Three strangers find themselves at a villa, each with the same goal of discovering the Fountain of Youth, rumored to be nearby. One by one they succumb to the carnal perversions and depraved delights provided by the villa, unaware they are pawns in the resurrection of a centuries old evil.
As I sit here staring at a blank sheet of paper, I am finding it increasingly difficult to write about A Blood Story. I don’t know what it is that is giving me such a hard time with this review. I don’t have any idea where to start and my mind isn’t showing me any path upon which to write. I am blindly going into this review with no directions to follow. This review is going to be an adventure into depths of my mind that I may never have imagined existed.
A Blood Story was assigned to me to watch and review, just like any other movie I have reviewed. I had never heard of the movie before I was told to watch it. If you haven’t heard of it either, I’ll give you an idea of what it is. Mindy Robinson stars in A Blood Story as Madison Sheffield, a writer on a trip to a retreat owned by Francis (Camden Toy). In this villa, people are tortured and killed in order for others to find the fountain of youth. Later on, there is bathing in blood, a heist featuring a character named Gerry the Jaw (Robert Z’Dar), and an attempted resurrection. All of this happens while we get narration from the main character who is writing a book about her experiences. The movie is not particularly good, nor is it memorable. I’m trying to piece together what I remember as I write.
The narration is one of the few things I can recall about A Blood Story. Most of the narration was based upon the writing that Madison Sheffield was doing for her next book. What she said was what she was writing on her laptop. The quality of the narration was poor. Part of it can be attributed to the line reading throughout the movie. Mindy Robinson does not seem capable of putting depth behind her voiceover performance. The most heinous aspect of the narration, however, is the writing. The character, as I have already mentioned multiple times, is a writer. She is presented throughout the movie as though she is a good writer. Yet her writing sounds as though it was part of a middle school student’s essay, albeit, with more adult related themes occurring. It was as though the screenwriter did not know how to filter his writing through the style of another person or character. The only way that writer/director Joe Hollow could filter the writing was to dumb down the prose, and that only hurt the movie.
Mindy Robinson’s narration wasn’t the only problem with her performance in A Blood Story. She was mostly a non-presence throughout the movie, despite having the most screen time. Sure, her body is good enough that you don’t mind looking at her when she is on screen, but that doesn’t forgive how boring her performance is. She is the second worst performer in the movie, feeling disingenuous in every moment. The worst performance of the movie goes to Melanie Robel who is playing the partner to the owner of the villa. She is so flat and monotone that it would stand out even if she weren’t paired with the best performer throughout the entire runtime. By best performer, I mean Camden Toy. He eats up every second of screen time with delicious pleasure. More of him would have made for a more enjoyable hour and a half. And I can’t go without mentioning Robert Z’Dar. The moment that his recognizable face appears (sadly in one of his final performances, as he died in March 2015) the movie picks up a little bit.
The location of the majority of the movie was a problem as well. A lot of it was set in a sparsely decorated villa owned by Francis. Maybe this is why I cannot distinguish too much of the movie. The setting was so plain and bland that all momentum was wiped away. Had there been more visually stimulating scenery to look at instead of red or white walls with very few decorative features, the movie could have held my attention better and felt more kinetic. Alas, I was left with blank walls that held a sword or had an older style chair in front of it. This visual made time drag on and left me bored.
This boredom did not make for a good experience while watching A Blood Story. The movie wasn’t necessarily a tough one to sit through. It is actually pretty easy to sit down and watch the movie. The thing is, it’s like when someone is talking to you and nothing of what they say registers in your head. The movie went in my eyes and ears but came out of me somewhere along the way so that I can only remember vague details about it. I remember disliking the visuals, the narration, and two of the performances. I remember liking some of the other performances and I remember that the movie picked up a little bit when the heist aspect came into play. However, that is where my recollection of A Blood Story stops. If there is one thing that can be taken away from having watched it, that thing would be how utterly forgettable it is. Not a whole lot of it stuck with me. That is the biggest indicator that it wasn’t good. Oh well.