BLOOD BROTHERS

PrintE-mail Written by Kieran Fisher

Formerly known as The Divine Tragedies, Blood Brothers is the latest feature film from Jose Prendes, whose previous effort The Haunting of Whaley House is somewhat of an overlooked gem. He also wrote Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, which isn’t exactly what you’d call a good film, though it is quite fun in its own way. That said, Blood Brothers is the film that might finally put him on the map – a surreal, stylish and twisted tale that’s tailor-made for those who like their brutality told in the form of a fever dream.

The film follows two psychotic half-brothers, Charles Brubaker (Graham Denman) and Thomas Lo Bianco (Jon Kondelik), who like to spend their time murdering women and aspiring to become the greatest serial killers ever. It’s good to have dreams – even if they are slightly warped – but soon their lives become a nightmare when a woman enters the fold with the potential to ruin their relationship.

Despite their shared passion for committing atrocities, the brothers couldn’t be more different. One of them gets an almost-sexual thrill from butchering women, while the other believes in preserving innocence and is plagued by the guilt of their crimes. However, their methods are sloppy, to say the least, and it doesn’t take long for them to have a wise old cop on their case (who just so happens to be played by horror icon Ken Foree). But it could be each other they must worry about most in the end.

Barbara Crampton rounds off the family of delinquents and continues her career resurgence as the brothers’ mother. And even though her character takes a backseat to the sadistic siblings, she lights up every scene she’s in, and harbours her own chilling secrets. Basically, this is not a family you’d want inviting you round to their house for dinner and a game of Cluedo.

The film is a loose retelling of the real-life Leopold and Loeb case, which saw two students - who believed that they were intellectually superior to everyone else – use their ‘smarts’ to prove they could carry out the ‘perfect crime’ without consequences for their actions.  They were later arrested and charged with life imprisonment. Blood Brothers re-enacts some of the exploits from that case, from the initial petty crimes all the way up to their more serious crimes, and bears no bones about highlighting the flaws of well-educated people. Sure, you can be smart and cunning – but be careful before you go developing a God complex.

Brimming with Freudian psychology, sibling rivalry and pitch black comedy, Blood Brothers is a compelling from the outset, and as a horror buff, it’s a film I know will go down well with my kin. It’s a disturbing tale, but a classy one at that, and easily one of 2016’s most impressive genre offerings.  Some might deem it pretentious, but that’s the point at the end of the day. Blood Brothers satirises the idea of self-proclaimed superior intellect with gruesome results, and you owe it to yourself to check it out if you appreciate horror at its most uncaged.

BLOOD BROTHERS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JOSE PRENDES / STARRING: GRAHAM DENMAN, HANNAH LEVIEN, KRYSTAL BEYER, BARBARA CRAMPTON, KEN FOREE / RELEASE DATE: TBC (UK), DECEMBER 2ND (US VOD)

 


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