Writer Eddie Guzelian and director Madellaine Paxson both have a very full history in animated television shows and straight to dvd animated films and the two have come together for their first feature length film, Blood Punch. Starring Milo Cawthorne as Milton, Olivia Tennet as Skyler and Ari Boyland as Russell this movie is a strange reunion of Power Rangers. Yes, all three of these actors starred in Power Rangers R.P.M. and for a very specific group, this is a really cool thing. After making the rounds at film festivals and winning numerous awards, Blood Punch arrives on VOD with very good word of mouth. So, why did I feel like I would have rather eaten my own hand off than watch this film?
Milo and Skyler are in a mandated rehab program where Skylar walks around like a poor man’s Marla Singer trying to shock everyone with her nihilistic attitude, severe smoking habit and history of sexual abuse. Looking to break out with one really good cook, Skyler sets her sites on Milo because he’s a chemistry genius who can cook high quality meth. What’s that, you ask? Aren’t I confusing this with Breaking Bad? No. Someone actually made a movie about a guy who is really good with chemistry making a huge batch of meth in the misguided notion that he can score a huge payday and him and Skyler will be set for life. As the kids say, “I can’t even” with this synopsis. Oh, but it gets better. Apparently, the only way Skyler can convince Milo to do this one time meth making bonanza is to seduce him since that’s all she’s really good for anyway. Right after they knock boots, her boyfriend Russell shows up and he’s the token crazy bastard. He’s also a dirty cop who claimed Skyler back when she was 12 because she, “had the hottest ass on a 12 year old he had ever seen.” I guess this is supposed to be funny. Anyway, the three of them go to a remote hunting cabin that is located on ancient Native American land and, as is usually the case, there is a wacky curse on this land because, allegedly, that’s what always happens on ancient Native American land.
Basically, many groups of people with bad intentions have landed at this remote cabin only to be drawn into a maddeningly endless cycle of death. Once someone sheds blood on this land, they are cursed to remain in a circle of violence. Paxson and Guzelian have likened their movie to a cross between Blood Simple and Groundhog Day and I’m personally insulted on behalf of both of those films with that statement. Blood Simple is a fine, fine example of film noir that few other films can hold a candle to and Groundhog Day set the bar exceptionally high with the repeating day plot device. In no way does Blood Punch come anywhere near the originality, complexity or humor of these two movies.
I appreciate what the filmmakers were going for and I’m quite certain that this trio of actors are normally very likable, but overall, this movie is 104 minutes of gross male and female stereotypes who resort to using pejorative terms for homosexuality, the most crass term used to denigrate women and all of the men boast that they had sex with Skyler when she was very, very young. Maybe I’m a prude in my “old age”, but I don’t find any of this behavior or language amusing. They crossed the line from black comedy into straight up poor taste and did it while trying to reign in a convoluted storyline that simply became tedious and boring. By the 90 minute point, I was wishing that I could participate in their game of Russian roulette in hopes that it would end my misery of watching this movie.
Images courtesy of Justin Cook PR