Two college pals decide to make some easy money by volunteering for a scientific experiment that is supposedly being done to test out a recently developed allergy drug. As soon as they arrive at the facility they get the feeling that something is a little off about everything, and it doesn’t take long before some weird and disturbing things start taking place. It seems that the doctor who signed them up for the procedure wasn’t being entirely honest with them when it came to the true purpose of the experiment, and very soon things spiral out of control and people start dying in a variety of gruesome ways.
Over the last couple of years I have been subjected to some pretty damn lousy movies that are all about some sort of secret experiment going wrong which in turn makes the test subjects turn into some sort of murderous zombies or mutated creature dead set on killing anyone they come across. Growth (which is mind-numbingly boring and forgettable) and The Devil’s Playground (which is just another unoriginal zombie flick that borrows heavily from 28 Days Later and the Resident Evil films) both fall into this category and I was pretty much ready to dismiss Bloodwork as being just another one of these movies before I watched it. A funny thing happened though, as I actually ended up really liking it and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It was entertaining, had a strong male lead, and (dare I say it?) it actually had the scent of originality to it in some ways.
I don’t want to give anything away when it comes to the real reason that the experiment is being conducted, but I will say that it is something pretty fresh and original that I really didn’t see coming. I liked the idea of what the doctor was trying to do with the test subjects as I think that initially she did have good intentions when she first started injecting them with the mysterious serum, but as often the way in such cases she eventually goes nuts and loses sight in what she was trying to do that would have bettered mankind.
I also liked the fact that the test subjects eventually become dependent on the serum and at one point actually become violent when they don’t get it. By the end of the film all hell breaks loose basically because the these people are fiending for the serum (much like a heroin or cocaine addicted person would be once their drug of choice is taken away) and they go to some pretty extreme and violent means to get their next fix, killing anyone who gets in their way in the process.
They aren’t actually zombies, but they are crazed individuals who have no trouble ripping others apart and eating them (as they do to one poor bastard) once the craving for the serum gets to be too much. Since they end up with a very low level of super strength and are basically mindless at one point I thought that they were more like people strung out on PCP than anything else (and if you have ever seen someone on PCP tripping out and attacking anything that moves like I have then you know that it is a pretty damn scary situation in itself).
I also liked the characters. I totally expected to hate Greg initially as he was a cocky, beer-guzzling smartass obsessed with getting laid but he actually ends up becoming my favorite character as he is the only test subject that realizes what is going on and tries to save the others. His friend Rob starts out as the shy, intelligent college guy who keeps Greg in line at the beginning of the movie, but by the end he is just another crazed, serum addicted test subject who will do anything to get his hands on his next hit. I was surprised that the characters switched roles (Rob is responsible and caring at the beginning while Greg is just the opposite) toward the middle of the film and I was convinced that Rob was going to be our hero who had to save Greg and the others. I applaud the filmmakers for going a different route and making the horny comedy relief character the hero while the obvious choice is basically just a mindless freak for the rest of the movie.
Bloodwork is a really good movie and I enjoyed a lot of things about it. There are scenes that keep you guessing, some fun violent death scenes, and we are graced with the always cool Eric Roberts at the end who plays one of those characters you love to hate. I think that anyone considering taking part in a medical experiment in the near future may think twice about going through with it after they see this movie and witness what could possibly happen when things get out of control. Overall I thought that it was a pretty awesome movie and I would recommend it to anyone as I think that it is one of the best “experiment gone wrong” movies to come along in quite a while. Check it out, but make sure to check the spaghetti you are eating from now on after you watch it (it will make sense when you get to the scene I am referring to).