Friday, 19 October 2018



More unwatchable horror garbage dug out of the vaults of yesteryear for no good reason. After the soul-crushing tedium of Manos: The Hands Of Fate had set a new baseline by which lousy movies could be judged, my very next streaming selection had me struggling to gauge whether that baseline could already be lowered. The result is a movie that's leaving me struggling to maintain even slight enthusiasm for genre movies: not just cheesy exploitation trash from the Z-list but mainstream, professionally produced offerings from people who know what the hell they're doing.

To be honest I wouldn't have bothered with Blood Theatre (kudos for at least not spelling it Theater) in the first place had it been set anywhere other than a cinema, but for all its relevance it might as well have been set in a spanner factory. The Spotlite multiplex chain have acquired their latest location: a former stage theatre closed after numerous mysterious deaths, and anyone who has subsequently attempted to reopen the place has died soon after. Nevertheless, a small crew are assigned to get the place ready for opening....

Performances are atrocious even by cheap horror movie standards (hell, they're atrocious by primary school nativity play standards): even Mary Woronov can do nothing interesting with it. The kill scenes are astonishingly badly staged and have no impact, the characters are uniformly hateful, there's nowhere near enough gore, and the stabs at comedy just die on the screen. Auteur Rick Sloane (who went on to the giddy heights of no less than six Vice Academy movies) inserts footage from his early short consisting of fake trailers for such joke titles as Chainsaw Chicks and Clown Whores Of Hollywood, but that gag footage looks indistinguishable from Blood Theatre itself: cheap, stupid, shoddily made and with more than a flavour of Troma about it. (Worse, it reminds you how immeasurably better the fake trailer idea was when Tarantino and chums did it in Grindhouse.)

So what was gained? Another horror obscurity ticked off, another director added to the list of filmmakers I never want to hear from again, another hour and a half that would have been less of a waste if I'd spent the time ripping my toenails out with pliers or ingesting half a pound of crack cocaine. Maybe, though, this is the kind of bargain basement crap I actually need to wean myself off cheap horror movies: completism means you have to see everything and I'm increasingly of the opinion that it's just not worth the effort any more. Blood Theatre certainly isn't: I hate myself for watching it, I hate Rick Sloane for making it and I hate my TV screen for showing it to me.


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