Movie Review: The Girl with All the Gifts
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A local legend tells the tale of the Krupps, who initially are unable to have children. When Mrs. Krupp finally becomes pregnant, she and her husband take a blood oath (courtesy of a witch) to ensure that their twins and crops would be saved. The twins are born, but it turns out that the Krupps were tricked into a deal with the devil, instead. The couple flee in their car, which ends up crashing, killing the parents, leaving one twin unharmed while the other left disfigured. Decades later, a group of friends go off to investigate the urban legend of the disfigured twin roaming the woods killing people. Guess what happens next?
Another day, another Troma. Yeah, I know I sound like a broken record. To be honest, the last Troma release that I reviewed, BLOOD JUNKIE, wasn't that bad. Now we have BLOOD OATH (no relation to BLOOD JUNKIE), starring everyone's fave scream queen, Tiffany Shepis, and directed by another up and coming director, David Buchert. Yeah, even with Ms. Shepis, I'm still not feeling it for this one.
Speaking of Tiffany, she's probably the best part about this film. Whether it's showing off her cleavage or acting to the best of what she can do with the script, it's nice that she was onscreen to make me at least want to see what was in store for her and the rest of the college kids. Then she bit the dust, and I was sad. Still, there's hope that the film can succeed even with Tiffany's brief appearance, right?
Uh, no. The film just plain sucked. Apart from Shepis, the acting from everyone else averaged between so-so and mediocre, with a large amount of wood thrown in. Jamie Reynolds is probably the worst at this. The guy's character was supposed to be laid back, I know. Not to the point where he doesn't even react to one of his equally-wooden friend named Charlie jumps out of a closet to scare him. Oh yeah, punching the guy is about as much reaction from Jamie as we get as to how scared he was. Throw in a lame Leatherface-type killer played by Patrick Holt (who really does remind me of Leatherface in his 'Pretty Woman' mask), your typical Troma effects (human heads are always soft and filled with leftover strawberry jam) and horror cliché after horror cliché. I gave BLOOD JUNKIE props because while it was derivative, the group behind it tried to put a different spin on it by making the film take place in the 80s, complete with costumes, dialogue and even the look of the film. Not here. It's just a low-budget slasher that's as forgettable as it is unoriginal.
Oh yeah, in typical Troma fashion, there's a twist ending that involves a certain appendage that would give John Holmes a run for his money. Great.
Yeah, you can tell how interested I was in this one by the amount of writing I've done. Fans of Troma will probably not listen to me, flip me off and say how great this film is, but the rest of us will be shaking our heads. See it for the brief appearance of Tiffany Shepis showing off her cleavage, but that's it.
Video: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is a pretty good presentation for this low-budget affair. Colours are nicely replicated, with good clarity. Things tend to get hit hardest during the nighttime scenes, as the clarity goes down a bit. Black levels are okay, but nothing spectacular.
Audio: The single audio track, a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, isn't anything to write home about, but is suitable for the task at hand. There aren't any major issues with distortion or background noise, but the dynamic range isn't exactly great. Still, dialogue was clear and easy to follow, which is good.
First up is the same introduction with Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon as found on BLOOD JUNKIE, save for the obvious dubbed-in name changes. Cue the canned laughter.
The first real extra is the audio commentary with director David Buchert. Buchert does provide an informative talk about the film, almost making me wish that I didn't slam it like I did. Then I saw Jamie Reynolds acting, and promptly went back to being pissed off.
Following that is The Making of Blood Oath: Behind The Scenes. Clocking in at just over a half hour, this is first off pretty surprising that we get a making-of doc for a film of this nature (and a rather sizeable one at that). Consisting primarily of behind-the-scenes footage mixed in with crew anecdotes about what was going on in that shot and how they pulled it off, this is a fun little doc that actually makes the film somewhat more enjoyable. Somewhat. I did like the use of a Super Soaker to apply blood to the cast.
Following that is a Special Effects featurette, which details the low-budget way of creating the gore effects and the prosthetic appliance for Patrick Holt. It's interesting how things were done (including having some younger family members comment on what the effects guys were doing), though could someone explain why they took the cast of the guy's face at night?
Outtakes consist of your typical blown lines or mistakes of the natural type, like the sun blowing out the shot, for instance. Nothing really hilarious.
Storyboard Slideshow is pretty self-explanatory, with audio from the various scenes playing over the storyboards.
Finishing things up is the film's trailer and trailers for other Troma films.
Yeah, you know the rest. BLOOD OATH, despite trying to be creative with the whole story about the twins, is just a plain bad low-budget slasher. The extras try to make things a little easier to stomach, but in the end, I just wasn't interested. Thanks, Troma.