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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Portugal > Bad Blood (Horror/Portugal/Tartan Video/DTS DVD)

Bad Blood (Horror/Portugal/Tartan Video/DTS)


Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C



If you like Hammer & Amicus British Horror about witches in a small town and want to see what it would be like to combine that with Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall Of the House Of Usher and Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, you may just want to see Paulo Branco’s thriller Bad Blood, a Horror film from Portugal that at least offers a different brand in the genre.  Though ambitious, the result is actually a mixed bag of highs and lows as Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho tries to do many things in a surprisingly coherent way.


The problem arises when the elements start jumbling the film towards the end and some of the ends just don’t add up.  In addition, some of the conventions seem more dated than others, making the time/space placement too anachronistic for its own good.  A family inherits an out of the way place that turns out to be haunted.  Amusingly, it does dated things that were made long obsolete by Kubrick’s The Shining and deservedly so.  Maybe I am missing something about culture in Portugal, but the overuse of prayer lines becomes self-satire quickly, though the film recovers only long enough for the next snag.  All in all, it’s an interesting failure.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is soft and likely softer than intended since this seems to stem from an issue with the video master used.  Director of Photography Vitor Estevao, A.I.P., does not gut the color or try most of the tired clichés we have seen in the genre lately.  The sound is upgraded here to DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1, but you can hear sound limits from the original recording in the lack of soundfield.  Dialogue recording is not bad.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is weaker.  Extras include the original theatrical trailer and a making of featurette.  Of course, the great 1975 Neil Sedaka hit that shares the name of this film never materializes.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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