new horror/comedy "Death Valley," which premiered on Monday, you know that actor Bryan Callen is really into his part as Capt. Frank Dashell of the LAPD's Undead Task Force (UTF).
The unit -- dedicated to killing a sudden influx of vampires, werewolves and zombies into the San Fernando Valley are of Los Angeles -- is also the subject of reality-TV cameras, a la "Cops."
Understand when you read the following comments that Callen is speaking as Dashell (or at least we're pretty sure he was):
On vampires: "My concern isn't so much the werewolves; my concern is more with the vampires. I happen to think the vampires are hell-bent on world hegemony. It's in their nature. They are a coercive, expansive force, like any virus, and a very destructive one, so my biggest concern is really about the vampires.
"Control the vampires, and the werewolves and zombies go away. What you don't realize is the vampires get the zombies and werewolves to do their dirty work, so really, the big danger here is people thinking all we need to do is contain.
"I think the vampires will use any means at their disposal to wreak havoc and gain control. They're not just about destroying things; it's about control. It's about turning civilians, and it's about gaining as much power as they can.
"So, if they have to use a drug cartel, they will, and they do, by the way. They use the criminal element all the time. So, once again, the only good vampire is not an undead vampire but a dead vampire. They're very hard to kill, you know, but that's how it is.
"The problem is, they're a very sneaky group. They're very seductive. Vamps are very, very seductive.
"I would say that I never feel as alive as I do when I'm taking out a vampire. To watch them sizzle under my stake or to blast them with my ray gun, my UV gun, that's a pretty good feeling."
On killing humans bitten by zombies (which happened to an unfortunate sound man in the first episode): "The most challenging aspect of the job is to break ties very quickly with a human being that's been bitten by a zombie. It could be your mother; it could be your best friend; it could be your child.
"But the fact of the matter is, they gotta go. We don't have a cure for it, and the virus acts very, very quickly, and you turn into raging, dangerous zombie very quickly. So, the only answer there is to blow their head off.
"That can be tough; you gotta break quick."
On silver bullets: "Um, that's a myth. We don't have silver bullets. We don't kill werewolves unless it's absolutely necessary. Werewolves are to be tranquilized and just confined. We have a pretty good and strong program. Werewolves have to turn themselves in when the full moon comes out.
"We have a lockdown program. We have a registrar, and we make sure the werewolves are incarcerated during the full moon, which is usually a two-day period."
On comparing the simulated peril faced by the mockumentary cameramen of "Death Valley" to the real peril faced by the documentary cameramen of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch": That's a fair assessment; that's a good comparison. You're right about that. I will say, you've only seen the pilot, and you're in for a helluva ride, because it just gets better from there."