Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#2,102. Fangoria's Blood Drive (2004)

Directed By: Various

Starring: Lee Perkins, Patrick Tierney

Tag line: "America's Best Short Horror Films"

Trivia: Features the winning seven films from Fangoria Magazines Blood Drive contest

Blood Drive is a straight-to-video release featuring the seven shorts (chosen form hundreds of entries) that won Fangoria Magazine’s Blood Drive contest in 2004. From slashers to ghosts, zombies to serial killers, Blood Drive is a mixed bag of horror goodies, and regardless of whether you’re a gore hound or a fan of the psychological, there will be something in this collection for you to enjoy.

Blood Drive kicks things off in… well, bloody fashion with Drew Rist’s The Hitch, the story of a serial killer terrorizing the backroads of Texas. With plenty of blood spurts scattered throughout, The Hitch tells a slasher-esque tale topped off with a dash of the supernatural (there are a few twists in this one, all effective). A Man and his Finger is a comedic short in which a man accidentally cuts off his finger while slicing lettuce, only to find the severed digit has a life of its own (it’s a fun premise, but the joke wears thin after a while). Christopher Garatano’s Inside is a well-made film that ventures into psychological territory. There’s a lot going on in this stylish short, and it’ll probably take more than one viewing to drink it all in. Shadow of the Dead by Joel Robertson is a spooky zombie tale that, for the most part, is dialogue-free (aside from a radio broadcast, consisting of audio lifted from Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, not a single word is uttered in this short). Undeniably intense (especially the finale), Shadow of the Dead is one of the collection’s creepiest entries. 

Also quite creepy is Mister Eryans, about a woman whose house is haunted, and a man sent by the church to investigate it. As much a psychological thriller as it is a ghost film, Mister Eryans features some strong performances (especially the female lead) and a surprise that pretty much turns the entire tale upside-down. Rounding out Blood Drive are the ghost-heavy Disturbances (not the most original of the group, but effective nonetheless) and the comedy-musical Song of the Dead, in which a man belts out a song while transforming into a zombie.

All seven films were shot on video, with budgets that were obviously next to nothing, and as it is with all collections, some movies are better than others (if I had to choose three, I’d recommend the middle segments: Inside, Shadow of the Dead, and Mister Eryans). But, honestly, I think you should check out all of Blood Drive; there’s not a stinker in the bunch!

1 comment:

Joel G, Robertson said...

Hi Dave! Thanks so much for the kind words about Shadows of the Dead (and the Blood Drive project). You're right about the movies included being shot on video for next to nothing. While I can't speak for the other filmmakers, we shot Shadows over a single weekend on digital Hi-8. Originally, it was meant to be a short for the main actor (Lee Perkins) to use on his reel so he paid the $500 to make it. You nailed the audio clip. I lifted that one from the original Night of the Living Dead. My hope was that people would view Shadows as existing in the same universe as Romero's classic. I'm truly honored to have this little movie we made years ago (shot back in 2000 and released in 2004) be a part of your 2500 film review project!

Best, Joel