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Bloody Bridget (2023) Review – Dark Bridges

Bloody Bridget, the new film from writer/director Richard Elfman (The Forbidden Zone, Aliens, Clowns & Geeks) came to this year’s Dark Bridges Film Festival accompanied by a musical and burlesque prelude and a Q&A session with Richard Elfman and the film’s star, his wife Anastasia Elfman. It was quite the presentation for a fun film that unfortunately tends to contradict the points it tries to make.

The film opens with a Grand Guignol burlesque performance by Bridget O’Brian (Anastasia Elfman, 10/31 Part 2, Shevenge) and her partners Pepe (Marcos Mateo Ochoa, Hail, Caesar!, Wild in Blue) and Leticia (Naomi de la Cruz, Breathe). The crowd loves it but Tony (Tom Ayers, The M Word, Family Christmas) the club’s owner is more interested in grabbing her ass.

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That’s typical for Bridget lately, though. Her boyfriend Edwin (Christian Prentice, Mank, Proximity) leeches off of her, cheats on her and rubs her face in it and a would-be rapist (Adam J. Smith, Zombie Strippers, Taken 3) turns out to be a well-connected lawyer who has her arrested when she fights him off. At the end of her rope, figuratively and literally, she hangs herself in her prison cell after being assaulted by a guard (Kristin West, Circus of the Dead, The Litch).

The first act of Bloody Bridget is a darkly funny, over the top tale of woe that’s intended to get the audience firmly on Brigget’s side and ready to see vengeance wreaked on her tormentors. And when Baron Samedi (Jean Charles, Exceptional Beings, Bed and Breakfast) sees her as the reincarnation of his wife Maman Brigitte and returns her to the world of the living as a blood-drinking, heart-eating Valentine Vampire I was indeed ready to see blood spilled. And lots of it is, with very satisfying results.

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The film’s problems don’t lie in the killings or the effects, though, it’s in the mixed messages the script sends. Bloody Bridget is meant to be a female empowerment story as she gets her revenge against an assortment of low lives. But her relationship with Baron Samedi is a bit more complicated, according to the storyline his transgression is claiming her as his wife, and the fact he has sex with her when she’s emotionally distraught and drunk on whatever spirit world spirits the Baron drinks is glossed over.

And the resolution to all of this, after a trial presided over by Satan himself (Richard Elfman) seems to say that at least sometimes, women like being mistreated as long as the sex is good. Not exactly an empowering sentiment.

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If you can get past that contradiction, though, Bloody Bridget has a lot going for it. The cast which also includes Rick Howland (Bon Cop, Bad Cop, Willie and Me) and Evan Eckenrode (George & Marcus, Flat Earth: To the Edge and Back) as father and son Jewish lawyers as well as Alejandro Patiño (Samland, Double Down) as Father Jose is in top form. Elfman and Ochoa are excellent leads as the vengeful vampiress and her mute assistant.

On the other side of the coin, Ayers is convincingly nasty as the club owner who, apart from harassing Bridget, delivers a standup routine loaded with racial and ethnic slurs and Smith is memorable as the lawyer with the connections to get away with anything. And while she doesn’t have much screen time, West has fun as a matron straight out of a Jess Franco women in prison film.

It won’t be for everyone but if you like your films on the eclectic side, with plenty of blood and black humour, Bloody Bridget is one you’ll want to see. Bloody Bridget is currently playing festivals. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information, and you can check FilmTagger for more films like it.

Our Score
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