Let’s say you get the director of the Peter Rabbit TV series, the writer of Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the cast of Power Rangers R.P.M. What kind of movie would you expect? If you said “Why, a Ground Hog Day with murderous crackheads, obviously!” You would be correct. If you said, “Oh, some cross between a romance, a comedy, a drama, a thriller and a horror film, for sure,” you would also be correct.
If that all sounds very confusing and full of nonsense to you, welcome to Blood Punch.
Now let’s be clear, this film was highly recommended to me by Christopher Garcia, and because I normally respect his opinion, I wonder if I was just in the wrong frame of mind when watching Blood Punch. However let’s remember that Chris also enjoyed Puck Hogs. So. There’s that.
Blood Punch opens up in a meeting of NA for
the healthiest looking crackheads ever meth addicts, which it turns out is a great place to find people to cook up your large order of crystal. Beautiful Skyler (Olivia Tennet) manages to convince meth chef Milton (Milo Cawthorne) to come with her to a cabin in the middle of nowhere to cook up the massive order as their Last Job. Unfortunately, Skyler’s crazy boyfriend Russel (Ari Boyland) is also at the cabin, with murder on his mind. What they soon discover though, is that regardless of who murders whom or not, they all wake up in the morning back in the cabin and all alive. Attempts to leave the cabin don’t work, and multiple, endless attempts to kill Russel in different ways without getting killed themselves also don’t work. So they are all trapped in an endless loop of killing each other with no end in sight and no way out.
An interesting concept, and it certainly brought up some interesting philosophical questions about life, death and murder. But this was all overridden by the multiple genres this film was trying to fit into. Early on I was confused about whether this was a romance, a comedy or a drama, and upon looking up the Cinequest listing I noted it under the headings: Thriller, Romance, Comedy. I suppose this combo can work, I mean Evil Dead II is sort of a Thriller-Romance-Comedy. But in the end, there is no real point to Blood Punch, it doesn’t have anything to say and there’s no real enjoyment in the process of solving the puzzle. In Ground Hog Day, Bill Murray had to learn a lesson before he could continue with his life. There is no lesson to be learned here, the only mystery is the murder combination riddle. I don’t think any character learns anything, no one grows, and there’s no real suspense involved since we know they’re all going to wake up again the next morning.
This film is not Groundhog Day, and neither is it Evil Dead II. It’s not even a wannabe Breaking Bad. It suffers from its own identity crisis, the actors can’t quite save it, and I can’t in good faith recommend it. I will give it a rare benefit of the doubt however, and say that Chris loved it, so if you want to give it a try, don’t let me turn you away from it. I just think there are probably better films available – and I intend to watch one right now.