When a small town is overcome with a blood lust, the local Witch Doctor is thought to be the source. What they don’t know is that he has a different agenda.
The recent resurgence of zombies in film is more prevalent today then it ever was in the 70’s and 80’s following the grand daddy of them all, The Night of the Living Dead. There are re-inventions of the genre cranked out daily. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of The Walking Dead and World War Z lovers of the living dead have a smorgasbord of flesh eating ghouls to look forward to on the screen. With so many to choose from its become more important for these films to create something new while maintaining that which we know is important about zombies, they’re history, and why they entertain us. The most important of those being how they became the man eating dead and how the living deal with it. That much said, Blood Rush is everything you would expect from a very low budget zombie genre film.
Small town America has a lot going for it. Beautiful vistas full of grass and trees, quaint little houses, a little church at the center that serves as the meeting place for all things town related, and everyone knows everyone and seems to get along despite their fetishes, well, except for the repressed witch doctor that lives on the outskirts of town. Who may or may not know a thing or two about zombies. The only way to know for sure is to send a lynch mob to his house to find out. But I get ahead of myself…
As I was saying, Blood Rush takes place in a small distant village. The perfect place for a zombie outbreak to begin. In fact the isolation is important to hysteria and consequential outcomes that develop. The distance from a bigger city limits the possibility of police and medical assistance thus making it possible for the spreading of the zombie plague, and the towns own reaction too it, that much more intense. There’s no one to restore power when it goes out, and no way for Mrs. Henderson to spend her husbands savings on a lemon colored carpet. We all know the best therapy in the midst of crazy cannibals is shopping. The town is also the perfect kind of little, hick, lonely, dead end, place that all teenagers are constantly looking to escape. Such as what our main characters are planning. Yet despite this, we all know that they will always be pulled back, and eventually be like our good ole boys, the “you don’t mess with my town” adults who take things into their owns to drastic results.
Blood Rush‘s stable of characters is the perfect mix of rich, weird, adventurous, and angst. As actors, nobody really makes there character stand out. Which makes the film an interesting conundrum. Even though the acting falls flat more often than not, the story, and silly circumstances that end every scene keep the film going at a break neck speed. I feel comfortable calling them silly circumstances since there’s no way writer/director/star Kerry Finlayson could have ever intended them to be taken seriously. This film, if nothing else, is good bloody fun. The cheesy practical effects are great for a laugh especially the use of camera misdirection. Blood Rush would be great in 3D for one scene in particular. Also, we have the most creative dispatching of a zombie baby since Jackson’s Dead Alive. I’ve recently decided to add a large spade shovel to my bug out bag.
Finally, while Blood Rush is definitely a low budget horror film, I am amazed at a couple things the film has done quite well. The awkward acting actually helps sell the idea that this is a real town in nowhere America dealing with an unbelievable situation. It’s easy to accept that Finlayson has assembled a cast of characters that aren’t really acting as much as they are just nervous towns folk thrust into the zombie apocalypse.
Blood Rush also combines everything we know about zombies, and their origination, into one creative package. By taking the idea of voodoo zombies and combining them with the cannibalistic walking dead Finlayson has opened the door to familiar zombies with a new twist. When the disease starts their hunger for flesh begins with eating raw meat. As it progresses they seem to realize that living human flesh is tastier, and this is even before the infected has died, if that is in fact what they do. Then there’s the voodoo aspect added like whipped cream to the human ice cream making the Blood Rush story very interesting indeed. Even though the title implies something more vampiric and the cover art teases a much bloodier film, there is much to appreciate about what Blood Rush adds to the zombie genre.