Bloody Movie

July 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm (4 Heads, Bloody Movie) (, , , , )

Bloody Movie – 1987 – United States

Bloody Movie—a.k.a. the equally generic Terror Night—was shot in 1987 but released 2004. Why unearth this turkey? Andre De Toth (House of Wax) and Fred Olen Ray (lots of B goodies) are thanked in the credits. IMDB reviews are complimentary: “unconventional”, “surprisingly original”, and “highly underrated”. Don’t be fooled. You know my deep love for genre movies (I enjoy Manos: Hands of Fate non-ironically), so if I trash talk a flick, take note.

Bloody Movie has a promising premise. 20-somethings hang in the condemned mansion of a supposedly dead silent film star. Of course he’s not. Donning his old costumes, he kills the interlopers. In the first and most rewarding murder, the killer (as a mobster) strings a man between a tree and a car, accelerating to tear him in half. From there it’s all convention: pirate’s hook, sheik’s scimitar, knight’s axe, Robin Hood’s bow. Meanwhile, the 20-somethings drink, bicker, and have boring sex.

There are a few good ideas in this mess. As the killer strikes, montages of old films and posters stylishly depict his various roles. The final murder is unique as the killer plays Othello and he and the victim (nonsensically) wear period costumes and trade lines from Shakespeare. The opening/ending themes (“In Hollywood” and “Come Make Your Heaven in LA” by Ian Whitcomb) are catchy and sarcastic. And there’s a sweet remote-controlled, mega strong robot arm (that’s never used for anything).

Beyond those inspired moments, Bloody Movie is rough. Visually, like many 80s B efforts, the lighting is overly bright and flat, and claustrophobic camera work never gives a sense of location (imperative for an old mansion). The generic music and canned sound effects are cartoonish. Worse, the dialogue is gratingly lousy. One girl loudly proclaims “Dude!” one hundred times, while the others whine and make catty quips.

Ultimately, Bloody Movie is insipid. Uninspired bloodletting and clichéd characters (i.e. nerdy guy Chip “like a computer chip”) come together with only a hint of style and atmosphere. This wouldn’t necessarily disqualify Bloody Movie from being enjoyable. For instance, Fred Olen Ray cranks out hackneyed tripe, infusing it with irrepressible love and enthusiasm. Bloody Movie just goes through the motions.

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. Forgettable slasher trash. But don’t take my word for it, Bloody Movie has its fans.

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