Strange Blood (2015)
Starring Robert Brettenaugh, Alexandra Bard, James Adam Lim
Directed by Chad Michael Ward
I’m sure we all can appreciate any doctor who is willing to literally defy ALL the laws of science, to go against the grain, and attempt to combat each and every disease known to man, whether it be debilitating or terminal in its diagnosis. However, the idea of a rogue practitioner of such methods and teachings is a terrifying one, especially when what you’ve sworn to eliminate rears it’s ugly head, and makes you a casualty as well – enter Strange Blood.
From director Chad Michael Ward, who has spent his career behind the lens working on shorts only, finally opts to run the full marathon of filmmaking, and gives us a presentation that looks adequate, but comes off as one of those “this reminds me of” kinds of films, and aside from a decent sousing of gore, there unfortunately isn’t much to speak of in this 83-minute display. Robert Brettenaugh leads the charge as Dr. Henry Moorehouse, who valiantly decides to spur the stereotype of the doctor who just plugs along at his practice, instead becoming a focused (yet slightly detached from reality) specialist, who vows to find a cure to literally every serious malady that plagues the human race, and better yet, he’s going to do it with one organism that he has exquisitely named “Ella.” She’s a large, pulsating conglutination that resides in a tank, and supposedly contains the cure that will set man free – like that’s really going to happen.
Moorehouse’s assistant, Gemma (Bard) is a mere bystander to what will eventually overcome the deranged doc, and that’s the imminent parasitic-like infection that turns him into a bloodthirsty vampiric-lunatic, complete with freshly shaved-skull, and the love of strolling around in his domicile covered in numerous coatings of bodily fluids…sounds like a party! As time progresses and the infection deepens, Gemma searches for reasons as to why this has happened, and though answers seem fruitless, it doesn’t stop her from offering up her own flesh to the nightstalking M.D. Repetition about-faces its uncomely mug far too many times in this film, and while the common fan could look at this, remembering the days of Goldblum and Davis’s interactions in The Fly, there just isn’t much of a connection between these two, which ultimately makes it harder to sympathize with either of their characters, combined with Bard’s left-handed performance – the woman is supposed to be playing a medical assistant, and comes off like a Jersey Shore extra, with the cursing and attitude – severely recondite.
Brettenaugh is decent in his job as a man who’s desire to reach the unreachable turns around to bite him in the throat, leaving him to become something that…well, likes to bite people in the throat, I guess – never TOO creepy or overboard, but simply tiptoeing the line of sanity. While I’m a sucker for the gore train making regular stops to Sanitary-Town, I’ll have to admit that many scenes appeared lost with the suppressed lighting, therefore not allowing the beauty of a full-on crimson shower to take effect, and aside from a bathroom-tryst that goes horribly wrong for one lovely nightclubbin’ lady, the remainder of the plasma-profusion is simply, “splash, rinse, repeat.”
Overall, I could offer Strange Blood to those who are intransigent vampire aficionados, simply so they could line this one up against their favorites to compare and contrast, but this one just rang out as another mad-scientist romp that fell well short of the mark, leaving it to fit nicely inside one of those 2 inch by 2 inch DVD artwork squares, combined with other low-budgeted yawners jammed onto one disc that you’d find in a Wal-Mart bargain bin.