BLOOD PUNCH

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

Meth cook Milo is broken out of a rehab clinic by alluring bad girl Skyler and her psychotic cop boyfriend Russell in order to manufacture a huge amount of drugs in a single day. The secluded cabin where they hole up soon becomes the setting for a tale of madness, chaos and death.

Blood Punch has the potential to be written off as another low-budget cabin-in-the-woods flick, but the simplicity of its setup is heavily augmented by the performances of its leads. The chemistry between the trio is as potent as that of the drug production that kicks off the plot, and their interaction in a variety of scenarios is just as engaging as an underlying mystery that soon develops.

Milo may begin as modest and unassuming but is soon revealed to be possessed of a confidence that belies his geeky exterior and proves himself more than willing to face off with Russell, whose sadism comes through as a kind of jovial insanity, as though he believes that pointing a loaded hand cannon in someone’s face is nothing more than mild humour. The standout performance comes from Olivia Tennet, who in spite of a track record of largely playing innocent girls and nerds is perfect as the chain-smoking femme fatale Skyler. Her deadpan cynicism is oddly seductive, as though you may be dismissed from her sight at a moment’s notice and a concerted effort is required for your presence to remain worthy of her continued attention. Her acquiescence to Russell’s unpredictable psychopathy seems less out of fear and more resignation at the tedious regularity of his outbursts, while her seeming utterly unfazed by it suggests that she’s at least a little bit crazy herself.

Also raising things beyond the standard is a twist in the tale that appears around the 45-minute mark, although to reveal it would probably be too much of a spoiler even though you’ll probably guess it from the film’s taglines. Suffice to say it adds a supernatural upheaval to proceedings, and although at first there appear to be a few inconsistencies they are each eventually explained while staying within the established rules of the scenario.

Although writer, director and actors have all previously forged careers in children’s television that converged with Power Rangers RPM, with Blood Punch they have all aptly demonstrated ample further talents, and if together they can create something this entertaining out of a small budget and a basic story then any future collaborations will be ones to watch out for. Not entirely horror, comedy, crime, drama or sci-fi, the film nevertheless fuses aspects of each genre, gleefully relishing its own utter ridiculousness and in the end creating something difficult to properly categorise, but impossible to ignore.

BLOOD PUNCH / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: MADELLAINE PAXSON / SCREENPLAY: EDDIE GUZELIAN / STARRING: MILO CAWTHORNE, OLIVIA TENNET, ARI BOYLAND / RELEASE DATE: TBC
 


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