Saturday, 7 April 2012

Blood Nasty (1989) Richard Gabai

Blood Nasty seems to be one of those films that has gained somewhat more cachet among the 80's trash fiend crowd than it really deserves, mainly because few people have actually seen it. It got a VHS release in Canada, and Greece (from which I saw a rip, complete with trailers for Kadaicha and Innocent Prey, both of which it seems I should track down post haste), but a decidedly minimal one in the US, such that before viewing I could only find a couple of reviews of it. The sad thing is that it really could have been classy stuff and it even has some pretty cool scenes, but overall is weighed down by hysteria that lacks an appropriate level of gore to balance it out. The plot is somewhat inspired, a loser type is killed by his partners during a grave-heist in Mexico, then the plane he was supposed to be fleeing the country on explodes mid air (for no reason) and a spark contrives to fall to his grave site and wake him up again. Unfortunately he is now possessed by the spirit of the owner of said grave,  a serial killer called Blade. Also even though his double crossing partners were out to steal an apparently valuable ring from Blade (and go to the length of cutting the poor stiffs finger off to get it), our hero wakes up with it on. And he also has a pipe sticking through his chest, although I could have sworn he was impaled with a shovel rather than a pipe. Anyways, he eventually returns home, where his white trash stereotype family are not best pleased with him nor his newfound fondness for killing, as they now have the benefits of a fat insurance settlement from his death. Oh, and Linnea Quigley is in on the whole business as well. So everything is assembled plotwise for a great horror comedy of murder, greed and good old fashioned American family values, but generally it never quite comes together. The women are all perma-set on shrill, with  a mother (Cathrine Grace just a few hateful brush-strokes short of an Andy Milligan character, Allison Barron as a notionally sympathetic daughter who keeps moping that "It's all my fault" and Linnea Quigley as a brassy and mostly boring stripper (we do at least see her tits one time) and the men are all dreary dopes, with the occasional exception of Todd McCammon as the possessed lead, he conjures the odd spark of pathos and is mildly menacing when in evil Mexican mode. There's a certain nihilistic fun to watching a film where pretty much every character is either loathsome, an idiot or both, especially in a film from 1989, back when being loathsome and or an idiot in singular or family unit form was less of a mainstay of popular entertainment, but the film is never terribly well written and the obnoxious vibe doesn't take long to become a bit of a drag. There are a few good chuckles and affairs stay just about the right side of boring but its a stretch at times, the film really needed Milligan-esque misanthropic venom or more heart and less obvious straining to crudity.I could have forgiven these problems, but then there's the pesky lack of much gore. A few violent moments yes, but far less in the way of general bloodshed than there should have been, in fact just one scene stands out in that department, mostly the nastiness is offscreen. Probobly due to the low budget, but even the crudest of effects would have elevated this one enormously. Sadly no dice. Ultimately this is a definite thumbs down, but it didn't make me want to jam them through my eye sockets so that's a definite plus. Probobly a bearable one time watch if you happen to be one of those who just has to watch films like this, everyone else should stay away.

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