Look: with the advent of low-cost digital filmmaking, practically anyone with a couple of bucks and a good cell phone can write, produce, and shoot a film these days. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone with a good cell phone should be allowed to do it. That alone may very well be the lesson to low/no budget schlock like BLOOD SOAKED; it’s a kinda/sorta clever idea absolutely hamstrung by entirely amateurish execution.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. More after the break …
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
From the product packaging: “A freshmen on her first day of college is seduced by an older co-ed and shares a sleepless night in the New Mexico desert. But this newly formed lesbian couple’s first day together is violently interrupted by a pair of orphaned sisters with a taste for kidnapping, torture and the creation of flesh-eating zombies in their underground bunker! As they fight for their lives and attempt escape, the couple uncovers the sister’s terrifying plan for a Fourth Reich army of the undead. Now, only the couple’s wits and survival skills will save them from this undead Nazi nightmare.”
The dirty little secret to cinematic flings like BLOOD SOAKED is that they’re made entirely for one unsuspecting audience: typically, horror junkies love the low/no budget thriller that also happens to look like it was shot by the neighbor kid. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some of the neighbors’ kids have fertile imaginations. Others? Well, you’ve seen how they mow your lawn, for Pete’s sake, what did you expect?
The skinny so far as this die-hard lover of horror films (and lesser B-movies) is that BLOOD SOAKED does have an interesting idea that’s all wrapped up in the film’s tagline: it’s “Lesbians Vs. Nazi Zombies!” I mean: doesn’t that SOUND interesting? Doesn’t that SOUND appealing? Doesn’t that SOUND like it should tickle someone’s fancy? No doubt, it does, but beyond that initial tickling there has to be a packaged product living up to even the most modest expectations; on that score, SOAKED is a miserable, unabashed failure. It so poorly shot, so poorly miked, and so poorly staged that I couldn’t quite figure out half the time what was going on. Granted, the idea may’ve come clean after a few minutes … but I shouldn’t HAVE to wait a few minutes to know what’s up. I’m a viewer. I deserve to know on the front end, not the back; otherwise, I’ll lose interest in the process … and that happened repeatedly through my single viewing.
Sadly, for me BLOOD SOAKED didn’t even approach the ‘so bad it’s laughable’ level because I had the feeling that writer/director Peter Grendle wanted this to mean a bit more than what it did. It just didn’t work, and much of the blame can go back to the lack of any possible technical wizardry provided behind-the-camera. Only on that front was the film so bad it was laughable.
BLOOD SOAKED (2014) is produced by Red Letter Cinema. DVD distribution is being handled by the very capable Wild Eye Releasing. As for the technical specifications? Blech. So much of the film is so poorly shot it doesn’t help matters that it so poorly miked that you can hear so very little of it. Those who think this stinker is destined to be a ‘cult classic’ really ought to turn in their film creds right now; the amateurish production qualities will always (always!) kill a good idea. However, on the plus side, if you’re looking for special features, then there are plenty, including not one but two commentaries for a single low, low price.
(NOT REALLY) RECOMMENDED. As I’ve written many times before, I believe I have probably the lowest expectations of anyone when it comes to respectable horror films. All I ask is that there be a story, that the story make sense, and that the talent behind-the-camera as well as before it be up to the task of delivering something worth watching. While BLOOD SOAKED had some modest ideas in the story department, it’s an absolutely miserable mess in production. Bad sound. Bad cinematography. Bad editing. A huge misfire.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Wild Eye Releasing provided me with a DVD copy of BLOOD SOAKED by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review; and their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.
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About the reviewer
What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops". … more