A Blood Story (2015)

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I’ve decided to structure my future reviews to follow my rating system better.  For more information about that system, please look at my About page.  So let’s take a look at A Blood Story.

Story (2/5) – The story centers around Madison Sheffield (Mindy Robinson), who was a model before her husband disfigured her.  With her career seemingly ended, she attempts to become a writer instead.  Her first assignment is to write a love story, but somehow she ends up in a villa rumored to have discovered The Fountain of Youth.

[Spoilers ahead]
During her first visit, Madison finds her wounds healed by the process of villa.  She is also haunted by Elizabeth Bathory (Debra Lamb).  Madison ends up leaving the villa with an ancient gold coin.  With the possibility of untold riches, she teams up with an ex-assassin named Carter Reid (Mark Hanson) and a criminal named Gerry the Jaw (Robert Z’Dar) in an attempt to steal more coins from the owners of the villa on the next visit.

One of these owners is Francis (Camden Toy), who turns out to be Bathory’s husband. We learn that he was brought back to life by their daughter Anna (Melanie Robel) at some point.  We also discover that he has been accumulating hearts of victims over the years to resurrect Elizabeth.
[End spoilers]

Character (2/5) – I have mixed feeling about the characters in this film.  Anna for example felt distance.  I could never really get into her character that well.  At the other end, we have Wade (played Timothy J Hays).  He was just too over-the-top douchey for my tastes.  I also had a hard time believing that Madison was an aspiring writer.  I really wished she got the same treatment as Carter.  By far, Carter was the most likable and believable of the characters I saw in the film.

That said, Francis was an amazing character.  And Camden Toy’s performance as Francis was definitely a highlight for me.  Toy’s devilish facial expressions and his vocalization were outstanding.  Similiarly, Z’Dar’s deep voice for Gerry was noteworthy.

Those with a sharp eye may notice that the director Joe Hollow has a small, but important character in this story. And playing that character’s sister is the ever lovely Linnea Quigley.

Direction (1/5) – The pacing and storytelling was fine.  I felt the story’s ending really lost focus though.

[Spoilers ahead]
I couldn’t understand why Bathory’s resurrection had different rules from Francis’.  And why during the reveal, Anna seemed surprised about her eventual role in that process.  But then, at the end, it seemed she was prepared for it.  I just was completely lost in the direction there.
[End spoilers]

Execution (3/5) – I applaud the filmmaker’s decision to use mostly guitars and drums instead of an orchestral score.  It gave the film a “youthful” atmosphere.

There was a bit of camera jumping earlier in the film, but it wasn’t bad by the end.  Overall, the film quality was great.  It was clean and consistent throughout the movie.

The makeup was wonderful as well, especially for Elizabeth.  I simply loved the contact lens they used for her.  Debra Lamb has amazing eyes to begin with (she’s like a modern day Bette Davis), but the contacts really made them stand out.

Entertainment (2/5) – This one is a tough one.  I’m sure many might argue with me here.  The film certainly tries to focus on sensuality and delves in the erotic nature of beauty and blood.  No story about Bathory should be without those elements.

There are several scenes of topless nudity with actors Lamb and Sheffield which some would say are entertaining.  Others would say it is just cheap exploitation.  I personally found myself remembering movies like Subspecies, Galaxy of Terror, and Creepazoids, at least thematically, while watching these scenes.

I felt a little cheated though.  I honestly expected the story to be about vampires.

Overall – Ultimately, I give the film 2.0 bow ties out of 5, meaning I would watch it at least once though. Actually, I did.  Hehe.

ff

2bows

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