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The Blood Shed (2007)

DVD Cover (R Squared Films)
Genres:
Hixploitation, Horror, Horror Comedy, Sadistic Horror, Slasher Film
Director:
Alan Rowe Kelly Alan Rowe Kelly
Starring:
Susan Adriensen Susan Adriensen
Victoria Bensen Victoria Bensen
Tom Burns Tom Burns
Zoe Daelman Chlanda Zoe Daelman Chlanda
Sasha Friedenberg Sasha Friedenberg

5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 06, 2011
Every now and then, when the stars are perfectly aligned and the moon is full, I will take someone's recommendation on a flick even if I had no prior interest in it. Such is the case with The Blood Shed, a movie that I saw pop up on new release day over at Netflix and passed on. I can't say that I had anything against it when I skipped over it, but in today's world where fifty new horror flicks hit the shelves every week, one has to be a little picky. However, I was told that this was a good one, so I went ahead and queued it up. The results... well, it was certainly a memorable movie, I will say that.

Honestly, there's not much in the way of storyline here. There is a clan of inbred hillbillies living in a remote section of New Jersey, consisting of clan leader Papa Elvis Bullion (Terry West), his lovely daughter Beefteena (Alan Rowe Kelly), two dimwitted sons Butternut (Joshua Nelson) and Hubcap (Mike Lane), and the girl who lives in a tent in their backyard, Sno Cakes (Susan Adriensen). They are your typical hillbillies, with one exception: they will murder you if you cross them, tease them, or even dare to have a pretty smile in their presence. I could tell you that there is an old woman living upstairs in their house that may or may not have supernatural powers, I could tell you about Beefteena's upcoming birthday party, and I could even tell you about her desire to be the next top model... but there are simply no words in the English language to properly describe those chunks of the film for those who haven't seen them.

Normally, I would bash a movie that has no clear storyline and no underlying plot. I mean, that is sort of the point of a good horror movie: to show you a hero and a villain, to have a clear conflict between them, and to have some sort of closure to the whole thing. That does not happen here, but I can't say that it hurt the film. It's presented as more of a slice-of-life than a straightforward horror flick, and in this particular case, that worked. We meet this oddball family, we see how they operate and what gets them ticking, and then... well, people meet them and get what they have coming to them. I guess that you could say the entire film leads up to the birthday party at the end, but if anything, I'd say that this was just another scene in a string of them, only, this one was a little more elaborate.

There are two things that make the movie work, and the first is the characters. These people are deranged, they are borderline-retarded, and they have no place in a modern society... but for some reason, they are lovable all the same. Beefteena may be a disgusting person and you may not like her for some of the things that she does, but wait until you see the photo shoot and tell me that you weren't rooting for her and her kin to get their vengeance. Tell me that you didn't get a laugh out of some of the things that came out of Hubcap and Butternut's mouths, and if you don't fall in love with Papa Elvis right from the start, you simply have no soul. These characters, to put it into perspective, come across like the Firefly clan in The Devil's Rejects did: you know that they are bad people and you know that you shouldn't be rooting for them, but for some reason, you just can't help yourself even when they are playing tug-of-war with a screaming little boy.

The other thing that sold me on the movie was the sets and the attention to detail. Alan Rowe Kelly made sure to show these characters in an environment that would feel like a true home, and the results were nothing less than beautiful. The titular shed is covered in Christmas lights, bones, assorted trash, and cages containing previous victims, while the house itself looks just like something you'd expect a clan of hillbillies to call home. Unlike a lot of other movies of this nature, we never get the feeling that we are watching actors in an abandoned house or in a cousin's apartment that has been "made up" for a movie: this genuinely feels like the place that these characters would call home. Combined with the lovability of the characters, this really gets us invested in the flick, even when they are doing nothing more than shooting squirrels in the backyard.

Overall, The Blood Shed gets a thumbs up. It's sort of like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only, funnier and with more lovable characters than just the single mask-wearing freak with a chainsaw. There may not be much in the way of plot, but the characters more than make up for that, and personally, I wouldn't mind another outing with them. 8/10.
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