Friday, February 12, 2016

Mansion of Blood - Review - @BrandonCSites


Mansion of Blood (2015) **1/2
D: Mike Donahue
C: Robert Picardo, Gary Busey, Ray Quiroga, Tom Tangen, Eddy Salazar, Carla Laemmle, Bradley Dodds, Terry Moore, Cissy Wellman, John Blyth Barrymore, Calista Carradine, Tyrone Power Jr., Lorraine Ziff, Brett Davis, Mindy Robinson, Tegan Webster, Sarah Alami, Alicia Glaser, Tia Barr, Terry Moore, Nataly Peña, Sam Stone, James Cavlo, Kyle Clarke, Said Faraj, Alexandra Cramer, Nick de Graffenreid

Plot Synopsis: Millionaire Mason Murphy renovates the haunted Mayhew mansion. He plans a tremendous lunar eclipse viewing party to celebrate his return, but at the party, a witch casts a spell to summon the spirit of her dead boyfriend which leads to a series of deadly accidents and revenge killings and then all the monsters come out.

Review: When it comes to watching movies, that I'm going to critique, I rarely take notes. I want my reviews to reflect my overall perceptions vs an opinion I might form from the notes that I've token. However, during Mansion of Blood, I had to go against that idea and break out a notebook to keep score of everything. Now, that I'm done watching it, I realized that I actually took five pages worth of notes. If anything, Mansion of Blood holds the distinction of being the film that I took the most notes on! 

The plot, involving a haunted mansion in which all Hell breaks loose during a Blood Moon eclipse, is a clothes' hanger on which to hang a bunch of various horror scenarios. There's so many different elements in play, that I'm just going to list them for the sake of clarity. They include:

-Zombies
-Ghosts
-Demons
-Vampires
-Werewolves
-Witches

-A mummy
-Killer Midgets. Yes! You read right. Killer midgets!
-Hot tubs filled with studly guys and bodacious babes that look like they've been lifted right from a USA: Up All Night commercial
-A supernatural love story between a ghost and a member of the living
-Sex, drugs & alcohol
-Bad CGI effects
-Gary Busey, laughing in the wings, as an evil henchman 

-Cissy Wellman & Oscar nominee Terry Moore as spinster sisters who look like they would be right at home in Grey Gardens or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
-However, the icing in the cake is silent movie actress Carla Laemmle in her final film appearance. It's a lifetime of movie memories rolled up into one. She's a wonderful presence and closes things out on a high note.

And, this is just the tip of the iceberg! I'm not going to list everything, because (as a viewer) you would be better off being able to discover some of those elements on your own.

With that said, Mansion of Blood covers almost every facet of horror movies, almost every era, almost every sub-genre, almost anything & everything imaginable with one hell of a cast to boot. All of this could've made for a horror movie of epic proportions, BUT (and isn't there always a but?), none of this is done in any way that's logical, cohesive, well written or even well produced. In fact, Mansion of Blood achieves epic status, but it's an epic train wreck.

In terms of cinematography, they take a Caddyshack type approach of where they simply sit the camera in the middle of the action and hope that the action that's occurring on screen would be good enough to carry it. The camera work is flat & lifeless.

In terms of writing, characters disappear & reappear with no rhythm or logic. At one point, it seems as though the people behind this forgot which characters have died, because some characters disappear with no reason given as to why they're no longer on screen.

In terms of acting, well, let's just say that Gary Busey had the good sense to get himself fired. People are quick to call Gary Busey crazy, but he's far smarter then people give him credit. If I had to guess, Busey sensed how out of control things were, from a production standpoint, and got himself fired to get the Hell out of there.

In terms of editing, there's no real transitions from one scene to the next. It's as though someone edited this with a chainsaw as viewers are thrown into different scenarios without there being anything that establishes why they're being jerked about from one proceeding to the next.

As far as horror movies, that have been produced in the past fifteen or so years, Mansion of Blood ranks as possibly the biggest disaster to grace the genre. However, it's such a disaster, on so many levels, that I wouldn't change one thing about it. ....well, I lied. I would make the editing a bit tighter, because some scenes drag. Other then that, Mansion of Blood is so incredibly, stupefyingly, horribly awful, that it's masterpiece of sorts.

If what I'm saying, piques your interest, if you understand what I'm saying, then this is the horror movie event of the year. A must see! If you don't, then stay away from this at all costs. Don't watch the trailer. Don't even bother looking it up on IMDB or Amazon. Just avoid it.

For those that have seen this, whether you loved it or loathed it, there's one thing that I think we can all agree on: Mansion of Blood is a cult classic waiting to happen. [Not Rated] 98 minutes.

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1 comment:

  1. I agree with most of what you say. I'm going to be reviewing it for my own site, indiehorrorfilms.blogspot.com, but I would like to add one thing to what you said about the two spinster sisters: I would say they were more "Arsenic and Old Lace" than "Grey Gardens." They even mention the "special recipe," which I'm pretty sure is a quote from the "A&OL" play/film. 8)

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