Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Horror Film Review

Blood & Donuts (1995):  This movie is weird on many levels.  I should say that the glut of truly awful vampire movies lately has put me off the genre, so much so that I avoid them all now.  But Netflix had this one available to watch online, and I was bored.

Boya (Gordon Currie) is a bloodsucker with a conscience who climbed into a big duffel bag in 1969 and went into some kind of hibernation.  A golf ball hit through a window of the old warehouse he's in causes a Rube Goldberg reaction that wakes him up.  He befriends a cabbie named Earl (Louis Ferreira) who's in trouble with couple of local wise guys.  Earl's got a crush on Molly (Helene Clarkson) who works in a dumpy donut shop.  Boya helps Earl deal with the wise guys, meets Molly, and then gets one of those psychic vampire attraction things going on.  Then there's Rita (Fiona Reid), the girl Boya loved back in 1969.  She wanted him to turn her into a vampire but he refused, and she's royally pissed off (think Carrie Fisher in The Blues Brothers). 

Now for the weird.  David Cronenberg plays the wise guys' boss.  He runs a bowling alley.  Earl the cabbie has this accent...um...ok, imagine if Christopher Walken did an impression of James Cagney.  I'm not kidding.  Then there's the music.  It's...well, let's just say they made interesting choices.  "Mister Sandman," "I Put A Spell on You," "Blue Moon," and "Twilight Time" gives the film a serious 1950's vibe.  Then Concrete Blonde belts out "The Vampire Song" (one of my favorites) and you're back in the 90's. 

Although not weird, I want to mention the wonderfully subtle humor, especially the hysterical physical humor on Currie's part (25 years in a bag tends to make the limbs a little stiff and uncooperative).  Ferreira, once you get used to the accent, is a hoot.  Blood & Donuts is ostensibly a drama, but a sprinkling of funny definitely adds that extra something that places the film above most other vampire offerings.


Acting:  Uniformly good.  Odd, but good.
Story:  I rarely get to say this...it's unique.  I can't think of another movie remotely similar.  And that's awesome. 
Direction:  Director Holly Dale mostly does TV.  I hope she decides to helm more features.  She has an effortless style.
Production Values:  If I'm honest, this is a low-budget affair, but since the action takes place in a run-down area of Toronto, it doesn't matter. 
Gore/FX:  There's a little blood and no gore to speak of.  There's an FX scene with electrical discharge that would be right at home in an episode of the original Star Trek series.  It's quick and forgivable. 
Ending:  About what you'd expect but not what you might hope.
Verdict:  Should you watch Blood & Donuts?  I do recommend it, yes.  I call it the perfect antidote to Twilight and all of the other crap that's dragging the genre down.  I guess there are good vampire flicks out there after all.  I just need to dig them up.  So to speak...

My Rating:  4 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment