Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In short: Blood Trap (2015)

aka Bite

Freshly pensioned prison guard Roman (Costas Mandylor) assembles a bunch of pea-brained violent idiots (among them Gianni Capaldi and featuring a pleasantly short appearance of Vinnie Jones) for a brilliant plan: kidnap Nika (Elena Mirela), the daughter of one of the richest gangsters alive, from the stately mansion she resides in and press her Dad into paying a ransom of forty million dollars. Whatever could go wrong?

Well, for starters, while casing out said stately mansion, our protagonists somehow managed to overlook that with every sunrise, the mansion is automatically sealed off from the outside by practically indestructible blackout shutters. As it happens, that’s exactly the time of day when the kidnapping is going down, so the idiots find themselves locked in with their supposed victim. Of course, who exactly is going to be whose victim here might just become a pressing question when trapped in a mansion among whose other features include a freezer room full of human body parts, another room with 28 babies, and crazy naked people crawling through sewer tunnels.

I don’t write this sort of thing lightly or often anymore, but I have no idea what I just watched. What starts out as one of these generally insufferable would-be Tarantino movies, just with really abysmal dialogue, quickly turns into the weirdest horror comedy I’ve seen in quite some time. Director and writer Alberto Sciamma’s sense of humour is deeply peculiar, and if you’re like me, it might not make you laugh, but it sure as hell will get your eyebrows up into the stratosphere. I most certainly won’t forget that moment when Mandylor starts walking around in a golden full plate armour any time soon. Then there’s the Viagra torture scene, and…well, most everything that’s going on in the film’s second half is pure weirdness gold.

Much of the film, and not just its sense of humour, is utterly inexplicable, not because the elements it consists of are terribly original but because the way Sciamma uses them is so off. The film is clearly following a very individual vision, fuelled by old exploitation movies, and an unironic weirdness that may not be funny (though it might very well be) but that sure as hell did interesting things to my brain while I watched it. Apart from that, Blood Trap is also really nice to look at and stylishly directed, which of course makes the grotesqueness of its contents all the more potent.

So, I certainly do not have any idea what it is all about, but I highly approve of Blood Trap.

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