Horror Review: ‘Brotherhood of Blood’
In this claustrophobic thriller, a team of vampire hunters who must infiltrate a nest of the undead to save one of their own. A beautiful vampire slayer is held prisoner by a powerful, blood-drinking king who is preparing to do battle with a force that sends even the children of the night scurrying into the shadows.
Much of modern cinema was built on awful horror films of yesterday, from Ed Wood to Roger Corman and even to an extent John Carpenter, so it’s almost reassuring when you hear about a box set of direct-to-dvd horror films, and a film like [[[Brotherhood of Blood]]] is included. The film couldn’t have cost more than $50,000, and most of that had to go to the “big” names attached like Sid Haig, Ken Foree, and even TV’s Victoria Pratt. The film isn’t exactly cinematic art in any way, but still fills the quota for “bad horror films”.
The premise is pretty hard to follow, seeing as how from before the opening titles to the end of the film, there are randomly placed flashbacks to the previous 48 hours. Of course, because of the bar that has been raised by the genre today, there is a twist at the end of the film, which in this case was pretty predictable. No killing or gore was shown on-screen and done with a cut and corn syrup thrown on a wall, which is fine considering the quality.
The acting would be fine if it weren’t for the only two decent genre actors attempting to spit out their lines through the prosthetic vampire teeth. Foree and Haig both sound like they are doing a bad Nixon impression, and come across as cartoony when trying to be haunting and intimidating. The angrier they got, the funnier they became, much like a drunk baby. The dialogue is pretty bad as well, which would be, given that this isn’t [[[Gone with the Wind]]], but even still, it’s almost impossible to sit through.
In an interview done with Rob Tapert, he explained that though the box set is being slated as “hand picked by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert”, there were a few exceptions. It’s almost definite that this was a pick by the pair. Not only does the film give off the same feel as Evil Dead in it’s campiness, but it stars Cleopatra 2525’s Victoria Pratt. A show that was the brainchild of both Raimi and Tapert. Sadly, Pratt attempts to bring her tough-chick persona to the film, but it fails somewhere in the middle, and leaves her confusing and whiney.
The film comes through as a campy, low-budget, vampire flick, and should really be taken as such. Foree and Haig may come together for the first time in years, but they get no screen time together, and as mentioned, it’s pretty hard to understand them when they are drooling through fake fangs. There is bad acting, poor special effects, a convoluted plot, and an even more confusing twist ending. On their own each of those sound pretty awful, but together they make up just about any horror film released in theaters in the past few years, and should be treated as such.
Overall Rating: 3/10
Scare Factor: 0/5
Foree and Haig are becoming the Cheech and Chong of horror, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.