July 27, 2019

BLOOD PARADISE: Do-It-Yourself Horror

http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/
BLOOD PARADISE (2018)
Starring Andrea Winter, Christer Cavallius, Rolf Brunnstrom, Patrick von Barkenberg, Ingrid Hedstrom, Ellinor Berglund. Directed by Patrick von Barkenberg. (84 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM ARTSPLOITATION FILMS


Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat๐Ÿ™€

Patrick von Barkenberg and Andrea Winter are quite the pair of auteurs. Their names dominate the credits of Blood Paradise, with one-or-both of them producing, directing, writing, editing, scoring, set-designing, costuming and prominently starring. Even the two music videos included here, credited to “Baba Yaga,” are by Winter.

So it goes without saying this film was probably a labor of love. But while their DIY spirit is admirable, perhaps they should consider delegating some of the duties next time, such as the screenplay. Maybe that way the story won’t be quite as aimless.

Winter plays Robin Richards, a novelist whose latest book is a critical flop. Hoping to gain some inspiration, she decides to spend time at a remote farm in the country, run by a creepy farmer who recently buried his wife in their garden. She also must deal with her driver, Hans (Christer Cavallius), a huge fan of her books, to the chagrin of his obnoxiously jealous wife, Elsa (Ellinor Berglund). But it turns out her jealousy is justified since he’s seen fondling Robin’s panties and leering in the background as she dresses. Robin’s boyfriend Teddy (von Barkenberg) later texts that he’s going to join her at the farm, but he’s mysteriously murdered upon arrival.

"Hey, mister! I found your shirt!"
While the basic premise is okay and it begins promisingly, Blood Paradise is bogged down by lethargic pacing, scenes that have little to do with the plot and way too much emphasis on the Teddy & Elsa’s domestic woes. Touted as a ‘sexy thriller,’ the film is neither sexy nor thrilling. Winter’s ample nude scenes (bathing, swimming, etc) are simply gratuitous, while most sequences calculated to generate suspense ultimately amount to nothing. None of these characters are interesting and the revelation of who’s terrorizing Robin will surprise no one. The ending is also a real bummer, despite an amusing appearance by a flock of curious sheep.

Some of this is played for laughs and the S&M-tinged opening scene is admittedly hilarious. But while there will undoubtedly be viewers tickled by its self-consciously quirky tone, Blood Farmer is seldom as funny, scary, violent or sexually-charged as its trailer suggests. The film ultimately ends up feeling a lot longer than its scant running time.

EXTRA KIBBLES
DELETED SCENES
2 MUSIC VIDEOS
KITTY CONSENSUS:
MEH...LIKE SHARING THE BED WITH THE DOG.

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