The Horror Honeys: Blood Punch: Life After Death... After Death... After Death...

Blood Punch: Life After Death... After Death... After Death...

A Head Honey Indie Review by Kat

Blood Punch (2013)

Meth. It's a hell of a drug. And last time I checked, it wasn't funny.

The story [edited from IMDb for my amusement]: A young man is kidnapped from a rehab center and finds himself in the middle of a dangerous love triangle that begins to take a series of shocking and grisly supernatural turns (ehhh) and could have all been solved if he had NOT agreed to cook meth in a rehab facility kitchen.

The players:
Skyler (*eye roll*) - The Manic Pixie Meth Head
Milton (because that's what dweebs are called in movies, right?)- The Meth Chef
Russell - The "psychopathic douchebag"
Archer - A drug dealer in a velour tracksuit

Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of Breaking Bad. If that means we can't be friends, I'm fine with that. Drugs aren't entertaining or hilarious, and using it as a base for the action of a film is nothing short of balls out annoying to me. I understand the antihero archetype and its uses, and the entertainment that comes from watching them being assfaces to other vile characters, but when there is literally nothing to like about anyone involved in said hijinks - frankly, it gets boring.

This poster also makes no sense.
Milton (Milo Cawthorne) is in rehab; he's in rehab because his college meth lab got busted, and he's also in rehab because much like Jesse Pinkman, he used the drugs he was making... but I don't get the sense that he was actually an addict. Skyler (Olivia Tennet) is a new addition to the circle of sharing at the rehab center, which is inhabited by the cleanest addicts EVER, but is also apparently WOEFULLY understaffed - meaning there are no bed checks, no recovery medications, no nurses, no orderlies, no social workers, no care staff whatsoever - this allows Skyler to march into the group therapy session and announce boldly that she's looking for someone to cook meth for her, and also chat about how awesome meth is. Like, AWESOME. Of course, since all everyone in rehab really wants is another hit of meth, she has a volunteer right away. Milton is, of course, the focus of the Manic Pixie Meth Head's designs, and when the original volunteer fails in his cooking attempt, Milton has to step in and prove how awesome he is at ripping out a glass-quality product in a matter of hours and apparently with the minimal equipment that could be found in a rehab center kitchen. Skylar immediately takes a hit of the product and proceeds to test it out by fucking Milton. As you do.

Of course, Milton is hooked on Blue Sky(lar), and agrees to leave the rehab center with her and her surprise boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland), who is "the devil" BTW - and a cop... but whatever with that detail.

Never fired a laser guided crossbow?
No worries, let Russell help you by holding a gun to your temple while you aim.
Milton cooks some high quality meth in a hunting lodge in the middle of the woods nowhere, and like every good chef and dealers, they all do a bunch of lines and proceed to act completely normal... until the "old family recipe" peyote that Russell has cut into the drug kicks in, and then it's just super fun for everyone, like a Doors video - watch Skyler try to catch the moon, so sweet. *sarcasm*

Now, here's where shit actually started to get interesting for about 10 minutes... and then I was annoyed again. Skyler saves Milton from being shot in the head by Russell, and together they kill the douchebag (and yes, I enjoyed that) - but we're supposed to reeeally hate Russell because he's an overtly obvious and sadistic shitstain. Milton and Skyler are now together, and everything is awesome and stars and rainbows and whatever. But there's a catch - in the morning, they wake up, and Russell is alive, and it's as though the day has started all over again, and it has. And then everything goes sideways, but in a casual way - like whatev's y'know.

Your aim is a little high.
Also, this is Skyler's expression for 90% of the film.
Without giving away everything, the trio has found themselves under a really crappily explained curse, and we're presented with a bit of a horror version of Multiplicity, a detail that works for about 5 minutes before being totally wasted again. This concept was unique enough for a short film, but as a feature it drags. More interesting characters would have made a repeated story entertaining, but I found myself counting the minutes until the end. Twist after twist after twist, a little betrayal, and then a final flip of the bird - which I was actually fine with because assholes don't deserve a happy ending.

Blood Punch (and what's up with this title? It makes no sense in relation to the film in any way, unless I missed something, which I'm sure I didn't. The alternative posters imply that it has something to do with drinking, but that doesn't happen in the movie, so I'm confused again) while teaching the kids that you shouldn't do drugs, or associate with people who do drugs, is also a lesson in how not to break into horror films. With a minimum of research, one can discover that first time director Madellaine Paxson has spent the bulk of her career writing kid's shows for the Disney Channel, as has the writer Eddie Guzelian. No, let's be real, it's all they've done. Knowing this, it's easy to see the same tropes and familiar notes from these cartoons reflected in the film. While I'm typically the type to be super excited and inclusive of everyone's horror fan level, I'm having a rough time not being annoyed by Blood Punch, mostly because it is the physical manifestation of what a horror film written by people with a surface knowledge of the genre and a love for Breaking Bad think horror movies are all about. At the risk of hitting a horror hipster line and pissing a bunch of people off, it seems woefully apparent that while I appreciate horror fans flexing their fandom on film, Blood Punch seems like an ill-advised attempt to cash in on "that horror thing everyone is talking about."

Meth: for when you need to go from never firing/holding a weapon
to being a smooth criminal in no time flat.
I give props to the makeup/FX crew, most of the effects were practical, and I can always appreciate that. While the cast (all Kiwi/Aussie BTW) attempts to pull off an American version of Kiwi splatter-horror-comedy, the overall impression is painfully shallow, and awkwardly unfunny - I think I got one genuine laugh out of the film, and it was most likely not at an intended point.

Oh, and can I point out that for a film written and directed by people who write for KID'S SHOWS, there's WAY too much casual reference to statutory rape: "You were the hottest piece of 12-year-old ass I'd ever seen." PARDON ME? How is that funny? Plus, the character that dropped that golden line would probably have been 13 at the time, so, it's immediately stupid. Important question: has someone written one too many episodes of Kim Possible, and has finally cracked and decided that the sexual abuse of a child is suddenly a great plot point that needs to be brought up over and over and over again? You know the face I'm making already, don't you.

With too many plot holes, incredible coincidences, lucky saves, and some excellent marksmanship and weapons handling, Blood Punch might be better suited for an audience with a limited attention span who doesn't care about details and shit.

Head Honey's verdict: 2.5 Manic Pixie Meth Heads out of 5 - and the 2 of that 2.5 is because I like Milo Cawthorne, but he's better in Deathgasm - a REAL Kiwi-splatter horror comedy. The .5 is for the 15mins of interesting story idea hidden under everything else. 

While I am decidedly not be the perfect audience for a film like this, I know it will appeal to many horror fans, who will probably find more humor in it that I did, and give less of a shit about the details. Blood Punch is available on DVD now.

You'll probably like it better than I did.