Blooded DVD Review


Written by Sarah James

DVD released by Revolver Entertainment

Directed by Ed Boase
Written by James Walker
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 90 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 4th April 2011

Starring:
Nick Ashdon
Neil McDermott
Oliver Boot
Mark Dexter
Tracy Ifeachor

Review:

We humans think a lot of animals, don't we? Often putting their wellbeing above that of our loved ones and considering them part of the family. That aspect of animal loving I can understand. After all, your dog isn't going to tell you to pick your dirty clothes up off the floor five times, is he? And your goldfish isn't going to ignore you for a day because you forgot to get her special food in the weekly shop either. I digress. There is however, another side of this debate; a subversive side, some might say. There are renegade groups who will stop at nothing, with no laws getting in their way, to prevent what they see as cruelty to their beloved animals. What a good idea for a revenge horror.

Blooded begins as a documentary telling the story of a recent "incident" involving animal rights activists, The Real Animal League (RAL) and a group of deer-hunting 20-somethings. The leader of the deer hunters, if you will, Lucus Bell, is a very outspoken man. We see in television news footage him proclaiming to a baying press pack that the recent change in the law will not stop him hunting.

This bravado undoubtedly riles his opposers so he decides to take off to the Scottish hills for a few days with some friends. Secluded Scottish hills, may I add. They spend the first day shooting, settle down to a few drinks and a bit of a feast, then off to bed. The next thing they know it's morning, but they have not woken up in their beds. Instead they're in their underwear, separated from each other, on a cold hillside. Now they're being hunted.

Shot in an untypical docudrama, mockumentary style, Blooded makes the genre more like a Crimewatch reconstruction, with a second set of actors playing the parts of the documentary actors. This style makes it feel very real, fresh and just a little bit chilling. The violence is quite restrained for the subject matter as the theme meant they could've pushed it to torture porn levels but they didn't, and I think it is a better film for it.

The filmmakers really upped the ante on the publicity campaign, with statements being released by the RAL, voicing how enraged they were after being misrepresented in this “documentary”. A website was set up in their name with the type of propaganda you would expect from militant activists and their You Tube video was mysteriously removed after complaints that it showed such groups in a bad light. Later, the genuine group Animal Liberation Front published the RAL statement on their website believing it to be real, then removed it after realizing it was a work of fiction. Although it caused a bit of a stir, I think this kind of publicity adds a completely new dimension to the viewing experience.

Although the RAL is a fictional organization, it is clear they are based closely on real obsessive activist groups that take a deliberately terrorist-like approach to their protests. Unfortunately, this direct action does little in furtherance of their cause outside of their own circles, and directs the general public’s anger and frustration back onto them. In the same vein, Blooded cleverly manages to blur the line between what is right and wrong by creating two polar-opposite stances on hunting and making it difficult for the viewer to decide which side to take.

Video and Audio:

Sharp and bright images with crisp sound to boot. Shown in 16:9 - 1.78:1 aspect ratio and with 2.0 Stereo or 5.1 Surround Sound.

Special Features:

Commentary by the makers of the film and extended interviews. A “making of” behind the scenes film and a short film called “Home Video” by Director Ed Boase.

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