Blood Punch | Movie Review

BLOOD PUNCH is one of those hidden indie horror gems that is going to become a cult classic, a U.S. dark comedy horror that loves nothing more with fucking with its own audience’s mind and also appears to have a little CHEAP THRILLS and 13 SINS enclosed. The trailer alone is enough to have sold me and Kernel Jordan reviews and loves it for Salty. BLOOD PUNCH is available in Australia from JB HI-FI and other major retailers from the 25nd of May 2016 and available for streaming on QuickFlix, FetchTV and Vimeo on Demand. From Jordan’s review I also believe it is on iTunes for the U.S.. BLOOD PUNCH is released in Australia from Bounty Films, is rated MA15+ and runs for 104mins, for more on the movie you can stalk their website HERE and their Facebook HERE. Enjoy Jordan’s review and remember to die every day like it’s your last…..all the best……JK.

 

Blood Punch Movie poster image

 

BY JORDAN DODD

BLOOD PUNCH had a unique U.S. PR campaign, asking movie fans to purchase the film via iTunes, in an attempt to get into the charts and subsequently get recognised. I can’t say for sure how well it worked, I can’t say I knew anything about it if I am honest, and it would seem the title of the movie does little to attract my attention. From what I have read, three New Zealanders were hired by an American crew and the film was shot in California. Unfortunately, this means that the New Zealanders are all putting on American accents, which in a way is disappointing, but I can understand why they would choose to do this, it makes the film much more accessible to foreign audiences.

BLOOD PUNCH is a nice blend of horror and dark comedy – perhaps one of my favourite genres – and this is paired with a dangerous love triangle. The plot is simple enough. Chemistry student Milton has had a meth lab busted just before his graduation, which has landed him in rehab for six months. When we meet him there, he has four months left.

 

blood punch movie image

 

The twist here is that at the very start of BLOOD PUNCH (and part of the original marketing campaign), Milton wakes up to see a video with himself talking to it, telling him what is going to happen. We don’t know where this is going or what it means, or even where this is taking place within the timeframe of the film. It certainly suggests supernatural undertones as Milton dives further into what is going to happen, which will be happening seemingly for the second time, given it is a pre-recorded video message.

I found myself immediately hooked thanks to this introduction. As the story progresses we occasionally go back to that original video, as Milton tells himself how he got so far deep into a situation that logically makes no sense. This is a good thing and a bad thing – it gives the film a unique atmosphere, but there are certain events that are hard to believe. This is a film you need to watch without trying to pick out plot-holes, because you will find the film riddled with termites.

Early on we are in a group meeting at the rehab centre, where numerous people are talking about how meth has ruined their lives and how they acted when they were using. This scene is brilliant, as one of the residents, Skyler, suddenly drops some pseudoephedrine tablets onto the table in the middle of the circle, bluntly stating that she has a shit-ton more and she is after a cook to help her cook a massive amount of meth. The angry reactions from the residents are priceless, and the entire scene was a great bit of black comedy that goes to a place I have not seen a comedy go to before. And as an ex-drug addict who has attended rehab and NA meetings, I gotta say, I was laughing hard at this bizarre situation.

 

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Soon Skyler lures Milton into bed, after which she casually tells him that he will be cooking meth not for her, but for a guy named Russell. Who is Russell? only Skyler’s psychopathic boyfriend who Skyler neglected to mention. Naturally Milton is hesitant, but before he can properly decide, Russell is breaking them out of the rehab centre to drive to a secluded cabin in the woods where the meth will be cooked. This again seemed odd; they weren’t in prison, and I have been in a rehab centre; if I wanted to leave I could have easily hopped the fence any night if I was so inclined. That they needed someone to break them out of such a facility was a little too much for me, not to mention a little too convenient.

Back to Russell: he isn’t only a psychopath, he is ruthlessly paranoid. This soon leads to him losing his temper and attempting to kill Milton, but he fails and soon is dead, thanks to Skyler. She and Milton bury the body, with very strange and supernatural consequences that set the stage for the rest of the film. Saying anymore would ruin the film, as it is certainly a unique spin on a tried and tested formula.

For a low-budget indie flick BLOOD PUNCH isn’t lacking in any areas; the sound editing is great, the score is at times tense and at other times comical, adding to the humour of many scenes. The camerawork isn’t flashy but it works well, and crucially, despite the slip of their American accents a few times, all three actors offer a sterling job. The only one I had seen before was Milo Cawthorne, in a film that I’d put in the same genre as this – DEATHGASM – and he is thoroughly convincing as the main character. Olivia Tenant is great as the calm femme fatale, never losing her cool, often casually smoking a cigarette. There are a few moments where her facial expression didn’t match what she was saying at all, but she was good for the most part.

 

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The weak link would have to be Ari Boyland as Russell – he just seems too nice a guy to be a supposed raging, paranoid psychopath. He nails the insane angle well, as his character certainly seems to have a few screws loose from the minute we meet him. But he was hard to believe as someone who would kill for the fun of it, a man who treats his girlfriend like complete shit.

Overall, BLOOD PUNCH is a fun movie with a ton of twists that don’t feel contrived or forced, in fact they keep you on your toes and constantly guessing what will happen next. I love horror-comedies and this played into that genre nicely, with many laughs peppered throughout, many being in a very dark vein, which fits my tastes quite nicely. This isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking for a horror-comedy with a twist or three, give this one a shot. It is bloody good fun. Make sure to rent BLOOD PUNCH on iTunes to support this indie gem!

 

4 Pops

 

 

Jordan Dodd is an aspiring novelist hailing from Adelaide, Australia. His first book is a chronicle of his experiences in a rehab centre that was more of a cult than anything else, and his goal is to finish it and pitch it to someone who matters. It can be found here. He also enjoys writing about film, which is probably his biggest obsession (apart from writing). When not writing for Salty Popcorn Jordan has his own website – he can be contacted via www.epilepticmoondancer.net

 

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