What do you get when writers for DISNEY and POWER RANGERS R.P.M. decide to branch out and make something completely different? Well you get BLOOD PUNCH, a horror/noir/comedy/thriller that is about as far removed from those two things as possible. Director Madallaine Paxson and writer Eddie Guzelian have crafted a feature that is both strangely familiar yet incredible unique, bringing forth an experience that is sure to surprise audiences.
Describing what this film is about is not easy, there is a risk that spoilers may be let out. It is one of those films where the less you know about it, the better the experience will be. In saying that, the synopsis will be kept brief. Milton (Milo Cawthorne) wakes up in a strange room, he finds a screen and proceeds to watch what has been recorded on it. It is a video of him, he sees himself cut off his own fingers in horror, yet as he is watching this video Milton has all of his fingers! How is this possible, what is the message he is trying to get across? This then flashes backt back to Milton in a rehab center where he meets the femme fatale Skylar (Olivia Tennant), who convinces Milton to break out and spend a night cooking meth for a big score. The catch is that her boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland) will be watching, and he is ‘the devil’ as she calls him. What could possibly go wrong?
BLOOD PUNCH certainly delivers on that title, there is no lack of blood and it pulls a lot of punches. There is so much more at play with this film, and any kind of prediction you may have early on gets thrown right out of the window. A film needs to grab the audience early on and the first scene is so strange and engaging, it manages to place a firm grip going forward. Once it reveals a little more, there is no way you can’t see this one through and you want to learn more. It is an extremely messy and fun ride, with a love triangle forming between the main three and lots of violence, there is so much on offer.
It is quite apparent that the film was written for these three actors, the chemistry between them is on point and they really don’t skip a beat. Despite being a meth cook, Milton is quite a likeable character and he is our eyes into this world. He not only is our main character but we pretty much see this unfold through him, what he knows is what we know. While he starts off as the quiet and almost cowardly, he develops into a much stronger person. Milton gets developed in a way that can be appreciated, he is not a throw away character. Not only has he been written quite strongly but Milo Cawthorne brings so much to the role, he becomes memorable and strong.
Skylar is the chain smoking femme fatale as mentioned earlier, she is the mystery of the piece and as the film goes forward she does get her own development and it works in a much different way than Milton. On the surface it seems as though she has no feelings and is numb to her surroundings, but those layers soon start to break away and it is apparent there is much more there. Olivia Tennant really put forth a lot with this role, she made Skylar intense and witty. It becomes believable that both men are interested in her and want her, she isn’t just another pretty face. While Russell doesn’t have as much screen time, he’s the type of character that manages just fine. Ari Boyland unleashes his inner crazy and even with a character like this, by the end he’s changed and we get more than just a cardboard cut out antagonist of sorts.
This is not a straight up genre film, it mixes so much together and it does so quite successfully. Horror is never an easy genre to do, especially if you want to make it stick out from the crowd. When you add in comedy it becomes much more difficult, and BLOOD PUNCH adds in so many other ingredients and it all works on every level. The writer and director bonded together to form such a crazy film, it is almost hard to fathom they wrote for DISNEY! They knew what they wanted and they went for it, they had the right cast for the right roles and stretched out their budget to really make a gorgeous looking film. There is nothing quite like this out there, it is a ride you want to take and experience.