Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Blood Beat - 1983

Thus we come to another edition of "watched at work".  I will first apologize for being away for a little while there.  Celebrating 31 years old as of March 30th, I went camping.  I did take with me a little iPad like device with tons of bad movies on it, however the piece of shit had no battery power and I didn't get to watch a single one.

Blood Beat is an extremely obscure horror film from 1983.  It's in the realm of holiday movies, though I couldn't tell you why they decided to have this be set around Christmas time.  It's anyone's guess, they basically just needed any reason to have a bunch of older kids coming home to their parents, and I guess Christmas was a good excuse as any.

The title comes up and immediately you'll notice the awesome soundtrack.  Done by the director and his brother, the music in this movie is fucking great.  It's loopy, but also really good at times, and it's definitely 80's synth weirdness in it's full glory.  Like I said, kids are coming home for Christmas.  Ted and his girlfriend Sarah come to Ted's house, and Ted's mom immediately notices something weird about Sarah.   Ted's mom, Cathy, is not so normal herself.  It seems she goes into regular trances, paints bizarre pictures, and might be psychic.

Soon Sarah is afraid of Cathy, Ted's caught in the middle, people around the area are starting to die, and in the meantime Sarah finds an old samurai outfit near her bed.  That's when things turn ugly.  There's a few confrontations which boils to a head in an awkward family living room scene.  Also, some things are filmed in ways where you...can't quite tell what's going on.  It is accompanied well with dialogue that fades in and out and isn't mastered well with the music.  Scenes you can't see, words you can't hear!

It is easy to follow though, and soon there's a samurai warrior in the house, hunting everyone.  The samurai is linked to Sarah, and more specifically to Sarah's sex drive.  Cathy is intent on painting, and shuts all her family out.  Innocent family members Gary, Ted, Paul and Christie are all seemingly at the mercy of this samurai.  About 20 minutes before the end, they randomly up Cathy's powers as well.  Soon enough she has glowing hands, and it also turns out her kids have psychic power.  Well, two of her kids do.  Her son Ted doesn't seem to have them.

If the plot sounds vaguely confusing, that would be because it is.  It's not terrible, it's just that there isn't explanation of anything.  And I mean ever.  There is literally never anything explained in this movie.  Why is Sarah controlling a samurai?  How is she linked to the samurai?  Spoilers I guess, we do gather the Cathy and Sarah are related, possibly linked through stock footage of World War 2 (?) and then Sarah kills Cathy.

I find the making of the movie to be an interesting untold story.  The sole feature of director Fabrice Zaphiratos, he was a French director filming in Wisconsin, about a killer Japanese samurai.  There simply must be a story here, but who knows what that story is.  I wonder if any other French directors did any horror movies in Wisconsin in the 80s?  Good question, right?
Although I guess it does explain why a rural Wisconsin home has a "France" poster.

It was what I would describe as "oddly watchable".  It's the kind of movie that moves quickly enough and has enough weird qualities to make you keep watching.  The ending is a cluster-fuck, but that's the only let down.  All in all, it's a weird romp in definite riff fodder, and would be a fantastic weed film.  3 stars.

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