The Death Factory Bloodletting Movie Review
Written by Steve Pattee Pattee
DVD released by Well Go USA
I make a living letting sick fucks do pretty much whatever they want to me. – Slutty Baby
Directed by Sean Tretta
Written by Mike Marsh and Sean Tretta
2008, 86 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on April 7th, 2009
Joth Andrews as Hansel
Josh Bingenheimer as Cockmaster
Jeanna Coker as Baby
Shane Dean as White Manson
David C. Hayes as Rubber Love
Shareese Hegna as The Object
Kareem McRoy as Black Johnson
Michelle Mousel as Alexa
Nadine as Gretel
Timmy Ponticelli as Sid
Noah Todd as Denny
Claudia Vargas as Ana
I hate reality shows. Back in the day, when MTV's "The Real World" first hit the airwaves, they were enjoyable because they were original. Now they have become a mockery of themselves, and their complete lack of originality makes them the lowest common denominator on television. "Survivor", "American Idol", "The Biggest Loser" and the rest of the ilk suck. (The exception, of course, is "Ghost Hunters" because Jason and Grant and company are doing scientific stuff.)
Director Sean Tretta and his co-writing partner Mike Marsh must love reality shows. They first teamed up for the 2006 The Great American Snuff Film (in which Marsh starred) and followed it up in 2007 with Death of a Ghost Hunter (which Marsh co-wrote). I have yet to see Snuff (although it's on my "to watch" list), but Death of a Ghost Hunter was obviously heavily influenced by the popular SciFi channel show "Ghost Hunters". With the exception of the lazy ending, Ghost Hunter solid sophomore effort, so when The Death Factory Bloodletting arrived at my door, I was eager to check it out.
Bloodletting is TV's "Big Brother" meets Slashers (ironically, another moive that really plays up the reality TV motif). Six dregs of society show up to a warehouse to watch someone tortured and killed, but the group quickly learns they are the intended victims. The beast dishing out the pain is the organizer Denny's little sister, Alexa (Michelle Mousel), and she's slicing and dicing in the name of the Lord, at the command of her brother.
Perhaps I'm oversimplifying the plot. The movie follows Ana (Claudia Vargas) who, after losing her young daughter in the making of a horrific snuff movie, went underground posing as a dealer in black market videos, all in an effort to find the people responsible for her child's murder. A year of researching, trading tapes and investigation lead her to the warehouse with the rest of the scum. But while the others have come to watch a life being taken, Ana has come to take one of her own — because she finally found the one responsible.
Bloodletting mainly takes its cue from reality shows like "Big Brother" and "The Real World" as each character is an over-the-top stereotype. You have your angry black man (Black Johnson), white supremacist (White Manson), fat, creepy pedophile (Rubber Love), bitter whore (Baby), S&M couple (Hansel and Gretel) and nerdy bookish guy (Cockmaster). Normally this would be bothersome, as it really is clichéd, but not so much here because, at the end of the day, Bloodletting isn't about a woman seeking vengeance for her daughter. It's not about the punishment of society's losers. It's not about Denny's motivation, or the amount of cameras he has set up so he can watch the action safely from his control booth. It's about one thing and one thing only: Alexa. Because The Death Factory Bloodletting is a monster movie, plain and simple, and it doesn't try to be anything deeper than that.
Fortunately for Bloodletting, the monster rocks. Little Sis is a like a bizarre Leeloo from The Fifth Element. Same type of hottie outfit, same slender body type, but Alexa has a mouthful of sharpened flesh rippers, some wicked night vision and a body seemingly impervious to pain. While some…okay most of the flesh ripping scenes have the super quick edits ala Feast, edits that I normally despise, I'll give it credit for not shying away from showing Alexa, as you'll sometimes see in lower budgeted movies (again, I'll point to Feast).
The Death Factory Bloodletting is entirely too clichéd to be anything more than a bloodletting — and it knows it. The monster is cool, the tension is ample, the red stuff flows and — what is rare in low-budget — the actors are solid. Where Death of a Ghost Hunter was story driven and atmospheric, Bloodletting is the complete opposite, and an easy Friday night rental recommendation. Kudos to Tretta and Marsh for mixing up their film styels so early in their career and making both enjoyable overall. I eagerly look forward to seeing what they have to offer next.
Audio and video will not be graded, as this is a screener.
- Filmmaker's Commentary
- Deleted Scene
- Photo Reel
Well Go USA provided us with the rare screener that includes special features.
The three featurettes are true behind-the-scenes footage, as they don't consist of interviews intermixed with movie footage, but are more of someone running a video camera on set. Sadly, they are each under five minutes, and are somewhat pointless because of their short running time.
The deleted scene, "Baby Death", was apparently cut because it was "…deemed to upsetting for the film." It's a shame it was cut, because it's a fantastic little scene. There aren't enough crying baby deaths in movies these days.
Where the features really shine is the commentary. This is one of those rare commentaries that not only movies at a great clip (no awkward moments of silence here, kids), it also stays away from back-patting and explanation of what's going on onscreen — at one point, when someone starts to talk about onscreen action, one of the participants says (and I'm paraphrasing here), "The people can see what's going on, let's talk more about…" If you enjoy the movie at all, I highly recommend giving the commentary a listen, as there is a lot of good anecdotes found within it.
Finishing it off is an easter egg that, while not hard to find, it is not immediately evident (as easter eggs generally are). In the special features section, highlight "Main Menu" and push left on your remote. "Photo Reel" will highlight, and you are treated to some pictures from the movie. I'm not a big fan of the photo galleries (unless I'm in them, or there are boobies), but I'm sure there are people who dig them.
(Equipment includes a Mitsubishi WS-48613 48” HDTV, OPPO DV-970HD DVD player and Onkyo HTS-770 Home Theater System and, in some cases, a Sony 27” WEGA TV and a Sony DVP-NS50P DVD player.)