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Home | Film Review: Blood Lake (1987)

Film Review: Blood Lake (1987)


A group of teens head to the lake for a nice relaxing weekend only to find themselves targeted by a homicidal maniac.


Call me crazy but I dug Blood LakeYes, it is a shot on video film that probably only cost a couple of hundred bucks to make and is seemingly universally hated by most people but I enjoyed it and thought that it was a fun little slasher flick. Is it perfect? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. Is it incredibly hokey and amateurish? Heck yeah. Are some scenes so dark you can’t tell what is happening and the sound so bad at times that you can barely make out what people are saying? You bet. While it has many flaws it is still an enjoyable film in its own way and I’m glad I finally got to check it out after looking for it for a number of years.

In all honesty this film was put together by just a bunch of friends who didn’t know a whole lot about film making but were most likely fans of horror movies like Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, and many other slashers that came out during the time and wanted to make their own horror flick.

They just grabbed family members, friends, and people they knew to be in it and if I had to guess the script was written by hand on notebook paper and probably copied on the copying machine at the local bank so that everyone in the movie had a copy of it. No professional filmmakers or actors worked on it so I really don’t think that it deserves all the hate that it gets. As I’ve said time and time again I admire the hell out of anyone that tries to make a movie without having a lot of money and other resources to do so and without a doubt Blood Lake is a perfect example of this. My hat’s off to the people behind it because good or bad they made a movie (and obviously had a very good time doing so, which is the most important thing) which is more than a lot of other people can say.

In terms of premise things don’t get any simpler (or more unoriginal) in the case of Blood Lake. Some teenagers (and what appears to also be a preteen couple) go to the lake to waterski (and boy do they!), drink, screw, smoke pot, and just engage in your typical stupid teenage antics only to run afoul of fat guy with a cowboy hat and boots that enjoys killing people with a big knife. In terms of plot that is basically the short and long of it but that’s okay because even though I have seen countless films with the exact same premise (well, minus the fat killer with the cowboy hat in most cases) I love them and just can’t get enough of them as they hold a special place in my heart. Blood Lake will never be considered groundbreaking or anything when it comes to being original but it doesn’t matter because people like me (and a lot of you out there) enjoy these types of movies.

While they lack a lot of depth I still liked the characters. I know, I know, they are pretty flat and just like a slew of other characters that are featured in a ton of similar movies but I liked them. I dug the fact that they threw in a tweener couple too as I just thought that this was a nice touch and something that you really don’t ever see in most horror films.

I loved the preteen boy as he was just a funny little horn dog that keeps trying to get into the preteen girl’s pants (something you would never, ever see in this day and age in a million years outside of a Larry Clark movie but then it would just be gross and uncomfortable for everyone). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate preteen sex but let’s face it, when you were in middle school (and a boy) didn’t you talk about sex all the time (even if you didn’t have a clue about it) and brag to your friends about the person you banged over the weekend (even if it wasn’t true)? That’s pretty much what this character is all about. He’s that annoying middle school kid that is always trying to seduce the pretty girl in his class even though he wouldn’t have any idea what to do with her if she consented and that is why I think that this character ruled (hell, I pretty much was him back in 1988 when I was in 8th grade). The kid is an obnoxious little punk that I would most likely hate in real life but I really dug him in this movie for some strange reason.

While I dug the movie, I will say that it has a lot of problems, the biggest being its pacing. There are a lot of scenes that go on for way too long (why does the waterskiing scene go on forever?) and they could have definitely been trimmed down.

The acting is quite bad too and there are times when I think that the people in the movie just plain forgot what they were supposed to say and just said whatever because they knew the camera was rolling. We are also treated to a lot of pointless scenes where the characters are just sitting around talking about things I really didn’t care about that go on a lot longer than they should too. I also thought that the killer was pretty lame too as he is just some chunky guy in a cowboy hat and boots that makes no attempt to hide his identity. He isn’t exactly intimidating and if he came running at me with a knife I think my first instinct would be to laugh more than anything else. Still, I guess he isn’t as lame as the killer in Cherry Falls or Urban Legend though now that I think about it.

I may be in the minority, but I dug Blood Lake. It may not be the greatest slasher film ever but it has a lot of heart and a weird charm in its own strange way (plus I thought the ending with the drained lake was pretty cool). It isn’t for everyone but if you are into low budget slasher flicks from the 80s then I think it is totally for you. Check it out if you haven’t seen it, I think that you may end up liking it despite how much everyone else seems to hate it.

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