Bloodmask (2007)


Bloodmask reviewStarring Kimberly Nocita, Elizabeth DiPrinzio, Will Gardner, Danielle DeLuca, Randal Malone, Ford Austin

Directed by Dennis Devine

Usually it’s the partying teens breaking out the Ouija Board that starts all the trouble in a horror flick. In the case of Bloodmask: The Possession of Nicole Lameroux, they take to the Ouija Board about an hour in hoping to get some answers as to what in the hell was going on. I was curious myself for I, too, had little clue what the hell I’d been watching for the past hour. I don’t know if it was because the plot was a truly convoluted mess or if because I was missing key pieces of dialogue while having to constantly fiddle with the audio, but Houston, we most definitely had a problem.

One thing is damn certain: this movie boasts one of the worst audio jobs I’ve ever heard. I don’t know if it was the filmmaker’s fault or that of the company that did the DVD authoring, but one moment everyone would sound like they were whispering, so I’d have to crank the audio up. No sooner would I do so, someone would scream or some loud music or sound effect would play, blasting at near maximum level, forcing me to scramble to turn it back down. I was constantly going up and down with the audio, missing out on entire pieces of dialogue all in trying to keep from blowing out the speakers on my television set. So not only did this movie suck, just trying to watch it was a complete pain in the ass.

Now I’m going to be honest with you when I tell you that I still don’t completely grasp everything that happened even though the plot seemed quite simplistic. Unfortunately, I did understand enough to know that even the stuff I didn’t understand wasn’t going to make this junk any better. This is a movie with the production values of one of those “Hell Houses” that many Christians put on around Halloween and the acting and storytelling is equally on par.

Things open up with something to do with some witches back in the day: a sacrifice, a witch’s trial, and an execution by way of having an iron mask with spikes on the inside being impaled on the main witch’s face. The religious executioner is played by the same guy that will play the priestly father of the main character and the one person trying to stand up for the witch girl is played by the same actor who will play the history teacher of the main character. We’ll later come to find out that the priestly father and the history teacher are descendants of the characters shown in the opening flashback. It’ll also explain why they clearly know more than they initially let on about what troubles young Nicole Lameroux. The claim is that she suffers from post-traumatic stress from an earlier tragedy. Post-traumatic stress that causes her eyes to roll back in her head like she’s having one hell of an orgasm and shaking violently‚Ķ With behavior like that one would hope it turns out there’s something supernatural going on.

Bloodmask reviewNicole Lameroux is definitely a teenage girl with some serious issues, not the least of which is that her father is priest. Don’t ask.

Even some of her classmates think she’s freaky. Can’t imagine why they’d feel that way; don’t most teenage girls climb on top of their desks and have freak-outs in the middle of a classroom lecture on witchcraft?

Speaking of freaky, Nicole gets into a scuffle with Eastern European-accented June, another blonde classmate who seems to spend her non-school hours stripped down to her bra & panties in order to be spanked by a dominatrix. Again, don’t ask.

Another classmate is a dimwitted hunk with maturity issues who has been working as something of a caretaker for this house that used to be owned by the late Lady Montfort. The official story is that her gardener went crazy and mutilated her. The truth surrounding her murder is that she was killed by one of those spiked masks to the face and the gardener lost his mind after coming across the carnage.

But who cares if this house was once the site of a brutal murder – it’s party time! All you need is some classmates, some unidentifiable canned beverages, some homemade burritos, and a former crime scene and you got a party. Well, in their minds that constitutes a party. Woohoo!

The house actually belongs to that of co-star Randal Malone. I’ve seen this house featured in several other movies I’ve reviewed such as Blood Legend and The Curse of the Lizzie Borden, both of which also feature Malone because, as I read in an online article recently, one of the conditions he has for renting his house to film crews is that they have to give him a part in the movie. That’s usually both a blessing and a curse since he’s not much of an actor yet he’s sooooooo not much of an actor it can be genuinely funny watching him try to be one. His role here as the teacher is small and subdued so even his over-the-top bad acting isn’t on hand to add some fun to the proceedings. The house, by the way, makes for a great setting because the inside is so gawdy in a Nora Desmond by way of John Waters sort of way. It’s like a 1920’s antique store vomited.

Bloodmask reviewIt isn’t long before one of their friends ends up dead, her decapitated head found on the dining room table with one of those spiked masks stuck to her face (also a good way to cover up the obvious mannequin head prop used for the effect.) They quickly realize that they’re trapped inside the house too. Some go hunting around the house in search of an exit; others feel compelled to deal with matters of their personal relationship even as the truly laughable-looking ghost of that murdered witch from the beginning of the film (now complete with white painted face, Jedi cloak, and a booming devil voice for added effect) tries to kill them with more spiked masks to the face or through the use of other psychic powers – psychic powers that are displayed by actually having the actress playing the witch and anyone she possesses (i.e. Nicole) put their fingers up to their temples and make a squinty-eyed face. Seriously.

A guy and a girl will begin getting it on fully aware that friend’s decapitated corpse rests on the floor right next to them only about a foot or two away. Seriously.

Adding to Nicole’s troubles is crazy S&M fetishist June, who has now doned her red leather coat and decided to go all Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. June is lurking somewhere in the house waiting for just the right moment to subdue and dominate Nicole. Fortunately, June’s personal dominatrix has alerted Nicole’s dad and the teacher – both of whom appeared to be engaged in a folk rock pow-wow at Nicole’s house at the time – that June has gone funny in the head and may be up to know good at the Montfort house.

I fully realize that this movie doesn’t take itself very seriously. That should be obvious the very moment a fight between characters culminates with one character squatting over the other and pretending to beat on the them in a manner akin to that of a preschooler pretending to play the drums. Just the sheer amount of ass slapping in this movie alone makes it impossible to be taken seriously. But as I watched I found myself wondering who exactly was the film made for? The unintentionally funny stuff is funnier than the intentionally funny stuff and it simply isn’t made to be intentionally funny enough to qualify as a horror comedy. It is a fairly straightforward horror movie, but with moments of camp, bargain basement production values, and a story that’s as convoluted as it is not scary. All the deaths are relatively the same with shots of bug-eyed victims having a mask squished on their faces while they scream and squibs bleed. It’s even got a cast of rather attractive females, but there isn’t any sex or nudity despite one or two actresses who strip down to their underwear for a few brief moments of awkward kink. I really understand the how or why to making a movie like this. It isn’t even a case of it being painfully bad (aside from the audio issues). I just watch a movie like Bloodmask: The Possession of Nicole Lameroux and think why did they bother to make it and why am I bothering to watch it. It exists solely to exist. I’d ask if a movie like this actually generates any sort of a profit but then I remember Ulli Lommel’s infinitely worse crap actually makes money.

It all really brings me back to something I’ve told others in the past. It doesn’t matter if a movie costs three hundred million or only three hundred dollars; good is good and bad is bad, and Bloodmask: The Possession of Nicole Lameroux is just plain bad.

1 out of 5

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