Friday night fright

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

Gather 'round, horror fans, it's time for another edition of Friday Night Fright -- the television show guaranteed to scare the beejesus out of a Winnipeg football fan.

Pick up the remote control at your own risk. This is not a show for the faint of heart.

People are still talking about the first episode, and its graphic depiction of a team literally coming apart at the seams. Set in Montreal, it featured the heartless dismembering of a defenceless victim, carried out with surgical precision -- and no anesthetic.

What really had the censors up in arms, though, was the public neutering of a previously productive Winnipeg attack during the first half of the program, a series of scenes so disturbing even the most hardened observer was forced to turn away.

As stomach-turning as the series debut was, there are whispers Episode 2 may be even gorier.

We don't know much, other than the show takes place in Vancouver. There hasn't been this much anticipation (or should that be dread?) for weekend TV since the days of the Chiller Thriller.

Will the life continue to be sucked out of the quarterback, his arm withering and dying before our eyes, or can he get the transfusion he so desperately needs?

Can the little running back break free from the shackles that are holding him, or is he confined forever?

Will members of the defensive backfield continue to be burned beyond recognition?

Most importantly, does the body that's looked so lifeless until now even have a heart?

There are those who continue to insist this season won't be all blood and guts, that the first episode may have got everyone talking, but it isn't necessarily a sign of things to come.

Some predict heroic acts will follow the depravity, with good winning out over evil in the end.

That's what makes it such fascinating television. You never know what the veteran cast members are going to do with all that rope they've been given: start pulling together, in the same direction -- or hang themselves.

The director, Doug Berry, promises change to the script, insisting his crew won't be typecast in the horror genre. The occasional creepy episode is one thing, he says, all but guaranteeing some happy endings.

The producer, Brendan Taman, also says we should continue to tune in, be patient. Sure, he's made a couple of horror shows in the past, but he's never liked them. And he assures us he's on the lookout for new talent.

Then again, he's the man responsible for assembling much of the current cast of bad actors.

We've seen a few series like this before, and more often than not, they take on an ugly tone that carries on through the fall. Invariably, a head or two will roll, after which the script sometimes changes, sometimes doesn't.

There are exceptions, of course.

One thing is certain: no show can serve up the amount of gore, week after week, that we saw in Episode 1: The Massacre in Montreal.

The CRTC wouldn't stand for it. Come to think of it, the public probably wouldn't, either.

They'll want to see some creativity, not the same old, same old. A couple of good lines, one on each side of the ball. A view of something other than the underbelly of their football team.

So go ahead, turn on your TV sets tonight. High definition, even, if you dare.

Chew your fingernails, clutch your pillow and be ready to cover your eyes.

It's reality TV at its finest.

Or scariest.


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