Starring Ice-T, Michael McFadden, Chris James Boylan
Directed by Dan Lantz
1933 prohibition-era New Jersey: the booze was to be kept secret, as was the “harvesting” of a much more crucial liquid…well, to those of the nightcrawling-type anyway. On the stage of a smoky speakeasy is a bandleader – dapper fellow, smooth with the crowd…looks almost like he’s done this type of thing before. Wait a minute! Isn’t that guy a rapper?
Bloodrunners, the latest film from director Dan Lantz, decides to drive the vampire-genre back to the days of bootlegging and city cops on the take. Michael McFadden (who also wrote), stars as Jack Malone, a hard-nosed, chain-smoking beat cop who’s also got a nose for the greenback, and his weekly shakedowns have led him to the newly-opened hideaway that’s a hit with the locals already. Led by a mysterious owner named Chesterfield (Ice-T), the club begins to rake in money hand over fist, and Malone’s all-too-anxious to get his palms greased with the cold hard cash. If the thought of bloodsuckers running a nightclub seems a bit hokey, don’t let them know – these beasts are brutal to the core, and when a local woman turns up slaughtered in the woods, a clear message has been sent. As the heat begins to pile on Chesterfield and his clan of fanged-supporters, a battle is on the horizon, and the only hope for a little order to be restored in this metropolis is for Malone to scrounge up a little assistance. His backup? A goofy busboy, the lead-lady at the local brothel (where Malone and his boys are quite the celebs) and a preacher that should have been locked up in the nuthouse a long, long time ago – something’s got to give – living or dead, who’ve you got your hard-earned dollar on?
Lantz and McFadden do a nice job with incorporating a fun backstory into the film that weaves well with the main plotline, and while the movie’s blueprint is solid, it’s the extremely shoddy cgi used to showcase the gore that holds the exhibition back, with washed out shades for crimson and choppy imagery placed into shots when it comes to impalings and other forms of punishment. Sad to say that in the state of even semi-low budgeted films, it’s the computer graphics that appear to have the most trouble with conversion onto film. McFadden is straight-up fun to watch work as the no-nonsense cop with a dirty side, and even Ice-T plays his role as the lead vamp with a coolness that only he can emit. Overall, Bloodrunners won’t knock anyone’s socks off with balls-to-the-wall action or overly inventive filmmaking, but it’s still a fun watch for those who want a little throwback in time with their parasitical activity – give it a look when it releases on March 7th.