VideoVista covers rental and retail titles in all genres and movie or TV categories, with filmmaker interviews, auteur profiles, top 10 lists,
plus regular prize draws.
INDEX OF ALL REVIEWS
SEARCH THIS SITE
TOP 10 LISTS
INTERVIEWS & PROFILES
RETRO REVIEWS SECTION
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
SUPPORT THIS SITE -
SHOP USING THESE LINKS
visit other Pigasus Press sites...
The ZONE - genre nonfiction
Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Nick Ashedon, Oliver Boot, Tracy Ifeachor, Joseph Klosta, and Cicely Tennant
director: Edward Boase
76 minutes (15) 2011
widescreen ratio 16:9
Revolver DVD Region 2
review by Jim Steel
Ambitiously flawed, the structure of Blooded causes irritation throughout the viewing experience. It's almost as if the director got cold
feet and decided to insert another layer to thicken the broth. Unfortunately that has rendered a fascinatingly shot (albeit run-of-the-mill)
humans-as-prey hunting thriller into something that is disjointed and difficult to watch. Small bits of it, however, are very good indeed.
Five young friends, including a rich land-owner (Nick Ashedon and - briefly - Neil McDermott) who is a strong advocate of fox hunting, decide to
go stag hunting on a remote part of Mull. They are drugged by animal liberationists who turn them loose, alone and nearly naked, on the hills and
then proceed to hunt them down. The resulting chase is filmed and released on the internet. This does not constitute a spoiler for we are made
aware of this from the start. Nor is the film made from 'found footage' as, apart from a very few brief seconds, none of the 'real' footage is
Instead, the events on Mull are recreated with actors while the real victims (played by different actors) recount their experiences in studio
interviews that are inter-cut with the docudrama. There is little in the way of tension there since we know from the start that most of them survive.
There is also no attempt to pick sides on the ethics of hunting, although the animal liberation folk, with their balaclavas and combat jackets,
are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to viewer identification. It becomes apparent that this is an exploration of psychology under stress.
Unfortunately most of the actors in the interviews can't deliver their parts with any conviction (Isabella Calthorpe is the one exception), and
it comes across as an exercise in telling instead of showing.
There is also a problem with the docudrama footage in that it takes half-an-hour to get going. There are various trials and tribulations as the
characters establish their personalities, including an over-egged side-plot where Lucas tries to propose to his ex-girlfriend (Cicely Tennant on
Mull, Isabella Calthorpe in the studio). Having been up in hunting lodges and cottages in the highlands myself, I should like to point out that
no one dresses in black tie for dinner, even ironically. It's too much hard work after a long day. And no-one drinks High Commissioner whisky unless
they've got a drink problem and no money. The stuff's foul. It strongly suggests that someone fairly clueless was sent out to buy props.
The film becomes more interesting once the characters are abandoned on the hillside. The scenery overpowers the characters and if your only previous
exposure to Mull was Balamory then you will be impressed. If the director had had the courage to allow the space and silence of the place to reign
then he would have produced a much better film. What is the point of making a hunting thriller in the first place if you feel that you are above
There are plenty of DVD bonus features. There are the usual commentaries and making-of documentary, outtakes of even more of the studio 'interviews'
that were mercifully not used, and there is also a little three-minute gem called Home Video. A woman wakes up in the middle of the night
to find that her television is on and she is being filmed on a camcorder. She rewinds the camcorder footage and realises that she has been stalked
throughout the day. It's a shaggy dog story that manages to chill because we know exactly where it is going. No attempt was made to subvert the genre