Dancing to a different beat. A really, really weird one.


1.5 Stars  1983/87m

“Who can survive its reign of terror?”

Director/Writer: Fabrice-Ange Zaphiratos / Cast: Helen Benton, Terry Brown, Claudia Peyton, James Fitzgibbons, Dana Day, Peter Spelson.

Body Count: 10

If you are a dog owner, you’ll probably be familiar with that thing that happens when you talk at your dog and he cocks his head to the side like he’s trying to decipher your meaning.

I had this expression throughout the 87-minute runtime of BloodBeat, a film so strange it virtually defies explanation. But here’s what I did glean…

Christmas hols. Teen siblings Ted and Dolly come home to visit Mom and her boyfriend Gary at their rural Wisconsin farm, bringing along Ted’s squeeze Sarah. Mom – Cathy – is psychic or some shit. She thinks she knows Sarah from somewhere. Gary and the kids take Sarah hunting. She flips out (saving a deer!) and runs away, managing to somehow kill some dude who appears from nowhere. I didn’t see how it happened and had no wish to wind it back but I think when they collided he got skewered on an arrow maybe.

After it’s declared an accident, Sarah goes to rest and later finds a Samurai sword and costume (?) in a trunk, while obsessed-painter Cathy creates crappy, splotchy art downstairs. The presence of the Samurai stuff is later denied, even though nobody actually looks where she tells them it was. Again, maybe they did, my mind was a kaleidoscope of haze by now.

Eventually, a ghostly Samurai appears and begins slaying people with the sword. Sarah either dreams this or masturbates to it. I shit you not, hunting for answers I found a page that suggested the Samurai awakes whenever she’s got the horn. Anyway, it’s in a blue light added in post-production that looks like utter shite, making it difficult to see to the point of whatthefuck levels of annoyance. It kills Uncle Pete, kills the neighbours, and then Cathy goes all quivery, the house goes all Amityville, and Dolly screams a lot.

At the end, the Samurai thing faces off with Cathy, who’s now got glowy-orb things for hands. There’s a random montage of Hiroshima bomb footage and then Ted and Dolly come along and also have the glowy-orb things while O Fortuna shrieks on the soundtrack.

Most of the cast – and the director – never did anything else. Perhaps they went insane. Who knows? BloodBeat ticks about every synonym of weird there is going. Unfortunately it’s not really good-weird, it’s I-don’t-care-enough weird.


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