Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Movie Review: Chain Reaction/House of Blood

 Yep, here we go.  One of those films that had to be re-marketed and released under a different title, probably because the first attempt failed miserably.  

 Pro tip: Changing the title will not help if you are re-naming a bad film.

 Dr Doug Madsen is involved in a freak accident with a prison transport bus and is taken hostage by four bad dudes, one who has been shot in the arm.  The wander around the woods in northern Washington state and discover a large cabin housing an odd, apparently uber-religious family.  The baddies proceed to terrorize this family who implores them to leave, only to discover they should have listened when almost the entire clan turns into some kind of vampire/zombie hybrid.  With the help of the one family member who does not turn into a monster (who also happens to be his mother), Madsen escapes only to be captured by the cops and held as a prisoner for the apparent deaths of the escaped inmates and 5 other unknown victims (unmatched blood on his clothes from the family in the woods).  

Tastes like chicken.
 While being transported by prison bus to jail, another freak accident on the same stretch of lonely road puts Madsen back with a pack of bad dudes, who head back to the house again.  The monsters attack again and dispatch the baddies, and this time Madsen and his mother manage to escape.  When they reach the road, Madsen and his mother accidentally cause a driver to overturn his vehicle as he swerves to miss the pair, and then Madsen is hit by a prison bus in yet another freak accident on that same stretch of lonely road.  Mom gets shot in the head, but vamps out as the film ends.

Wants to be Hannibal Lector.  Too bad he's not.
 There is an interesting premise here.  A "family" of penitent vampires is living out in the woods trying to gain control of their hunger.  One of the clan has not only been successful, she has even managed to mate with a human being and have a human child.  In come four dangerous criminal escapees and momma's little boy, now himself an old man.  What happens when this family deals with these inmates would make for a great horror story.

Those are bed-sheets.
 But, nah, let's instead have you believe that the state penal system continues to loose prison buses on the same stretch of lonely road on what appears to be a regular basis.  Hell, if not that, then that after loosing 2 buses on that route they would send a third.  Oh, and that a citizen with no criminal background plus the education and social status of a doctor tells the police that he was the hostage of 4 murderous escapees who managed himself to get away as they and the family the holed-up with slaughtered one another and the cops hold him accountable for the deaths! 

 Not very likely.

This is as gory as it gets.
 In an effort to, I don't know, make the film more "artsy", it is edited in a disjointed fashion, with bits and pieces of the future and the past being cut into the present story.  Sometimes, this works, especially when it is inherent to the tale.  It is completely unnecessary here.

 Not very likely.

 The acting wasn't bad.  You could tell that everyone on camera believed in the project and took their roles seriously.  Special effects were all old-school, lots of blood splatters and latex-flesh (nothing spectacular but not bad). The cinematography was rough, as was the production quality.  The story, though, is where this film was really lacking.   

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