The good part of doing these reviews and having a pretty decent following on Twitter is that I get sent screeners, mainly they’re for no budget indie films some of which can turn out to be a great watch and some not so much. However I was genuinely excited when I got the chance to watch BloodMania from the Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis. I checked the trailer out and the over the top gore aspect really appealed to me.
BloodMania is an anthology series of four stories and these four stories like a lot of anthology stories of old are linked only by one thing, the host. In this case it’s Herschell himself, wandering onto the screen and interacting with characters that end one story to introduce us to the next one with several puns about the upcoming story. I suspect this film will mainly appeal to fans of his who want to watch all of his work.
The first story is bonkers but entertaining, a man with slapstick cartoonish luck has a hook on his hand following a gruesome accident. The hook somehow speaks to the man and he tries to kidnap a woman and escape in a car. Problem is he’s an idiot and extremely accident prone, not the best combination when you have a hook for a hand. The gore is there in this one, from severed limbs to eyeball popping it’s all there. The story is interspersed with news clips talking about Brewster on the run and delving into his past.
The second story is probably my favourite one, it all starts with a couple in a car crash leaving the woman seemingly dead. We’re given scene after scene of her husband killing her in various ways all reasonably gruesome but one really standing out with some classic over the top blood and guts everywhere. Everything comes full circle and the confusion you experience at first is fully cleared up by the end.
The third story was my least favourite it’s starts with an old couple living in a house but is filmed like an old American sitcom, complete with canned laughter and applause. The old couple can hear something in the walls and upon investigation we’re greeted with possibly the most brutally gory kill in this film. Enter a new family, one that begins to experience the same things as the old couple. All leading to a battle with whatever it is that lurks inside the walls of the home.
The final tale is easily the most bloody. Gordo is the manager of a band of girls but his past is clouded with mystery. We’re introduced to him as he takes his anger out on a woman who mocks his poor sexual performance. Things get worse for him as he’s fired as manager of the girl band, he discovers the only thing that gets him going is cutting himself. This does however lead him to feeling the need to kill and he does in the expected bloody fashion.
- Herschell Gordon Lewis as the host.
- The gore, there’s stacks of it and plenty of wonderful kills.
- The idea in the second story was fantastic.
- The decapitation and fall from a building scenes are a pleasure for all gore hounds.
There’s actually not too much bad in this other than things that are limited because of budget reasons. Most of the acting is reasonably okay but there’s a few dodgy performances in there. Whilst the practical effects are great to watch the CGI ones are not but this I suspect is down to nothing more than budget.
Overall this is well worth a watch especially if you are a fan of the man himself. As with all anthology stories there’s bound to be a couple you like and a couple you don’t, that is just the nature of the beast. For me the second story was easily the best followed by a tie with the first and fourth and the third finishing some distance behind the others. Any gore hounds out there that appreciate over the top violence and lots of blood will get their kicks from this movie!
Overall Rating – 6.5/10