Blood Soaked (2014)



Nazis! Zombies! Lesbians! Writer/Director Peter Grendle promises all of these things in his exploitation throw back Blood Soaked. And for the most part the film delivers on these promises. There are certainly a couple of lesbians, and yes, they do run afoul of some Nazis and their zombie pets. But other than making for an eye catching tag line, does the whole lesbian/Nazi/zombie thing work as a film? Let's take a look.

After a flashback scene where two young girls cry over their dying father, we shift 10 years into the future (and into color - more on that later) as Piper (Heather Wilder) arrives for her first day of college. Mom is not too happy becasue she is going away, neither is her maybe boyfriend, Bobby for similar reasons. Her RA is a bit of a freak, getting on everyone's nerves with bull shit hall building exercises. One of these exercises requires each girl to write down a secret about themselves and pass it around the circle to someone else. This silly little game leads to Piper meeting Ashley, who invites her to a party out in the desert. Piper accepts. The party quickly devolves into a fight between Ashley and another girl over the fact that Ashley is a lesbian and tried to hit on the girl last year. Ashley kicks the drunk girls ass and Piper falls in love.

They watch the sunrise together and share their first kiss as they pull over to the side of the road to
investigate hitting some sort of animal. Their new found bliss doesn't last too long before it's interrupted by Sadie (Laina Grendle) and Katie (Halley Derryberry), older versions of the crying little girls from the films prelude. Still practicing Nazis, Sadie and Katie have a big problem with the whole lesbian thing going on between Ashley and Piper. Confrontation ensues. Ashley is shot and killed. Piper is captured and kept alive because, being blond haired and blue eyed - she'd fit right in with Hilters whole master race thing.

Once Piper is captured, the film, which until this point had been derivative but still rather interesting, falls deeper into all of the common tropes that we've seen a million times before, and consequently becomes a million times less interesting. Piper tries to escape, but is recaptured. Her mother tracks her phone, but she is captured as well. Sadie and Katie have been using a secret Nazi formula to not only turn their father in to a Zombie, but also many of their victims. Unfortunately (for us) their Zombies spend most of their time chained to a wall moaning or being used as golden retrievers.

And here is the biggest problem with Blood Soaked. It's an ambitious film. It's a film that makes a lot of promises. Like I stated in the intro, Lesbians! Nazis! Zombies! - and only delivers on about one and a half of them. To Grendle's credit, the Nazi sub plot is well developed and does hold up well. A rogue Nazi family holed up in the New Mexico desert looking to relaunch an era of Nazi supremacy. It's a strong plot piece. It gets real thin after that though.

They convert their victims into zombies using the secret Nazi formula, fine. But what's the point? These Nazi zombie can't really do anything. Or I should say aren't able to do anything. They are just kind of there.

But the zombie component of the film is Ben Hur when compared to the "lesbian" part of the film, which seems to solely exist so the the term can be added to the tag line. The fact that Piper shares a same sex kiss with another girl really doesn't make her a lesbian. It makes her a freshman girl at a liberal arts college. More importantly though, after Ashley is killed, the fact that Piper kissed her has absolutely no impact on Pipers actions throughout the rest of the film. The fact that she's a "lesbian" is something that gets lost on Sadie and Katie as well, as they sort of forget the whole reason behind their outrage in their efforts to get Piper to join them.

Blood Soaked is indeed an ambitious film. One that certainly would have benefited from some stronger writing. Visually, the film shifts back and forth from black and white to color at seemingly random places. It gets a bit "shaky cam" from time to time, but not to point where it's seizure inducing like some of it's contemporaries. It looks good and is actually very visually interesting. It's clear Grendle knows what he's doing behind the camera. He gets pretty good performances out of each of the four main girls, with Wilder certainly being up to the task of carrying a film that spends most of the third act in bat shit crazy land. It's a shame that the scrip lets down a film that does a lot right in other places.

Blood Soaked is available now on VOD or wherever DVDs are still sold. It's not a terrible film and does some things very well and at a brisk 77 minutes, there are worse ways to spend that time. Pick it up enjoy the Nazis and wish for better zombies and more lesbians.

** stars out of *****

As always, thanks for reading. And "enjoy every sandwich"

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