Firstly I want to do a quick shout out to Peter Grendle (director of Blood Soaked) and the entire team involved with the film for allowing me to watch an online screener prior to the films official release date. For those of you interested in checking it out, the following is the link for a Region 1 Dvd of the film. It’s available from June 17th
Blood Soaked is a 70’s style low-budget exploitation/grindhouse film from Wildeye Releasing. It’s a film about a lesbian college couple that become stranded in the middle of nowhere after they hit an animal with their car. What the girls don’t know is that two twisted Neo-Nazi sisters, who have been breeding zombies with a special formula are determined to see the girls captured and tested. It stars Kevin Wester, Heather Wilder, Rachel Corona and Laina Grendle. Peter made a short film back in 2008 called “This Side Of Nightmare” which contained the basic elements and plot structure of what is now “Blood Soaked” a full length feature. After having seen the film I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t left as a short film.
Heading into any film with any type of budget for that matter, I always try to find positive things to say about any aspects of the film and sometimes that is difficult to do. “Blood Runs Cold”, “A Cadaver Christmas”, “The Cook” and “The Porkchop Trilogy” are just a few of the many micro budget films that I have watched and really enjoyed, so like I said the money issue has very little to do with it.
A couple of the girls that were cast in Blood Soaked really seem to have a lot of personality and look great as well, so that was something. There is also a bunch of great rock/punk and metal style songs throughout the film that I really enjoyed hearing. The films strongest aspect is definitely the cool use of black and white, which is primarily in the second half. I’m not sure about the reasons for switching to black and white but it doesn’t really bother me because I thought it was quiet effective.
Now comes the part I really don’t like. Unfortunately you do see your fair share of failed attempts in low-budget filmmaking, especially when it involves people with little to no experience. Where do I start with Blood Soaked? I guess at its core it’s a revenge flick with a bit of a nod to similar films within the genre like “Dear God No” and “Nora!”. Ultimately though it has no real story or plot, at least none that you could care about. I couldn’t make out many details about the story, like whether the father was killed by the two sisters after being experimented on or was he killed during Hitler’s regime?? As far as I could see it was basically two crazy Neo-Nazi sisters trying to turn people into zombies in order to create some sort of army?? I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, it was very bizarre even for this style of film.
Aside from a non-existent story the film has technical issues galore. I understand some of that is down to experience and not just budgetary constraints. The camera work from the outset is fiercely shaky, however it does improve as the film progresses. There was even movement during what was supposed to be still shots inside the bunker/house, and that too me is film 101, the basics. The audio was very crackly in several scenes and at times unbearable in its inconsistency between the bass and sound effects comparable with how very hollow and quite the dialogue was. The score was another thing that was really uninspiring, where was the music to carry the tension?? It’s also very poorly lit inside the bunker scenes, along with some choppy and repetitive editing between scenes, relaying the same shot before a new scene started. All the technical aspects I felt were very amateurish. I think there is a lot of room for improvement in Peter’s next project.
The actors/actresses probably did the best with what they were given but most of the more intense emotional scenes felt really forced. Between the lame fight sequences and overbearing hysteria and screaming that would then all of a sudden cease. It became difficult to concentrate on what was really taking place. I didn’t find Sadie or her sister menacing in the slightest and considering they were supposed to be truly evil and sadistic, somehow it got lost in the delivery. Lastly, I was hoping Blood Soaked would at least have some really cool practical gore effects but alas it didn’t. I know sometimes that can be down to practicality and budget/time constraints. But I can’t think of any one gag in this film that was something worth mentioning. For what was marketed as a 70’s style sleazy grindhouse throwback failed to deliver on any of what looked to have promise.
Blood Soaked clocks in at a rapid 64 minutes running time between opening and closing credits. I have to be honest I only watched until the 46 minute mark and I struggled to get that far. I think sadly even if all the technical aspects were executed well, this film still would have struggled to make any real impact. Plain and simply it’s just down to the lack of story compiled with the technical failures there just wasn’t much reason to continue watching. I haven’t seen “This Side Of Nightmare” but I imagine after seeing Blood Soaked that the idea may have worked a lot better as an experimental short film and maybe left as that. I really wish there was something good I could say about this, but I think I will leave it at that. I’m sure Peter will improve with more experience and I know he probably has some great ideas, hopefully one of which I will see in the not to distant future. I commend the team on having a go, I have never made anything and don’t know that I could, I am just a reviewer, just one person. Watch and find out for yourself. Thanks again for sending me the screener and I’m just sorry I couldn’t give this one a rave review. Those of you interested in checking it out and making your own judgements should support it and buy a cheap copy from the above link
My rating for “Blood Soaked” is 2/10