Koch Vision presents
Fangoria: Blood Drive (2004)
"Where'd you go? I'm missing 14 body parts here!"- serial killer (Bryan Massey)
Stars: Bryan Massey, Luisa McDaniel, Cliff Stanley, Lisa Bitran, Jesse King, Laura Leigh Hofrichter, Melanie Bachbaum, Steve Williams
Director: BC Furtney, Patrick Rea, Ryan Jones, Drew Rist, Christopher S. Garetano, Joel Robertson, Chip Gubera
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (gore,violence, brief nudity)
Run Time: 01h:00m:51s
Release Date: 2004-06-08
DVD ReviewFangoria, the so-called "world's most popular horror publication for over 25 years," held a contest for amateur filmmakers to submit short horror films, with the winners to be put onto a DVD compilation.
That's what Blood Drive is—a collection of seven shorts (each running around 10 minutes, give or take) that promises movies "by the fans, for the fans" and, as a diehard horror fan myself, I am at least happy to report that, based on this disc, there are some twisted individuals out there, some of whom seem to know a thing or two about putting a creepy film together. Or at least parts of one.
That's not to say that this is the kind of compilation that will make you sleep with the lights on, but a lot of these filmmakers exhibit a flair for the spooky, and with such short runtimes, it is admittedly difficult to work the narrative steam up to tell any sort of substantial story. So all that's really left to do is lob out some weird visuals, interconnected with ardent stabs at being really scary.
I was expecting more out-and-out gore (not "wanting", mind you, but "expecting"), and I was actually pleased by the lack of gratutous gut and limb removal in favor of bad-dream visuals that worked more often than not, even if things like The Hitch features such traditional fare as an axe-wielding serial killer, or Song of the Dead's flesh-gnawing zombies (though that particular one did earn a modicum of brownie points for being a musical, if you can believe it).
The mood is pretty grim for most of these shorts, with the obvious exceptions being the singing zombies of the previously mentioned Song of the Dead, along with the severed appendage dark humor of A Man and His Finger. Wannabe filmmakers like Patrick Rea (Disturbances), Joel Robertson (Shadows of the Dead) and Christopher Garetano (Inside) make the most of their ten minutes, and what they have created is, at times, more disturbing visually than a lot of mainstream horror has been of late.
Maybe if they had a longer time to tell a story we could really see if they have what it takes to dish out the genre goods.
Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: What do you get when you gather up a set of amateur filmmaker short projects? Well, you get a general image quality that is wholly inconsistent, but generally fair, without being particularly special, let alone what you might consider "good." Overall quality is definitely hit-or-miss depending on the entry, with the films presented in either 1.33:1 full-frame or nonanamorphic widescreen. Color reproduction is adequate, but black levels are generally pretty muddy across the lot.
Image Transfer Grade: C+
Audio Transfer Review: Audio is nothing to write home about, but considering the amateur roots of most of these projects that isn't terribly shocking. Presented in what is billed as "Dolby Digital Sound", it is in actuality a mediocre 2.0 stereo mix that occasionally sounds decent, flat, crackly or tolerable, depending on the film. Things like screaming (a common theme here) tend to clip and sound slightly distorted more often than not.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 7 cues and remote access
Extras Review: According to the backcover, extras include "over an hour of rare behind-the-scenes footage with genre heavyweights Clive Barker and Stan Winston! (Stan Wilson Interview and Studio Tour, Clive Barker's ABARAT: The Artist's Passion)" as well as a <"hidden Easter Egg.".
I, however, was blessed with a stripped-down screener copy that only contained the sevev winning films, and no cool extra junk whatsoever—not even an appearance by rock ghoulmeister general Rob Zombie, who is touted as the "host" for this title.
Bottom line, your mileage may vary.
The disc is cut into seven chapters (obe per film), with no subtitle options.
Extras Grade: F
Final CommentsThere are equal amounts of creepy promise and forgettable low-budget retreads of Tobe Hooper or George Romero here. The really spooky stuff is surprisingly well done (notably Christopher Garetano's Inside), and there are flickers of eerie dark imagery sprinkled amongst a few of the other titles.
Far from perfect (or even consistent, for that matter), but worth a peek for the curious horror fan with an hour to kill.
Rich Rosell 2004-06-08