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Koch Vision presents
Fangoria Blood Drive II (2005)

"Brad. That's such a sexy name."
- Melanie (Laura Leigh Hofrichter) - Disposer

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: October 12, 2005

Stars: Mistress Juliya
Other Stars: Bruce Campbell
Director: Jake Kennedy, Steve Daniels, Paul Solet, Jake Hamilton, Adam Barnick, BC Furtney, William Rot, Brad Palmer, Erik A. Candiani

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (graphic violence, sexual situations, strong language)
Run Time: 01h:27m:52s
Release Date: October 04, 2005
UPC: 741952633198
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-CC B-

DVD Review

The month of October means one thing to me as far as my movie watching goes: horror, horror, and more horror. While everyone has their old reliables for the Halloween season, it's always nice to see something new. This year, the first fresh batch of horror comes in the form of the Fangoria Blood Drive II DVD. The first entry in this new series was released over a year ago and was a moderate success.

Like that first disc, the films here are a decidedly mixed bag. Winners of a contest sponsored by the horror movie magazine, Fangoria, these eight short films (the longest one runs for 16 minutes) are as low-budget and amateur as they come. There's quite a bit of promise shown by many of these filmmakers, as hopefully this disc will serve as a springboard for them. Everyone has to start somewhere, and a semi-high-profile DVD release is a heck of a way to get your foot in the door.

Hosted by Mistress Juliya, she introduces each short with a sexy, direct vibe that is accentuated by her S&M leather garb. Unlike the first Fangoria Blood Drive, these films don't skimp on the gore. There's nothing less than faces wrapped in barb wire, blood splattering from a hand stuck in a garbage disposal, and numerous limbs being severed.

My favorites were The Gibbering Horror of Howard Ghormley, by Steve Daniels and Disposer by BC Furtney. The former is the best of the bunch, a haunting, surreal look at a man who rides his bicycle to and from a house whose owner communicates via notes that are passed under the front door. This seemingly endless cycle pays off in a big way with an ending that I didn't see coming at all. The latter begins with a man calling a dating line, and connecting with a woman who seems to be perfect for him. After quite a bit of foreplay that appears to be leading up to full-fledged phone sex, the story takes a dramatic turn revealing that this woman is into a kinky activity that takes fetishes to another level.

We All Fall Down by Jake Kennedy is memorable as well, but not as tight and effective. This has the look and feel of an Asian horror import, and apparently this short has garnered enough attention to warrant talk of a potential feature film version. Sawbones by Brad Palmer is a very short, creepy look at a Civil War doctor's living hell, and Mainstream by Adam Barnick is a different, disgusting take on abduction, alien or otherwise.

The most juvenile selection with just too much of an amateur feel is Means to an End by Paul Solet and Jake Hamilton. This comes across as simply gore for gore's sake, with a very loose story involving a pair of horror filmmakers who would do anything to realize their dreams. Working Stiff by Erik A. Candiani also suffers from its low budget in that the "zombies" here have the cheapest, most ineffective effects makeup I've seen in quite some time. There is a decent blend of horror and comedy in play, but this doesn't propel the short film to greatness.

It's difficult to expect greatness from amateur contest winners, and just having a couple of solid shorts included here is hopefully a sign of good things to come for this DVD series. It's great to see Fangoria's massive influence jump out of the magazine's pages and into our DVD players, and this disc, at the least, serves as a great way to kick-off the Halloween horror movie season.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.66:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes
Anamorphicnono


Image Transfer Review: It would be impossible to expect any consistency out of such a wide variety of shooting methods and styles, and each of these shorts are vastly different in the video department. There are both full-frame and nonanamorphic widescreen presentations, and at least there aren't any entries that look particularly bad.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: All of the films have Dolby Digital 2.0 audio tracks, and they vary just as much as the video transfers. Again, the major plus is that there aren't any glaring flaws that take away from the films' impact, and that's about all we can expect from their low budget nature.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 9 cues and remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Fangoria Blood Drive, Save the Green Planet, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Fangoria editor-in-chief Tony Timpone and executive producer Tim Hinsley
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Bruce Campbell Interview
Extras Review: The extras begin with an audio commentary track with Fangoria editor-in-chief Tony Timpone and executive producer Tim Hinsley. Timpone spends a lot of time talking about his many years with the magazine, but most of the track focuses on what went into making Fangoria Blood Drive II happen.

The highlight of the extras is a 16-minute interview with Bruce Campbell. The man with the distinctive chin reflects on his career in this nice piece that his fans will watch over and over again.

Behind the Scenes with KNB EFX is a 22-minute piece that includes interviews with Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger from KNB and a look at their Van Nuys FX shop.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Avid readers of Fangoria will thrill at the massive gore featured in Fangoria Blood Drive II. For amateurs, these projects are quite impressive. The disc is a mixed bag as far as technical aspects go, given the various means of shooting these shorts, but there are a couple of nice extras that horror fans will go wild over as well.

 


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