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Film Review: Blood Link (1982)

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SYNOPSIS:

A doctor has a psychic link to his murderous Siamese twin brother and decides to track him down to stop him from killing anyone else.

REVIEW:

Blood Link is one of those movies that I picked up at the video store on more than one occasion when I was younger but always ended up putting it back on the shelf in order to get something else that sounded a little more interesting. I always thought that it sounded sort of like it could be good but I could just never commit myself to checking it out because I was afraid that it would be boring and I would be wasting my time with it. I finally sat down and watched it after about 25 years of debate and sadly I have to say that my initial feelings about it were pretty much on the money. While it does have somewhat of an interesting premise and a great cast I found it to be incredibly dull for the most part and I had a great deal of trouble getting into it.

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Directed by Alberto De Martino (who also came up with the concept), this film wants desperately (and tries too hard at times) to be a giallo film along the lines of Deep Red, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Five Dolls for an August Moon, and countless others. While it does contain some elements of these and other movies I am very hesitant to consider it a giallo film for a number of reasons. Though mildly unsettling at times it is nowhere near as brutally violent or disturbing as the majority of giallo films that I have seen during my time and it lacks a certain air of mystery that most of them contain. There is really no big mystery to solve (aside from possibly the final scene) here and pretty much everything is laid out there right in front of the viewer early on. We know almost right off the bat who the killer is and don’t get a chance to try to deduce his identity. I don’t know if it was just me or not but I felt that the script was a little weak due to the fact that it was so straightforward and just felt like it was missing something overall.

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I think that the biggest weakness of the movie is that it is just very boring for the most part. It moves a little too slow for my taste and I thought that it was a little too long. It tends to drag on forever at times and I think that there were several scenes that could have been cut down or even taken out completely as they really don’t do much to add to the overall story. I realize that it isn’t your traditional horror film and is more of a crime drama/suspense movie but to be honest it is devoid of any real suspense or thrills of any kind and I was more than a little bored the entire time that I was watching it. There were a couple of times during the middle of it that I actually shouted “Just get on with it!” at my TV due to how slow things were moving along. I understand that sometimes you need a slow burn when it comes to movies like this one but it just didn’t work this time around if you ask me and I almost fell asleep a handful of times as I sat there waiting for a few plodding scenes to end and so that something exciting would happen. Sadly the exciting moments are almost non-existent when it comes to this movie and as a result I spent a lot of the time I was watching it holding my remote and fighting the urge not to fast forward to the next scene.

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As much as I didn’t care for it I’ll admit that it did have some things going for it such as an excellent cast. Michael Moriarty is quite awesome in the roles of Keith and Craig Mannings, the Siamese twins that were separated many years ago. While he is good as Craig (the normal twin) I thought that he really shined as the psychotic Keith and I enjoyed watching him chew up the scenery like a lawnmower let loose on an overgrown lawn. Penelope Milford is equally good as Craig’s love interest Julie. This woman has a rocking body (which we get to see sans clothes a couple of times during the course of the movie) and just does a great job bringing her character to life (especially during the final scene). If you don’t blink you’ll see the great Cameron Mitchell for a bit and even though he dies off fairly quickly and doesn’t get a great deal of screen time he still does an exceptional job as usual.

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While I wasn’t particularly a fan of Blood Link I’m not saying that it was a bad movie. I honestly just don’t think that I was the right audience for it so if you are into movies like this one you very well may love it. Aside from enjoying the cast I also liked the ending (which apparently a lot of people online don’t care for if you read any of their reviews) and thought that it was a cool way to end the film. I don’t want to give anything away but I’ll say that it ends on an ambiguous note and is open to viewer interpretation. If you’re into Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers from 1988 (which was obviously influenced by Blood Link to an extent) then chances are you are going to like this movie too. Check it out if it sounds like something that you may be into but keep in mind that if you have a short attention span and enjoy a quick pace when it comes to movies you most likely are going to walk away afterward feeling more than a little underwhelmed and disappointed.

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