BLOOD OATH (2010)
A review by Robert Long II ©2011
Starring Jamie Alford, J. Thomas Bailey, Sarah Bloodworth, Enrique Camacho, Natalie Hart, Roger Horn, Alex Kendall, James Reynolds, Patrick Holt, Katie Vaughan
Edited by Robert Ziegler
Directed by David Buchert
Produced by Robert Ziegler and David Buchert
Distributed by Troma
Screen grabs courtesy of Robert Ziegler
Synopsis: A group of friends on a weekend camping trip decide to investigate a local urban legend. It seems that many years before there was a family named Krupp that desperately wanted a baby. After many failed attempts, a mysterious woman approached them, guaranteeing the couple an offspring… but everything comes with a price. When the quartet of young people stumble across the old Krupp house, they find that they are forced into a fight for survival against a horrific beast – Crazy Amanda – that still dwells on the grounds.
I’m not much for “kids in the backwoods horror” but I know someone on the crew, and being that it is an independent film it was appropriate for the site. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this motion picture. What you have to keep in mind is that I get sent a LOT of independent movies to review, and some of them turn out to be extremely painful to get through. BLOOD OATH thankfully was not one of them.
The story isn’t that original – most backwoods slashers aren’t. It follows the story of a group of young people searching out an urban legend and getting much more than they bargained for. On the plus side there are some nice touches in the script and the story tries hard to make it more than another “idiot teens menaced by a backwoods maniac.”
I have to give credit to the actors – no one embarrasses themselves in their portrayals. And I couldn’t believe it but in this modern day and age the characters are actually likable. Someone must have forgotten to tell the screenwriter to make them all obnoxious jerks. That was incredibly refreshing! Genre scream queens Tina Krause and Tiffany Shepis both make extended cameo appearances and are a welcome addition to the flick.
What really sold me on this film was the production values. On these ultra low budget movies the first things to go down the toilet are the camera work and the lighting. Not in BLOOD OATH folks! The camera work is great and the lighting works in most circumstances. Plus, the director of photography was able to get in some interesting pans, crane, and dolly shots, which gives this movie a professional sheen. There are a couple of day for night scenes included – but to be honest I have seen a LOT worse.
This being a slasher set in the woods, I’m going to get asked about a couple of things: are there violent deaths, and is there nudity? The answer to both of those questions is yes. The nudity comes in the form of a couple of cute female campers that are a little too close to crazed Amanda’s homestead. The outcome is less than pretty once she catches up to them. For the violence it is there, but at times is a bit of a mixed bag. Aside from the decapitation that happens before the opening credits, the grue and gore is done pretty well. There are disembowlings, burnt corpses, and my favorite – a hand pushed completely through a person’s face.
EXTRAS: There are a lot of nice features included with this disc. David Buchert has a great audio commentary track that fills in the viewer with the amusing triumphs and frustrations that come with independent film-making. The only thing that could have made this better is if his partner-in-crime – Robert Ziegler – had been on the commentary track as well. Other swell additions include two behind the scenes making of featurettes (which include some fun commentary from the cast and crew), a blooper reel, and a storyboards gallery. Overall a well-rounded DVD.
FINAL RATING: 6.75 out of 10 axe blades. It is not without its flaws, but for a first time effort from these filmmakers, I am impressed. The fact that the energy, effort, and passion are all on display in this flick tell me that the filmmaker’s heart is in the right place. The fact that it also comes off with a lot of flair is a huge plus, and that Amanda holds some disturbing surprises will keep the viewers glued to their sets!
Want to pick up the DVD? You can HERE.