The Bloody Man begins with a night shot of assorted Masters of the Universe toys on a table, telling us that it’s another throwback to the 80s. Granted if you saw any of the film’s announcements hyping the presence of two actresses from A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Lisa Wilcox (Dark Ritual, The Church) and Tuesday Knight (The Amityville Moon, The Rideshare Killer) you probably guessed that already.
Sam (David Daniel) has recently lost his mother Laurie (Lisa Wilcox). His father (Jeremy Carr, Legend of The Oro Arrowhead, No Vacancy) wasted no time in moving stepmom Kim (Tuesday Knight) in. To make it worse, both his brother Michael (Sam Hadden) and sister Amy (Olivia Sanders) accept her, while Sam is suspicious of her and her motives.
It’s this family dynamic, along with Sam being bullied at school, that takes up much of The Bloody Man’s first hour. The film runs for two hours, plus credits and it seems like it takes forever to get around to giving the viewer what they’re watching it for. Yes, giving the viewer some backstory is a good thing. But this setup is so familiar there’s no need to spend this much time on it, especially as several of the scenes simply rehash the same ideas.
We do get a visualization of a comic Sam’s reading and a lengthy flashback to when his mother was still alive. But mostly it’s an endless chain of reminders that Sam is an outsider and bullied at school, and at home where he’s bullied by his brother. And he really doesn’t like his stepmother. Much of this could have been trimmed, improving The Bloody Man’s pace and enjoyability.
By the time dad has to go away on business and Kim starts acting the part of the evil stepmother a lot of viewers will be getting extremely bored. And with The Bloody Man trying to be the equivalent of The Gate or The Monster Squad and serve as an introduction to the genre for younger viewers that will be an even bigger problem given kids shorter attention spans.
Director Daniel Benedict (Bunni, The Unwanted) and co-writer Casi Clark even make us sit through visualizations of a trio of dull stories the siblings tell before finally telling us what we already guessed and letting the monster loose, something it should have done at least half an hour sooner. Making this even worse is the acting. Most of the cast have limited or no other experience and it frequently shows. There are some seriously awful performances on display in The Bloody Man, which is the last thing you need in a dialogue-heavy film.
I have to give The Bloody Man credit for doing a good job of recreating the 80s, that part was certainly done right. There are also a couple of well-done practical effects but that’s really about it. Once he finally shows up, The Bloody Man is a very underwhelming monster. He doesn’t even look scary, he’s just a bald guy who occasionally has blood on his head and spouts incredibly cheesy lines.
Actually, The Bloody Man’s best moments are humorous ones involving a severed arm with a bad attitude. The film didn’t scare me, and I doubt any but the youngest of viewers will even have doubts about how it ends. There is a mid-credits scene that takes some of the edge from the nauseatingly wholesome wrap-up, but it’s nothing special and I doubt anyone is going to wait around for it.
Wild Eye will release The Bloody Man to Digital and VOD platforms on July 12th. A DVD release is planned for later in the year. If you’re looking for something similar, but a bit better, FilmTagger may have what you want.