Madellaine Paxson serves a director of this fascinating horror film, from talented screenwriter Eddie Guzelian, delivering a twisted horror version of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day (1993) and Happy Death Day (2017), from the low budgeted indie market that pleases the audience in many ways. But what is more satisfying being the background of this team, Paxson and Guzelian, both had previously restricted themselves to the children’s genre, with Power Rangers R.P.M. and Peter Rabbit, and yet they collectively teamed up to bring their first horror feature to the screen with stirring success and achieving distribution from the horror conjuring team at Midnight Releasing. While unusual it is not rare for other directors and writers to have left their primary fields to venture into the horror genre, Hitchcock did it as well as Robert Wise, having success and achieving Oscars with West Side Story and turns to the classic film The Haunting (1963), only to return to a musical with The Sound of Music (1965) and more Oscars. Either way this team brings a welcome sight for all to enjoy, presenting new blood to the genre and with a fantastic storyline to add into the mix.
Olivia Tennet captures the screen in her street wise attitude and red dress, as Skyler, a cigarette smoking selfish woman, who meets a chemistry genius, Milton at rehab, after being caught with a meth lab at his college and seduces him and has him manufacturing meth for her and supposedly psychotic police-officer boyfriend, Russell. Soon enough the dysfunctional group venture to a hunting cabin on cursed tribal lands, which has many blunt weapons scattered on the walls, and that stirs the bloodlust in horror fans. Tennet captures the camera and has great screen performance for the entire movie, and yet not outdone, Milo Cawthorne (Deathgasm ) as Milton, delivers a commanding presence to match wits with Skyler’s character. Russell (Ari Boyland) adds the wild card, to the mix, and the insanity starts quickly and shocks the audience too. A game of smoke and mirrors takes place first and gives the viewers a few minutes to realize the situation, and comprehend them dilemma, and what can be done to survive the situation. One doesn’t want to reveal too much and is very hard to present a fuller understanding of the plot without exposing the twists and surprise, hence the best avenue is to hush up on those items.
Guzelian’s script cleverly puts together a full puzzle with clues in the oddest moments and layers the information to drip and ooze at the precise, perfect times, and each reveal more the psychotic tendencies of Russell, the cunning of Skyler, and planning from Milton. The drawback comes of the drawn out build up, and yet it really gives a positive starting point to except to explore the supernatural element – the Tribal Curse, touches briefly on it and never returning to it, is sad, but the viewer gets over it quickly.
The performance for the most part comes without many flaws but, the pacing does muddle in the end of the second half and seems to sense it and hurries to right itself quickly, the actors, handle the roles very well, and leads to the direction of entire production. Neil Cervin creates wonderful cinematography filled the screen with incredible richness, and has the audience forget they are watching a film, and rather are a part of it. A telltale sign of the indie production is the usage of public domain songs, those closely associated to the production, and yet it adds charm and a cheerful manner to a horror film, filled to the brim of black humor. Though, a technical issue lies with Russell’s police car, first no one is missing the car, and no tracking of it, seems a bit odd, however the storyline, might blur that line, it is also then a problem with onboard surveillance camera a read out of over 44,278 hours of recorded footage that is an enormous hard drive. And to put that into a realistic standing, if 720 films at 90-minutes each fit on one 1TB drive on average, then one needs, a ton of space, and that sadly becomes impossible unless it all uploads to the cloud, though still a trivial moment, but it distracts.
Blood Punch delivers a knock out round with black humor and swirls around a paranormal tale of hellish levels, where greed and lies reign supreme, and salvation comes to those able to outfox everyone in their path, while maintaining their sanity. This is not an easy task, and yet this film pulls it all together with a wonderful storyline and delivers the encouragement to watch it again and again, with the curveballs and treating the audience with respect, and thanks for that is well earned and deserved.
This review originally posted in the month of October 2015 for the now defunct Rogue Cinema site, which had 1,929 views.
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 6.5/10