Monday, January 04, 2016

Bloodbath – review

Directors: Dan Speaker & Kim Turney

Release date: 1999

Contains Spoilers

Whilst this shot on video flick is available on a DVD set, I actually came across it over at Vimeo. It is, undoubtedly, a bit of a mess but it has a charm that stems from its audacious nature. This film has to have the cheapest way of portraying a werewolf ever!

As well as the werewolf – whom we’ll get to – the film is a Countess Báthory movie, in this case going under the name Elizabeth Bartholomew (Susannah Devereux). We get a very brief history lesson mentioning her drinking and bathing in blood, the 600+ victims and her being walled up for her crimes. It is then suggested that whilst many thought she died in her prison others believe she still lives – cut to Hollywood. The whole intro is very melodramatic.

no-one there.... err...
A young woman, Candi Cohen (Jennifer Patterson), arrives at a building. She rings the bell and a voice asks what she wants, when she says she is there for her audition the gate opens. The inside is a bit dingy and no-one seems to be around (bar the person who answered the bell, of course). Amusingly she looks in one room and we can see a group of people in the room whilst she is musing that no-one is there. Suddenly Elizabeth Bartholomew is there and suggests that Candi can do her rehearsal with her.

Candi questions her on who she is and when she discovers that it is Elizabeth she starts to gush about being a big fan. Elizabeth handcuffs the girl up and starts to undo her blouse. She then nicks Candi with a knife. However the film’s producer, Guy Ferencz (Charles Currier), and director, Klara Bartok (Jan Bryant), come in and rescue the girl. The rescue is short lived as Guy asks her whether she wants to audition now, strips her, handcuffs her and Elizabeth looks to whip her. The slo-mo was so badly done here that it was jerky. From behind a closed door we hear Candi scream.

dead and bitten
Detective Maggie Donovan (Dana Fredsti) is working out when her partner Detective Tony Marten (Anthony Martini) arrives. They are working a case where young actresses are being targeted. Half are missing and the other half were found dead and drained of blood. The only connection seems to be they all had boob jobs! They get a call from the police Chief (Joey Pal) to say there has been another. When they get to the house (and suffer a berating from the Chief for tardiness) they discover that the corpse belongs to Candi Cohen.

Donovan, Tony and Zedron
Her roommate, Tina (Kathryn Cleasby), confirms that Candi had an audition with Countess Productions the day before. She was freaked out by the audition but then got a call to say she had the role. She went out, was back around 2 AM (Tina was kept awake by a dog howling so heard her come in) and Tina found the body in the morning. We note the two marks on her neck. The Detectives invite Tina to stay with Donavan and then investigate Countess Productions but Guy seems unduly interested in Donavan and Tony is hired as an extra for his sword skills and catches Elizabeth’s eye. Finally the FBI get involved through Max Zedron (Dan Speaker).

Zedron and Klara
Max is the werewolf and is as long lived as the vampires (who are Guy, Klara and Elizabeth). But what a way to do a werewolf! We are told repeatedly that a large dog is seen hanging around the area. That’s it… he never transforms, we never see the dog and whilst he is shot with a silver bullet (allegedly) he doesn’t die as the shooter misses the heart. So, if you want a cheap way of portraying a werewolf just have the character declare themselves one and save all that money on transformation effects!

having a bite
As for the vampires, they can walk in daylight, crosses have no effect and they have no fangs. That’s stated, no fangs… so what about the fang marks on Candi? Oops! We do discover that drinking a vampire’s blood three times will turn someone and a vampire cannot attack their creator. We discover that the master vampire was created by a ritual using blood and a sword forged from a meteorite and that sword is needed to kill her. Other than that any piercing of the heart will do for a standard vampire. We do get a brief blood bathing and, unusually, it involves sex in the bath of blood.

bath of blood
So there were plot holes and goofs, the filming was poorly done and the acting was amateurish mainly. But the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves. The audacious lack of werewolf sfx tickled me. Is it a good film though… of course not. 3 out of 10 balances that fun the cast seemed to be having and all the poor aspects.

The imdb page is here.

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