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