Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bloodbeat or French Film-Makers Experiment in Wisconsin

3 of 7 viewers "Liked" "Bloodbeat" (1983, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

KillDozer - "Sometimes you sit through film for the sheer challenge of finishing it. This is one such film. Dizzying camera work that reminded me of being drunk. An extremely bizarre Christmas, samurai, and a "The Shining"-esk subplot. Some people want to know the meaning of life, I'd rather know the meaning of this film. Even though I'm straight edge, I know this film could be awesome on shrooms." - 2 Stars

Math Mage - "Alternately screaming unintelligibly or mumbling inaudibly, the dialogue can't compete with the soundtrack (which was alternately public domain classical music and lame synth). Hilariously bad acting, non-existing narrative, and camera work that made me motion sick; this movie features awkward family scenes, implied psychic combat, poltergeist attacks, and a ghost samurai. Everyone should see this movie." - 4 Stars

Book Wyrm - "I didn't understand anything about this. There was no plot!! I can't." - 1 Star

Lord Battle - "Bloodbeat is an excellent example of how two viewers could experience something completely different from a single film. What I mean is it would be completely reasonable for someone to consider this film a lost avant garde master piece (Bloodbeat isn't far off from the Dogme 95 catalog) and yet one could argue that it's simply a low brow, misogynist, B horror that exploits every genre fad they could muster.The real reward however, comes from surviving the film and discovering which camp you belong to and that is where the true magic of Bloodbeat lies." - 4 Stars

Huntress - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

Ice Giant - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

I find myself struggling with subjects to talk about concerning "Bloodbeat". Honestly, I had not heard of this film until AJ Bowen had mentioned it on the holiday episode of Killer POV (Podcast on GeekNation). AJ Bowen's favorite sub genre of horror happens to be Christmas horror and Bloodbeat happens to involve Christmas. Anyway, once you hear that Bloodbeat features a samurai ghost slasher it becomes obvious that any horror fan worth his salt needs to see this film, and even if the movie sounds awful, it's practically guarantied to be hilarious... 
Bloodbeat articles appear on many different film blogs and every time the author(s) break down how horrid the film is, usually starting with the camera work (it is truly terrible, Math Mage wasn't joking about feeling sick), how disconnected the plot is, how there are several psychic characters for seemingly no reason, and how the samurai ghost is summoned by unexplained sex magic. The one thing no one ever elaborates on is how unenjoyable this film is.
 Now I personally gave Bloodbeat 4 Stars and I stand by that, but understand that I love forgotten terrible B movie horror, and I love pretentious art house films. This film is more the former than the latter, but I had a lot of fun imagining the French film makers out in Wisconsin crafting a deep foreign interpretation of American life and ultimately failing (The absurdity of failed pretension makes me giddy). Sadly, this is not the case for everyone and certainly not the case for the reviewers that showed up for this screening.
What fun is found within this film comes from the fact that it's terrible, if not literally painful to screen (Something about the way they filmed it actually spread vague, yet very real headaches among the crowd). Our Thursday double features were built upon the fact that no-matter how awful and boring a film is, we will always be laughing and having fun, this was not the case for Bloodbeat. Bloodbeat is inaudible, slow, incredibly hard to follow, and disappointing in all the places it should be amazing (not enough samurai screen time, X-mas is almost a weak set dressing, etc...). I guess what I wanted to say in this final thought, is that you should watch this film with no expectations and just experience it. Pay attention to the camera work, acting, and just try to figure out what is going on. Then, when the film is all said and done, you might realize that you've learned something about yourself.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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