Blood Punch (2013)
Writer – Eddie Guzelian
Director – Madellaine Paxson
Runtime – 107 minutes
Bluff Road Productions
Not to be confused with the epic fantastic, oddball, superhero musical cinematic ( and overall strangeness of) Sucker Punch from 2011. Blood Punch is a feature that starts out a little different than most. Cooking up the ‘perfect’ meth and making the big ‘score’ seems to be the order of the day for at least one of the films main stars. As the film progresses more characters start to believe that this might in fact be the way to go to but there are still lingering doubts. Other elements the film has to offer include, but are in no way limited to, a messy love triangle and a day that just will not end, or more specifically starts anew when it’s through.
Lets discuss that in further length…This films similarity to Groundhog Day thus far is stunning, right? All apart from the drugs and the three-sided shape part that is. Sure, it’s a premise that’s been done before (one of Bill Murrays finest hours, in my opinion) but not quite with this narrative. Blood Punch takes the idea and adds to it with quirky, often tense scenarios, characters one can’t help but instantly either love or hate, criminal underworld dealings, a cabin in the woods (a staple in the horror genre as of late, it seems) and shrouds it all with a blanketing ancient curse. Then (wait there’s more) Blood Punch tosses the whole shebang in a blender and repeatedly smashes the mix button. When the muxture is at a fine consistency it’s time to add the Tarantino-esque sprinkles.
Am I selling this enough?
Before I continue I’d like to mention that both the writer, Eddie Guzelian and director, Madellaine Paxson, are ‘famous’ primarily for their work on childrens shows (Peter Rabbit – the series, Kuu Kuu Harajuku) including Power Rangers which incidently is where they might have made their acquaintance with this features co-main star Milo Cawthorne (yes that chap with the notebook scrawled with metal band logos and grotesque themed art from Deathgasm).
Milo also featured in Power Rangers RPM (2009). The reason I mention this is that the some of the action sequences and parts of the storyline in Blood Punch quite often runs into bizarre territories, rather befitting of that seen in animated programming. But that’s not to say that this isn’t enjoyable, far from it in fact. Madellaine Paxson has crafted a film that’s adrenaline fueled and thought-provoking from the get-go with a nary a boring moment to be experienced. The characters are great and far from the genres typical cardboard fare. Milo adds a certain nerd boy lovability (what ever that is) whereas Russell, Ari Boyland, portrays a believable psychopath (“I told you he’s the Devil!”).
Olivia Tennet, who portrays Skyler, does a bang-up job enthralling Milos character and as she does so leaves the audience forever wondering what her actual motives might be.
The story, unique as it is, is unbelievably easy to follow, flows well and fast altogether a great pairing to its strange nature. Because of this fact the film often finds itself in other arenas, namely sci-fi and thriller. However, with that being said Blood Punch is definitely a horror film on account of the premise, the amount of spilled claret, the macabre narrative and the dark humor element that somehow squeezes itself in nearly every scene.
The writing, direction and dialogue are applaudable with many a twist and turn to facilitate in keeping the viewers interest. One might believe the main shocker of the story has been revealed, relatively early on, but this is when other elements are injected to keep the story interesting and fresh.
Predictability is a factor that seems to crop up, the story may feel like it’s going one way only then to divert and change course altogether in the next moment. This is where I believe the film succeeds. Where other writers may have opted for the easy route Eddie and Maddellaine chose to carve a new path to make Blood Punch a viewing experience that rises above what’s already been pumped out numerous times before.
The gore and practical FX are commendable though not at all overpowering. The film commences with Milo chopping off a couple of digits (spoiler alert) to get his attention (what! – it’ll make sense when you give this a view) and continues with various sequences in which crossbows, axes, knives and various other instruments of injury are utiluzed even firearms are discharged (in plenty of instances) though none of these scenes are hardly graphic enough to make this a splatter film. In fact the dialogue and the characters laissez-faire (ohh-lala! I’m using French in this article) attitude often drag this feature into comedic horror realms. Don’t worry this will all make sense with a view. And view it you must as it offered more than I thought it would and kept me entertained from start to finish.
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