Directed by Shaun Piccinino
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Oh dear. Oh dear. What did this reviewer do in the past to deserve having to sit through The Bloodletting? It probably had something to do with Crystal Pepsi. Yes, I shall take the blame for that one. It was a good idea at the time, don’t ya know. All the bubbly goodness of Pepsi without the pesky dark color or flavor or anything else that made Pepsi popular … how could it have gone wrong?
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding The Bloodletting. The script for it was written in nine days and shot by a crew of less than five people. A lot of heart and sweat was poured into this film, and supposedly some of those associated with it are now making bigger bucks in Hollywood. So do those things and the awards it won make it a good film? Or even a watchable one?
All signs point to “no” when one first looks at the DVD case for The Bloodletting. It has your typical cover that ends up having nothing to do with the movie (special effects or character wise), and then a quick look at the back of the box to see what special features are included yields no results. That’s right … NOTHING. Hmmm, this doesn’t sound good. There are no commentaries, trailers, fan reaction videos, or even a flashy menu screen. Just these little things give off big clues as to what the audience is in for.
The opening credits that start off this eighty-six-minute vampire romp are indeed flashy. The camera scans over old books on the nocturnal bloodsuckers as faint candlelight flickers. For a moment this reviewer was having second thoughts. Maybe there was a mix-up and The Bloodletting was published on DVD before any special features or extras could be added. Then the brutish reality of the real movie hit. WHAM! The eye pleasing intro vanishes, and from there we’re treated to a very shoddy looking and feeling production. Things start off with two skimpily dressed young women walking through a dark alley. Within only a few minutes we get our first couple of kills and some rapid blood gushing.
What follows is an ultra low budget vampire story that never, ever gets very deep in its own plot. Vampire wants girl. Vampire kills off all her friends to get to girl. Vampire engages in some fairly enjoyable fight scenes that have a hint of The Matrix, and then said Vampire dies … or does he?! That pretty much wraps up the whole movie. Sound familiar? Sure, this is a pretty cut and paste plot for a vampire flick, but it never hits the mark like the Buffy series or even the Blade trilogy did. The characters do not get to develop, and many can be labeled as blood feast fodder within a couple of lines of embarrassingly spoken dialogue.
The Bloodletting certainly does have its negatives. There is no doubt about it. Everything from the script, the acting, and the plot holes make it hard to sit through. However, the film does have a little spark that somehow holds it all together. That spark, though helpful, doesn’t really appear until the film is almost over. Near the end of the movie The Bloodletting takes a turn for the better. The quality of the video and the acting seems to step up a notch when bitches are being thrown across the room like the Juggernaut’s playthings.
The fight scenes are surprisingly well done, if not a tad repetitive. Walls get broken, baseball bats are splintered, and someone needs to go find Morpheus before things get any further out-of-hand. There is cat-like springing galore, and a few rather brutal beat downs occur that almost make the last thirty minutes of the film seem worth the pain. It’s just too bad that no one in the cast remembers that you need to stab a vampire through the heart, not the abdomen or lower ribcage. Apparently the standard method for dealing with vampires is a little broader than we thought. Just stab them anywhere. Hell, hit them with a pillow and they’ll probably die with the exception of the head bloodsucker.
There seem to be a lot of people out there who think this movie is good just because it was put together, filmed, and given distribution. Folks, it’s not all that hard to get your film out there anymore. Just because it’s printed on a DVD does not mean it is any more special than big budget Hollywood flops. This is why The Bloodletting can’t be recommended for everyone. Vampire fans may scoff at the lack of detail/continuity errors, and horror fans may get tired of just seeing bottle after bottle of strawberry Quik being thrown about. Fans of independent cinema may find it to be a bit appealing if they can look past a good chunk of the acting and skip to the last half hour. Fans of high school plays will be pleased as well. If you are one of those who are satisfied with this mess, then someone needs to put you on the “special list.”
I saw some titties!
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Discuss The Bloodletting in our forums!