Blood Covered Chocolate (2022) Review
Blood Covered Chocolate is billed as a tribute to the original cinematic vampire film, Nosferatu. While the two do share black and white photography they don’t have similar stories and Blood Covered Chocolate’s vampirism as an addiction plot, it has more in common with Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction or George A. Romero’s Martin than F.W. Murnau’s film.
Massimo (Michael Klug, House of Black Wings, Space) is a recovering heroin addict, and his girlfriend Tien (Christine Nguyen, Girls Guns and Blood, Attack of the Killer Donuts) is a recovering alcoholic. Their relationship seems to be a healthy one and helps to keep them clean.
On the other hand, Massimo’s relationship with his family is anything but healthy. He has some very troubling thoughts about Barbara (Debra Lamb, The Invisible Maniac, Teacher Shortage) and his stepfather Crate (Joe Altieri, Vengeance Turns, Direct Son) is a violent criminal who demands Massimo dump Tien. It’s after a particularly nasty argument with him that Massimo is bitten by Lucky (Jamie Tran, 47 Ronin, Tequila Shots) and begins to change.
Lucky eventually becomes Sofia (Meghan Deanna Kingsley, Sharknado: Heart of Sharkness, For Jennifer) and convinces Massimo to break up with Tien. But as he begins to grow into his powers she realizes even she can’t control the beast that she’s created.
Shot in black-and-white by award-winning cinematographer Neal Tyler, Blood Covered Chocolate acts as an homage to the one-hundred-year-old F.W. Murnau classic Nosferatu. While indebted to the history of cinema, it is also a timely commentary on the demons and addictions inherent in modern life. As an exploration of my own struggles with substance abuse, this is the most personal movie I’ve ever made.Monte Light
Writer/director Monte Light (2 Die For, Thanatopolis) and cinematographer Neal Tyler (The Greatest Bond, Driftwood) stage all of this with loads of stylishly shot black and white photography along with the occasional moments in clour, including a snippet of the film Mystics in Bali. But while Blood Covered Chocolate looks great, its script struggles to measure up.
But while Blood Covered Chocolate looks great, its uneven script struggles to measure up. The film tries to mix entirely too many themes and genres into one film and ends up not doing any of them justice. Unfortunately, it’s the vampire storyline, the one people are tuning in to see, that gets the least attention paid to it.
Compounding this is Blood Covered Chocolate’s lack of likable characters. Just about everyone we meet apart from Tien is a walking piece of shit. While Massimo isn’t a bad person, he’s so weak and spineless that I spent most of the film wanting to slap him and tell him to grow a pair. It’s only when Gage (Mike Ferguson, Hellblazers, Apex Predators), one of Crate’s goons, tries to kill him that he finally stands up for himself.
The cast, which also includes veteran actress Helene Udy (My Bloody Valentine, The Haunting of the Lady-Jane) tries their best with the script, but much of it is just too weird and artsy to be effective. Pulling something like this off takes the talent of someone like Romero or Ferrara, and while he isn’t entirely untalented, Light isn’t in their league. This is especially obvious in the film’s final minutes when he chooses about the worst possible way to end the film.
To its credit, Blood Covered Chocolate does manage to deliver some decent gore. Lauren Verret (The Rideshare Killer, The Red Tide Massacre) delivers some severed body parts and a disemboweling. Those, and Ms. Nguyen’s breasts, might help those who thought they were getting a conventional horror film to stay awake.
Interesting in parts, but ultimately too uneven and artsy for its own good, Blood Covered Chocolate falls short of the films it wants to emulate. Terror Films will release Blood Covered Chocolate to VOD and Digital Platforms on April 7th. If you’re looking for something similar but hopefully better, FilmTagger can offer some suggestions.