The Fountain of Youth and legends of that sort have interested me for as long as I can remember. I am fascinated by the fact many of our ancestors believed in a few of these legends and some spent their whole lives searching for them. But I had never really considered using any of them as a backdrop for a horror film. The concept of A BLOOD STORY is interesting for sure, however the execution of this film feels lacking. As a result, I cannot say I’m overly impressed with director Joe Hollow’s latest release.
If you are not familiar with A BLOOD STORY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Brain Damage Films:
Madison Sheffield is a former high fashion model whose career ended when she was horrifically disfigured by her ex-husband. Madison turns to a quieter life as a novelist. In researching for her latest book, Madison finds herself increasingly obsessed with the Fountain of Youth. While staying at a luxury villa rumored to be near the fountain, Madison meets two mysterious men. They become the pawns in a twisted game. Little do they know the residents of the villa have their own plans, as an ancient evil is resurrected, resulting in a blood-drenched truth of an age-old legend. The evil that follows is delved in the deepest of historical secrets.
I really wanted to like this movie as I went into it. I love the title, and as I mentioned, the idea is interesting. But unfortunately there are simply too many flaws with it.
A BLOOD STORY is shot decently, although the cinematography is a bit lacking when it comes to wide-angle shots. What I mean here is that 90% of the shots are tight, close angles that do not show much of the background or surrounding sets. I’m assuming this was done because of budget limitations…but some diversity in the camerawork would have been nice.
The acting is not terrible, but I don’t think any members of the cast will be winning any acting awards anytime soon. Camden Toy is probably the highlight of the cast; fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (like me) will remember him as the Ubervamp. Toy gives a chilling performance, however some of his dialogue is a bit over the top.
The special effects in A BLOOD STORY are decent, although some of the blood starts to look a bit odd after a while. This is particularly evident during the bath scenes, where Madison is bathing in virgin’s blood. Sometimes, the color of her bath looks good and realistic…other times, it looks more orange than red, which makes the scene almost laughable. This is probably me nitpicking, but I feel I have to mention it.
The storyline is probably the strongest aspect of this film. It is intriguing and begs to be fleshed out. But even so, it just never clicks. There are certain things about it that don’t make sense. For example, who or what is the old hag that haunts Madison’s visions? We see her several times, but nothing is ever mentioned about her.
Overall, I have to classify A BLOOD STORY as a disappointment. It’s ok, but nothing I will recommend to you to check out. Hopefully, director Joe Hollow’s next project will be better. A BLOOD STORY is available now if you decide to give it a look.