Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bloodwork - Review

Bloodwork (2012) *1/2
D: Eric Wostenberg
C: Travis Van Winkle, Tricia Helfer, John Bregar, Eric Roberts, Mircea Monroe, Joe Pingue, Yanna McIntosh, Tamara Feldman, Rik Young, Anna Ferguson, James Purcell, Stephen Bogaert

Plot Synopsis: A couple of college students decide to sign up for pharmaceutical testing of a new allergy drug to make some extra cash for their spring break trip. They quickly discover their two week stay will not be as easy as they first believed and fight to save themselves from the grips of the facility.

Review: Bloodwork is yet another medical related horror thriller that sticks to the same old perimeters. Two friends are served as guinea pigs for a new drug at a medical research facility. Testing of the drug spirals out of control. Violence ensures. There's an explosion and even Eric Roberts! 

Playing the two friends are Van Winkle & Bregar. They have a commendatory that doesn't feel forced. The principal location, a medical research facility, has a cold, detached feeling. The set decoration lends itself to the location. The cast is outfitted in appropriate medical garbs. The film's color palate consists of blues, grays & white - all par for the course. At first glance, Bloodwork is a routine, but competently executed production.

Then, out of nowhere, Bloodwork turns into I don't know what exactly?!? In an extended sequence, various characters are quizzed about their bowel movements. The scene is played for comedic effect and it does indeed generate chuckles. However, this scene feels like it belongs in another film. Then, as the characters become wired out due to this drug, the eat their food in ridiculously over the top ways and wag their tongues around as though they're Linda Blair in The Exorcist

When all Hell breaks loose, the characters (now savages with zombie characteristics) run around with their hair poofed up, donning over exaggerated makeup effects while partaking in poorly staged scenes of violence & cannibalistic carnage. Finally, you have Eric Roberts, who shows up (in the last act) to bark out orders so that he can collect a paycheck from the one of thirty movies that he'll appear in that year.

Bloodwork is neither here nor there. The thriller elements haven't been executed with the same finesse of say Coma, but it's not trashy enough to be a guilty pleasure in the way that Pathology was. This leaves Bloodwork at a crossroads. Horror fans looking for a respectable medical thriller will find it absurd, yet, it isn't absurd enough to please cult fans. This leaves me with one question. Who exactly was the audience for this supposed to be?!? [R] 96 minutes. 

AKA: The Last Experiment

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