Bloody Murder (2000)
By: Devon B. on October 21, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Magna Pacific (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 86 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Rafe M. Portilo
Starring: Jessica Morris, Peter Guillemette, Patrick Cavanaugh, Cristelle Ford
Screenplay: John R. Stevenson
Country: USA
AKA: Scream Bloody Murder
I know Bloody Murder's title comes from the game that the councilors play. I got that. But still, when a movie is named Bloody Murder, the viewer does expect some meaty carnage. This film is more of a Bloodless Murder however, and it sucks. Now, I wanted it to suck. I figured it would be the hilarious pinnacle of the slasher genre. I mean, the poster has a guy in a hockey mask and with a chainsaw. It doesn't just rip off one horror icon; it goes for two…how could it not be incredibly stupid? It is stupid, but not incredibly, and worst of all, it's not funny. At all.

Bloodless Murder features the standard Friday the 13th plotline of a group of councillors, some of whom look quite old despite being "18 year old teenagers," setting up a summer camp and being killed in the process. As the "kids" are driving to camp, a few applying makeup to cover liver spots, they reveal that the local murderer of this camp is Trevor Moorhouse, some guy with a chainsaw for a left hand that runs around killing people. Hmmm…chainsaw for a hand…where have I seen that before? Mr. Moorhouse is especially non-threatening: A scrawny little guy sporting an extremely clean hockey mask and a chainsaw that makes noise without the blades spinning and has less bass in its sound than De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The councillors arrive at camp to start their six or eight weeks of work (it changes) and almost immediately begin disappearing. The first to go up missing is some guy named Jason. The boss thinks Jason ran off as some sort of scare tactic, despite the fact that the most likely answer is Jason developed Alzyhmers and wandered off. Whatever happened, the boss seems unperturbed even though later in the scene he claims there's a ton of stuff to do, and now he's down a man. When others start to disappear, it's speculated that maybe Jason is to blame. Ergh.

It's clear for the viewer early on that the killer is not Moorhouse but a masquerader, as the killer has both of his hands. Friday the 13th V was always the best one, anyway…Maybe the real Trevor would've done better, 'cause this slayer is having a lot of trouble reigning in blood. At one point, Not-Trevor darts in on a guy; slits his throat; runs away; comes back, because the guy is trying to alert another councillor; and finishes him off with a very small rake jabbed into his back. Fleeting to and fro like a crack-smoking ballet dancer is going to create the impression of a deadly menace, all right.

Not-Trevor is but one in a cast of several idiots, though. One girl claims her roommate is her new best friend after five days of minimal contact, and she also seems to remain completely oblivious to the entire murderous situation. Her even denser roommate is chased by Not-Trevor through the woods, but is saved by running into one of the other councillors. Sometime after the chase, and aware that several people are missing and presumed slaughtered, she is still quite happy to go wandering around the camp at night alone. She even declines having someone go with her!!! The boss is also severely lacking in grey matter, telling her he understands if she's uncomfortable and wants to go…wouldn't they all??? No, no, it's okay that half the crew's been butchered, let's STILL SET UP CAMP!!

Although I've mentioned much idiocy, Bloodless Murder doesn't get entertainingly stupid till the end, but there are some interesting plot developments and character actions prior. Unfortunately, they cause cringes more than laughs. Jason hates another guy because while they were running a race, Jason blew his knee out somehow; the only explanation for Jason's hatred is youths take sports too seriously these days. A guy, cast no doubt because he resembles Bruce Campbell's father, enjoys watching a couple fuck, then gets mad at the girl for having fucked the guy. The archery scene from Friday the 13th is borrowed from heavily. One character, in true Scream fashion, dissects and mocks a camp councillor slasher movie, then applies his knowledge of that sub genre to the potential crimes that have occurred. A father comes to visit his daughter at camp, and his daughter sends him off with another councillor while she runs an errand instead of just taking him with her.

I believe in trying to find at least one positive thing in every film. Actually, I don't, but I did like ONE line in this film, a pun on Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon/Separation. That was all. The rest is crap. The plotting can get so bad it's almost gibberish. The acting is atrocious. There are BAD fade-outs and just general fades, and poor editing for continuity and the things that need a quick pace. Too many theories as to what happened are presented visually, like some bizarre homage to the ending of Clue, or even Wayne's World. It's all bad, and the great tragedy is that it's not even funny, dammit!
Video
The Magna Pacific DVD presents Bloodless Murder at 1.33:1, which is presumably the ratio it was shot in. The colours are a bit dull, but that's probably more about the quality of the film itself, not the DVD transfer. The image is clear, but a touch soft with some minor speckling, which is again probably more due to the film itself. The movie looks better here than on the VHS I saw years ago, but not hugely.
Audio
The audio track is available in Dolby Digital 2.0. The sound is clear and at a decent volume. I think the score is too loud, but that's mostly because it's atrocious and shouldn't really be heard at all. The volume levels can jump around a smidge, even within one character's line, but again, this is probably not to do with the transfer but the film itself.
Extra Features
No extras at all. Probably not a flaw with the disc, but with the quality of the film itself, i.e., nobody gives a fuck about it.
The Verdict
Bloodless Murder is a pointless film that rips off Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Evil Dead. The film's title acronyms to B.M., aptly the code for Bowel Movement. It's just another bad slasher flick, not the bad slasher flick, and it's self-aware so ultimately it's a bad, pompous slasher flick. Avoid.
Movie Score
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