‘Life Blood’ – 2009
Director: Ron Carlson
Writer: Ron Carlson
Starring: Sophie Monk, Anya Lahiri, Scout Taylor-Compton, Danny Woodburn
Runtime: 85 minutes.
Just looking at the cover and reading a brief description of Life Blood promises that it’s going to be one of the most supremely awful things you’ve ever seen. So, how could I resist. I can’t actually recall when I discovered that this was in existence, but I knew right away that it needed a review here at the B Movie Brigade. Life Blood, formerly titled Murder World, and internationally Pearblossom, is about lesbian vampires. Very broadly. I figured, honestly, that the reason for the lesbianism was one of two (perhaps both) things; it was one of those subgenre gay films that really has no reason for the lesbianism except that lesbians can relate more or else it was pretty much so guys could see two hot girls making out. It probably started as the latter, though I admit I could be wrong. There are a few choice make out scenes between the girls, but the lesbianism quickly get lost in a horror plot to the point where I sort of forgot it existed in the first place. So, what’s it really about? Okay.
Life Blood starts in a diner. The sort of greasy spoon filled with toothless gentlemen and motionless fat ladies picking at their congealed burgers which I am not entirely convinced really exist beyond bad movies. A blonde picks up and order and shouts out “Avocado burger!” I’m not sure who she’s shouting to, perhaps the whole restaurant because she can’t remember anyone’s orders and is waiting for someone to raise their hand. My first thought here was; who the hell goes to a greasy spoon and orders an avocado burger? You just know that avocado is wilted into a brown goop. The only response the waitress receives is a gruff “This food sucks” from a goth dude seated at the counter. Perhaps this is foreshadowing. We pan to a table where a brunette is explaining to a younger brunette that there’s evil in the world and that there are angels that are meant to kill that evil. I guess this should have been my first clue that these were not conventional vampires.
Suddenly we’re in another scene where we meet Rhea, the brunette, and her lover Brooke. It’s apparently 1968, where girls wear modern clothes and make out with each other in public. We only really know that it’s 1968, in fact, because they give us a quick subtitle and blast Donovan for awhile. “Mellow Yellow” is totally my make out music too. Brooke and Rhea decide to leave the party, but not before they run into Warren James, an actor that’s apparently a massive ass.
The scene switches, rather abruptly again, to Warren James in the bathroom with the chick who plays Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie’s Halloween. He’s evidently planning on raping her cause her keeps saying that no one would believe her since he’s famous. He wants her to do sexy things. Sticking her fingers in her mouth while she’s crying is so sexy. Brooke then walks in, for reasons unknown, gets pissed off and stabs Warren eighty seven times with some sort of long sharp chopsticky thing that Laurie Strode had in her hair. I don’t know, it doesn’t matter really, all that matter is that she killed this dude and needs to get away. So she piles in the car with her lesbian love and confesses while driving down the Pearblossom Highway. Rhea is upset, rightly, but doesn’t show much despondency until Brooke runs over a possum that runs out into the road. Then Rhea tells her to pull over, and runs into the desert screaming that everything is dying and she doesn’t know what’s happening. Killing a rapist and running over a possum is a sign of the apocalypse, clearly. She keeps repeating “I don’t know what’s happening!” so many times that it goes beyond reasonable. And she’s obsessed with the possum. All I can imagine is that she’s the founding member of the Possum Appreciation Fund. Brooke doesn’t seem to understand why Rhea’s so upset either. But that hardly matters because at just that moment there’s some sort of whirling air in the sky that knocks Brooke away and then somehow kills her. Rhea braces herself, but instead of receiving a blow herself a hot woman manifests and walks towards her.
So… God (we only know it’s god cause the luscious babe playing her says she once made it rain for forty days and forty nights and doesn’t want to make that happen again, I guess it took a lot out of her) comes to Rhea and tells her she’s got a pure heart so she needs to kill some evil guys. And she’ll be immortal. Brooke can only come back to life if she takes up this same mantel. Rhea agrees, makes out with God, and the deal is set.
