Friday, January 24, 2014


A few years before Guillermo del Toro directed the recent summer SciFi blockbuster PACIFIC RIM, he co-wrote with Chuck Hogan a vampire horror novel titled  THE STRAIN which reached the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List in 2009.  Dark Horse comics adapted the novel to a comic book series in 2011 and now the story is coming to the small screen with the cable channel FX (home to American Horror Story, The Americans & Sons of Anarchy ) airing a television show based on del Toro's novel starting in July 2014.

Picture a stormy night at JFK airport with the wind whipping and lighting crashing.  A plane routinely lands but than just stops dead on the tarmac.  All the shades on its windows are drawn down, the lights are off, and no one is answering its radio.  In addition, to SWAT and counter-terrorism units being brought in to address the situation, a crack team from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is called in to help ascertain the situation.  This is how THE STRAIN begins.

The plane is the beginning of a vampire infestation of New York City.  These aren't the glamorized vampires of Dracula lore though but rather grotesque mutated monsters that really put the "horror" into the vampire myth.  If you've seen the mutated vampires in the movie BLADE 2, which del Toro also happened to direct, you get the picture.  If not check out the great artwork in Dark Horse's STRAIN comic books for some great visuals.  The book and TV show will revolve around how the CDC tackles this vampire epidemic.

Unlike Dracula and other vampire stories that provide a mystical element for the origin and creation of these creatures of the night, THE STRAIN takes a scientific approach to explaining them.  The vampires are infected by parasitic worms that carry a virus that is passed on to humans causing them to mutate.  The worms are introduces to a person's body through a vampire's feeding or through it entering on its own in an invasive manner through a wound or orifice.  The worms feed off of blood and as they do that they transmit an incurable vampire virus transforming the victim.

These vampires develop "stingers" that shoot out of their mouths to lach onto their human prey and suck out their blood.  If the vampire doesn't kill their prey through feeding on them than the person is infected by worms that make their way into their body during the feeding infecting them with the virus and turning them into vampires too.  The vampires in the strain also lose their hair and fingernails, while gaining sharp talons and a hard skin covering for protection.  Not the most glamorous of characters are they but pretty creepy.

If you enjoy THE WALKING DEAD, you will probably enjoy THE STRAIN.  Here's a teaser trailer from FX for this new show:

For more information, about FX'S THE STRAIN visit:

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