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Review: Bloody Movie (1987)

Writer: Thomas Ellison


A group of film fans head to the old Lance Hayward estate before the landmark is torn down. A phantom haunting the mansion dispatches the victims while dressed as Hayward's most famous screen characters.

Bloody Movie began life as Terror Night back in the late 80's but wasn't released in the US until 2004. One gets the impression that production was stopped and restarted several times. Some scenes have a faded, washed out appearance while others have crisp, clear colors. One character starts off with golden blonde hair, becomes platinum blonde, and is eventually replaced by a stand-in wearing a mop for a wig. Even the slasher is played by at least three different actors on screen.

Bad movie buffs will love the washed-up actors slumming through cameos. Cameron Mitchell only has a few lines and still manages to flub them badly. A sad-eyed Aldo Ray gets to hit the bottle a couple of times before getting a hook to the temple. The only thing less convincing than John Ireland's performance is his $3 toupee. Dan Haggerty manages to stay upright during his performance, which is a miracle considering how stoned he looks. Alan "The Skipper" Hale is the only veteran actor with energy in his performance. One wishes he had more screen time.  The true highlight, though, is a very prime Michelle Bauer running around buck ass naked. Too bad her name is misspelled in the opening credits.

Bloody Movie lives up to the title when it comes to death scenes. One graphic death involves a poor sod getting ripped in half after being tied to a tree. The only thing more mangled than the victims is the script. Three writers (Murry Levy, David Rigg, Kenneth J. Hall) receive credit, but none of them contributed a coherent story. We never learn how the killer got his power or why he's suddenly an old guy after being so young during most of the film. Even worse, the climactic showdown between the killer and the final girl suddenly becomes a scene from Othello with Shakespearean dialogue.

Despite the many flaws, Bloody Movie remains an interesting film because of its status as a lost slasher. Nick Marino is listed as the director but David Decoteau, Fred Olen Ray, and the great Andre De Toth of House of Wax fame receive special thanks at the end. There are  rumors that De Toth contributed scenes to the film but the accuracy of these claims is unknown. Chalk up Bloody Movie under the so-bad-it's-good category.



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