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THE BLEEDING
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Charlie Picerni

Starring:
Michael Matthias
Vinne Jones
Rachelle Leah
Michael Madsen
Kat Von D
DMX

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After muscle car-loving badass Shawn Black's (Michael Matthias) parents are murdered and his brother is reported missing in Afghanistan, he wants some serious revenge. However, when looking for some ass to kick, he discovers that the Vampire King (Vinnie Jones) has returned to Earth in the body of his missing brother to kill a bunch of people and only Black can stop him... because he's a certifiable Vampire Slayer.
Is it good movie?
With FAST FIVE gearing up for theaters in a few weeks I’ve been preparing by checking out the previous FAST movies, getting my Vin Diesel fill with flicks like xXx and PITCH BLACK, and checking out other fast-car movies like THE TRANSPORTER and the like. In a way, sitting down to THE BLEEDING is a lot like these other fast-cars/ Vin Diesel flicks—except THE BLEEDING features vampires, Vinnie Jones with a full head of hair, Matthew Matthias rocking the Vin Diesel look-a-like contest, and a drunken Michael Madsen (naturally) as a priest with nothing to lose. Sounds epic, right? Wrong. Yes, there’s fast cars and action sequences, but the story is flimsy, the acting is horrendous, and even the bits of gore and violence can’t save this stinker from sucking ass.

THE BLEEDING is the one of the perfect cases where the acting single-handedly destroys the movie from being an OK ride to an absolute shitfest. Visually, the film looks like a legit Hollywood picture (for the most part, anyway), and the stunts and car sequences are about as fast and furious as any full-blown action movie thanks to director Charlie Picerni, a guy who’s made a career for himself as a stunt coordinator though the years. The special effects are also quite rockin’, using practical gore effects (versus CGI) to fuel the extreme gore of vampire impaling and gunshot wounds throughout. If judging the film just on the technical aspects, it’d get a pretty solid score as everything is done top-notch and all the money this low-budget flick had is definitely seen on screen. Too bad the silly script and the bad acting had to show it's ugly head and eff it all up.

From the moment Matthias and Rachelle Leah appear on screen together and have an exchange of dialog, it’s apparent they had no plans of delivering anything more than a first-run table-read. Seriously, the delivery of lines from these two, not to mention everyone else in the film, is horrendous. Maybe they didn’t have time to memorize lines or read the script so they were reading the script on poster boards off-screen or everyone just graduated from Acting 101 from the local community college… whatever the case was, nobody brought their A-game and we (the audience) ultimately pay the price. Matthias is probably the worst of the bunch, trying so hard to be Vin Diesel that it’s almost painful to watch, someone should have told him to focus on his acting chops and not his sleeveless T-shirt selections. And why on Earth would they give him a bunch of voice-overs to help tell the story? He manages to deliver his lines even worse when he’s doing the voice overs. Come one, guys, give us a break here!

But what about the rest of the more recognizable cast? DMX shows up for about 5 minutes of screen time, as does the less-than-stellar Kat Von D—both of which probably gave it their all but were seriously underutilized. Vinnie Jones, Michael Madsen, and Armand Assante actually rocked their roles like seasoned professionals and were the film’s only saving graces, the biggest prize going to Assante, who was only in it for a few minutes, but was so badass that he was the most memorable dude in the whole movie. That and seeing Jones rock a full head of hair (with a pony tail!) and vampire teeth. Were these guys enough to save the movie? No… but they made it slightly less painful.

Video / Audio
Video: Transfer is presented in widescreen (2.35:1) and looks as sharp and professional as most Hollywood, big-budgeted projects do.

Audio: 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound that's clear, loud, and in your ear! In other words, the sound's solid.

The Extras
The disc offers three 5-minute featurettes about different aspects of the filmmaking process. They're all pretty standard and at around 5 minutes, they're at about the perfect length. Plus that Rachelle Leah is practically falling out of her shirt the whole time!

Cast Interviews: The major players in the cast talk about what it's like working on the film, their characters, and how much fun it was making the movie.

Make-Up & Effects: The blood and gore effects are explored, showing exactly how Kat Von D almost cried during her death scene because she didn't want the squibs to hurt when then went off.

Stunts: Because director Charlie Picerni is a renowned stunt coordinator before stepping into the director's chair, you know the stunt-work is going to be impressive--and it is. You see all the hard work there is in putting the stunts together.

Last Call
On the outside, THE BLEEDING is one of those perfect entertaining experiences: fast cars, hot women, macho men, vampires, and Michael Madsen as a drunk priest. But the reality is far from perfect, with shoddy acting and a lame script, making for one painful movie to sit through from beginning to end. There are some cool car stunts here and there... but not enough to save the flick from itself.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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