Written and Directed by: Ryan Nicholson
Starring: Dan Ellis and Sindy Faraquna
Reviewed by: Brett G.
Whatever you do…don‘t yell “cut!”
No, that’s not a typo--the name of this film is, in fact, Bleading Lady. Try as it might, the pun-filled title still probably can’t keep people from dreading that this might be a movie documenting a woman’s menstrual cycle. That isn’t the case (though how horrifying would that be?), but there are plenty of ladies and plenty of bleeding in this slasher from director Ryan Nicholson. He was the demented mind behind Hanger, and he brings a similar unabashed approach to this bloody affair.
Don is a chauffer to the stars--okay, not really, but he does have the distinct pleasure of escorting the cast and crew of independent horror movies. The latest production he’s working actually features his favorite Scream Queen, Riversa Red. He takes his craft seriously, especially when he discovers that Ms. Red has a deranged stalker. Don takes it upon himself to become her personal bodyguard, a role he soon takes to the extreme when he decides to make his own slasher movie.
Bleading Lady is yet another slasher in the long line of films that bares its love for the horror genre on its sleeve. While there aren’t any direct references to any other films, it’s pretty clear that Nicholson spent many a day combing his video stores for low-budget slashers. This is a film that knows what it is and what it should do--in fact, there’s a scene about a third of the way through where our deranged protagonist addresses the audience and guesses that they’re ready to see some bloodshed. He then obliges by going on a murderous rampage that shows off the film’s signature gore effects. In true slasher fashion, these are the film’s highlight by a good margin, as there’s little else of real value besides a few humorous, tongue-in-cheek moments. Bodies get dismembered as part of the film-within-the-film’s gags, plus there’s all the carnage that Don perpetrates, and it’s all equally impressive from an effects standpoint.
Don himself is kind of a fun madman for most of the movie, but he kind of wears out his welcome when he becomes an over-the-top raving madman. This is sort of indicative of the movie as a whole; though it’s a concise 76 minute affair, the third act drags on a bit long. It’s here that the movie just degenerates into a mess of profanity-filled yelling and screaming, like something that even Rob Zombie would leave on the cutting room floor. Rest assured, our title character earns her status as a Scream Queen, as she certainly yells her head off. You’ll have to watch yourself if I mean that literally or not. There is a neat little turn of events before everything wraps up, so there is a little bit of a method to the loud, obnoxious madness.
When it comes to balls-out irreverence on the indie scene, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better representative than Nicholson. Though a film like this isn’t exactly a showcase for technical proficiency, he knows his way around a gore-soaked romp. Breaking Glass Pictures (via their Vicious Circle label) will release the film on March 29th, and the final product will feature an anamorphic widescreen transfer, plus 5.1 and stereo soundtracks. Special features will include a 30-minute making-of featurette, 8 deleted scenes, an alternate opening, a “sexy gory stills gallery,” a trailer for this and other Vicious Circle trailers, and a commentary with Nicholson and Ellis. For those slasher fans out there that want to see a film from their own kind, Bleading Lady is worth a look--it won’t make you forget that the 80s are long gone, but the poor acting, synth score, and over-the-top gore will help you remember those good old days. Rent it!
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