Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

A few years back I’m hanging out with my good friend Tyrone when his wife started telling me about these novels she reads. Now there’s a name for the genre of these novels, something like ‘vampirotica’ or ‘gorotica’ or something-rotica… I just can’t remember exactly what it was. Since girlfriend was so high on this stuff I asked her to pass me one of these novels and so I can check it out. Worst. Book. Ever. This was supposed to be some kind of sexy vampire tome but instead it was slow, nothing ever happened, there was no sex or sexiness and was instead filled with innuendo, suggestion, frustration and unfulfilled desire. Maybe it’s Romantica. Whatever it was it was horrible. Wouldn’t you know that I’ve stumbled upon a movie version of this genre in the vampire ‘thriller’ Bled. Not wanting to stray from formula this movie, similar to that awful book I read, was filled with innuendo, suggestion, frustration, unfulfilled desire and abject tedium.

Sai, played by Sarah Farooqui, is your typical urbanite ultra-hip artist with 3% body fat attending one of those pretentious art gallery showings where people eat things like brie and drink wine with fancy names. Sai’s close inner circle of friends is at her showing, including her best buddy and photographer Royce (Chris Ivan Cevic) who wants so much more than simply to be Sarah’s ‘buddy’. Apparently Sai wants more as well but for whatever reason this set of grown folks prefer to remain frustrated.

Then comes Renfield (Jonathan Oldham), a Rico Suave Scandinavian cat who loves Sai’s dark art style and is feeling like purchasing a few pieces, but first he wants to meet with the artist to discuss her work. Renfield can sense Sarah’s talent but feels something is holding her back and to break the stifling bonds of mental restrictions he introduces the girl to his Super Chronic! So Sarah smokes this stuff, despite the fact it has these weird looking bloody bubbles sticking out of it, and the next thing you know she’s in another dimension experiencing some crazy mind bending fantasies. But it has taken her artwork to the next level.

Before you can say ‘strung out’ Sarah is hitting this Chronic on a regular basis, even getting her friends hooked on this wacky tobacky. The side-effects of this stuff are a sonuvabitch which somehow includes creating a portal for blood sucking monsters, incessant horniness, and in many cases death by murder. Somehow our frustrated photographer has to find a way to save the strung out artist that he achingly longs for from the monster and the creepy art buyer / drug dealer. How is he going to do this? By hitting that Chronic.

Let’s start off this brief discussion of Director Christopher Hutson’s movie on a positive note. Positively speaking ‘Bled’ looks great. There’s a nice smooth, creepy gothic look to the film that gives it an appearance of a movie costing a heckuva lot move that what I’m sure the producers of the film were working with. And that’s pretty much it. Other than the fact that Sarah Farooqui is pretty damned good looking, but what movie ever made doesn’t have good looking women somewhere in its cast?

Unfortunately for me, just like that horrific novel I read, ‘Bled’ was painfully slow. It always seemed to be on the verge of something happening but that something never came, at least in any kind of way that I found remotely satisfying. Then you have to combine the slowness factor with the confusion factor because I still don’t know exactly what was going on in this movie with its weird monster, the creepy art dealer and the wacky tobacky. But because the movie moves so slow, some of this could’ve been explained but I might’ve wondered off mentally a couple of times and completely missed those parts. What ‘Bled’ really needed was to commit to something. It showed hints of being some kind of erotic vampire thriller but hints was all you got. It showed hints of being a gory vampire slayer flick but again, hints was the best they could do for us. There were even hints of this being a romance but it couldn’t even commit to that. Note that I have no particular desire to see that but I would’ve settled for that over what I eventually got.

So if you want to see a nice looking movie that has a great atmosphere to it then don’t look any further. And if you want to be massively frustrated waiting for something to happen and wish to sprinkle that boredom with a dash of confusion then ‘Bled’ is a film tailor made for your needs.

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