Vampires, genies and eunuchs… oh my! Those are just a few of the odd populace of this strange little action / horror / comedy indie starring genre talents Brad Dourif, Michael Bailey Smith, Lance Henricksen and Christopher Lambert.
This goofy yet gory parable follows the evil exploits of a Middle Eastern terrorist (Dourif) whose determination to nuke Los Angeles is deterred by a wisecracking, super-strong C.I.A. sanctioned vampire (Bailey Smith) and a wisecracking, maverick lawman (Brennan Elliott). "24" meets The Nude Bomb meets Blade, basically.
Blood Shot arose as a 20 minute short back in 2004, went into production as a feature, and is just now finding its way to the masses via DVD in a 90 minute TV version and a longer uncut option. In 2011, the subject matter is awfully dated and I doubt the jokes were ever that funny to begin with… but they're less-so when the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is still just a turn-back of a calendar page. Is it me, or are lines like "Osama Bin Laden frequently had sex with a goat" just not funny? How about the C.I.A.'s Vampire Division's acronym of "V.D." being constantly referred to as if we're hearing it for the first time? Hilarious.
I do like all of the actors, and it's a pleasure to see Bailey Smith in leading role such as this (most viewers will probably remember him as scary from the Alexander Aja remake of The Hills Have Eyes or as funny from his stint on My Name Is Earl). I don't think I've seen Bailey Smith carry so much of a picture — though there are a lot of characters in Blood Shot — and he does it ably.
While the CGI leaves much to be desired, the vampire makeup, fangs and contacts are more than passable. There's no shortage of brutal biting, Uzi gun-play, crazy cutlery chucking, and scenery chewing. There's pretty much everything you might expect from reading the back of the DVD box, so if you don't mind SyFy TV movie level everything and super-sophomoric humor — actually I did find the terrorist's impossibly long name, as delivered by Henricksen, chuckle-worthy — then you might dig it. I was alright with it for about a half an hour (would've been fine with just the short film), but then it started to wear.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson