Blood Beat



IMDb Rating 4.7 10 901

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 5 / 10

Moderately engaging low budget horror

BLOOD BEAT (1983) is a strange and low budget slice of supernatural horror hailing from rural Wisconsin. It was released straight-to-video and I remember owning the old chunky pre-certificate VHS tape back in the day. These days, it can be viewed (in high def!) on Amazon Prime. The story involves a group of characters holing up at a remote farmhouse for a hunting trip, only to encounter the spirit of a vengeful samurai warrior intent on slice them up with his katana...

The promise is certainly an engaging one but it's the execution where this one falters. Very little happens for the first two-thirds, apart from a little atmosphere building. I was put off by the extremely amateur performances from the main cast members, there are no good actors here! Once the spirit shows up it all starts to kick off and get more interesting, building to an effects-fuelled climax that works to a moderate degree.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

Beware of deadly samurai warriors in the woods

Sensitive young Sarah (an appealing portrayal by fetching brunette Claudia Peyton) and her boyfriend Ted (likeable James Fitzgibbons) decide to spend Christmas with Ted's loopy psychic artist mother Cathy (a seriously strange performance by Helen Benton) in rural Wisconsin. Things go dangerously awry when a lethal wacko in a samurai outfit (!) shows up and starts bumping people off.

Wtiter/director Fabrice A. Zaphiratos makes nice use of the lovely forest locations, presents an interesting array of colorful oddball characters, and crafts a genuinely disorienting off-kilter spooky atmosphere. Moreover, the glacial pacing, increasingly bizarre narrative (the samurai's attacks are apparently triggered by Sarah's orgasms!), the wonky synthesizer score, lovably low-rent (not so) special effects, and, best of all, these jarring classic music compositions frequently blasting away on the soundtrack during the more intense moments all further enhance this film's considerable outre charm. Vladimir Van Maule's sharp cinematography boasts several freaky stylistic flourishes. A truly peculiar one-of-a-kind oddity.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 3 / 10

What the hell was that all about? Answers on a postcard, please...

Sarah (Claudia Peyton) accompanies her boyfriend Ted (James Fitzgibbons) and his sister Dolly (Dana Day) to the rural Wisconsin home of their mother Cathy (Helen Benton) and her partner Gary (Terry Brown) to celebrate the holidays. During a spot of deer hunting (just the ticket to get one in the festive spirit) Sarah freaks out, after which things get very strange indeed: running through the woods, Sarah stumbles into a man with a stomach wound; Cathy gets the feeling that she knows Sarah from somewhere else (why? I haven't the foggiest); Sarah finds a samurai outfit in a trunk (which promptly vanishes with no explanation), Cathy paints uncontrollably; and someone dressed in the samurai garb starts to kill people with his katana. From time to time, the picture is solarised for the samurai's POV, and in the craptabulous finalé, several of the characters' hands begin to pulse with energy for a baffling showdown against the killer.

I haven't the faintest idea what writer/director Fabrice A. Zaphiratos was thinking when he made this oddball horror-very little about the film makes sense-and the result is definitely one of the strangest films of the '80s. Unless you're a fan of the completely absurd, give this one a miss. Even if you are a fan of the completely absurd, think seriously before viewing.

Some brief nudity and a smattering of gore earn this mess a paltry 3/10.

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