A crew of pornographers from New York – in reality all Italians and badly dubbed into appallingly accented English, some so poorly that subtitles will almost certainly be required – travel to an ancient Italian castle, intending to revitalise the magazine they work for with some adventurous torture photography. There they are greeted by the castle’s German owner, Terence Fisher, whereupon two tales of old evil collide in bizarre and unpredictable ways.
Director Domiziano Christopharo’s attention to authenticity runs to casting a porn actress as his porn star, with a performance to match, while Dallas Walker as Fisher (no relation to the Hammer film director, as pointed out onscreen) is a complete cinema novice – and manages to give one of the film’s more interesting performances. Utilising split screen, stop-motion dream sequences, sepia monochrome and turning page comic book panels as between-scene screen wipes, there’s hardly a rabbit Christopharo won’t pull out of his hat in order to emulate the feel of the films he is evidently so in thrall to.
And mostly it works, often incredibly well – but perhaps too well. With a group of characters who are all either dumb or eccentric, or both, and with performances that are universally both arch and simultaneously stilted (often leaving ‘accidental’ pauses between lines of dialogue), it’s impossible to really care about anyone, which is hardly the point. The story itself – or rather, stories, with Bloody Sin deliberately confusing matters by telling its two horror narratives in parallel – is quite ostentatiously convoluted and chaotic, and only rewarding if you’re not hoping for too much in the way of sense. The pay-off is worth the wait though, and there’s never a point at which the film becomes too dull or too bewildering to follow.
Undoubtedly something of a folly, your mileage will vary considerably over whether you’ll be able to enjoy Bloody Sin. If Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is your bag, undoubtedly you’ll find much to like – although Bloody Sin falls far short of being as intentionally funny as the Channel 4 series. If on the other hand you like your horror to be scary, your plots to follow through logically, or your characters sympathetic, you’ll probably end up disappointed. For what it’s worth, this reviewer thought it was a blast.
Extras: trailers, interviews
BLOODY SIN: ABOMINATIONS OF THE THIRD REICH / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: DOMIZIANO CHRISTOPHARO / SCREENPLAY: FILIPPO SANTANIELLO, DOMIZIANO CHRISTOPHARO / STARRING: DALLAS WALKER, NANCY DE LUCIA, ROBERTA GEMMA, LORENZO BALDUCCI / RELEASE DATE: TBC (UK), SEPTEMBER 8TH (US)