Again we move through time, but now cause Rhea and Brooke has been hanging out in statis pods for forty years. Why? They don’t really clue us in. Maybe it’s that their power can’t manifest straight away? We don’t know. Maybe its cause they wanted it to be set in modern day, but the director really, really liked that Donovan song. Anyway, when they emerge they’re vampires. Again, not entirely clear on why that is. They’re meant to kill evil people and gain power from each kill. Some vampire rules apply; they burn in the sun and drink blood, but garlic doesn’t seem to do a lick of harm and they can be killed in ordinary human ways. The major difference here is, of course, God made them vampires, not some demony thing. Though… nah, that’s a whole theological debate right there.
This is where my synopsis ends. Cause… honestly, this is where the heart of the story begins. It’s not particularly surprising to imagine that Brooke might have a few problems with their new job; she didn’t ask for it after all and never agreed. But then again, she did kill that Warren James guy cause he was being a dick, so it sort of seems like it might be up her alley. I don’t know, maybe we were meant to see that particular act as her being unstable, though it’s pretty much exactly what God was asking them to do. After a run in with a trucker and another guy who just stops on the side of the road it becomes clear that Brooke’s much more into the killing people than killing evil people. Still, Rhea loves her so they stick together to hole up for the day at a rest stop called Murder World. Why? I have no fucking idea. I mean, quite honestly, if I were driving down a desert road and needed to stop I wouldn’t care how long it was to the next place, I sure as hell wouldn’t be stopping at a place called Murder World. Especially since, with Brooke there, that seems to be exactly what they carry.
The police, of course, are an inept crew including the young Asian female deputy who seems to have her head on straight and has good intentions but ultimately no follow through. Meaning, of course, she doesn’t take any sort of initiative, even though she’s usually right. There’s Felix, played by that little person guy from Seinfeld who gets in trouble with the little person community for putting heighteners in his shoes. He’s probably the best actor of the bunch. And the only member of the Pearblossom police who both realizes that something is amiss and actually goes to check it out. I think you can imagine his fate. Then there’s the Sheriff. There’s probably some unwritten rule on high that is handed down to hack screenwriters when they want to depict small town Sheriffs. They’re always morons. And usually at least a little bit hick-ish and pigheaded, they never want to believe anything. Someday I’d really like to see a horror movie where the characters run into the police station covered in blood, screaming that zombies are on their way over the hill and the small town Sheriff pulls out a shotgun, fortifies the place, and starts shooting said zombies to hell. Instead we continually get two types 1) they simply don’t believe them, despite their blood covered appearance, or 2) they decide to go check it out for themselves and are immediately murdered. Life Blood gives us a nice combination of the two. Sheriff Tillman pretty much sits in his office reading magazines with his cowboy boots up on the counter for most of the film laughing about how the residents are talking about vampires, and then rushes in with one tiny gun when it’s apparent that there is actually something going on. He actually utters the line: “Whoever you are why don’t you come out here and try this shit on a full sized man!”
I think, mostly, police are only in these sorts of movies cause the screenwriter can’t justify not putting them in. Something like… why wouldn’t the police be there? Well, true, it is the job of the police to protect their residents, but as soon as supernatural and/or mythological creatures get involved you know it’s only going to end badly.
Really, the whole thing is meant to be a battle between good and evil. Though the good spends the majority of the time lying on the floor of Murder World and the evil is tepid, at best. The thing that gets me is that, while hokey as all living hell, the idea for this movie really isn’t that bad. You could get some awesome Buffy-esque stuff going down. Instead they went for a hot blonde killing random people for no good reason while throwing out really, really horrible quips.
So, would I recommend this? Absolutely not. It’s terrible. The acting is hollow, the dialogue flat, and the plot downright stupid. However, it was pretty funny. I wasn’t bored, as some people on the Internet Movie Database message boards claimed to be, but I wasn’t particularly even rooting for one side to win over the other. Though, even though I saw it coming, I was a little sad when Felix died. You could see what the filmmakers were going for with this one; cheesy fun, and in a few ways they succeeded. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on the SyFy Channel someday, and perhaps that’s just where it belongs.