• Kelly M. Hudson

Have a Bloody Samurai Christmas!


A young lady travels with her boyfriend to visit his family in rural Wisconsin for the Christmas holiday. She’s never met his mother and is very nervous. She steps right into a surreal world (for her) when she arrives; the mother’s boyfriend has a deer he’s killed hanging from a tree as he is dressing it. She freaks out over the blood and what she sees as animal cruelty. But she gets it together and plays nice. The mother is not overly fond of her, nor she of the mother; they both have an instinctual distrust of the other. And then she begins to have weird dreams, almost psychedelic visions, further unnerving her. Of course, this all leads to her connecting with some weird art in the house and through her the spirit of a Samurai warrior is reborn and goes on a killing spree. Yes, you read that right. She is the conduit for this entity, and she can do nothing about it except sort of sexually enjoy the murders as they happen (she humps the empty air in tortured sexual pleasure with each sword thrust of the killer spirit as it is dispatching some helpless country person in the nearby area). In the end, she must find a way to end this semi-possession before her boyfriend and his family get wiped out.

Yes sir, this is a real corker. I don’t really know how to describe it other than to say it doesn’t make much sense and is a lot of weird fun because of that. It feels like they were going to do a movie about some kind of Native American ghost but then someone randomly found some samurai armor during the shoot and they decided, “Hey, this would be even cooler!” The presence of a samurai in no way fits into the narrative of the movie at all. Nobody is Japanese and there’s nothing remotely Japanese about any of the setting or décor of the house. Again, it comes across as this faux-Native feel mixed with a lot of redneckery, and then out of nowhere, bam! A katana! The acting is stilted and stiff but somehow still genuine and heartfelt. Everyone was giving this a good go and doing their best. The strange psychedelic visions and camera tricks just further foul this thing up with more and more weirdness that has no real place in the narrative except to instill a nightmarish quality to the proceedings. After about a half an hour in, you aren’t sure what is going on but you know it’s unhinged, and that is why this movie works so well. If you just take it at a visceral level, as a paranoid familial nightmare, if you stop trying to make sense of things and just enjoy the ride, well by God you’ll have a great time. Weird, funny, twisted, stupid, ridiculous, and endlessly entertaining, Blood Beat is a real champion amongst many of the oddball horror films that never should have worked, but somehow do.

If you are a fan of the strange and delightful, if you love to follow forbidden and bizarre cinematic paths, then you’ve found yourself a new film to love. Blood Beat has it all: ominous warnings, nudity, blood, a woman humping the air in sexual ecstasy as the ghost samurai stabs people to death, rural tomfoolery. You can’t ask for anything more and if you did, you’d find yourself tilting full-bore into madness.


★★★✮


Note:


I revived this blog as a way to help deal with being shut in during the pandemic year of 2020. I resolved to watch and review one exploitation movie a day until I found a new job. Well, after many, many months, I have finally (I think) found employment. I start this new job tomorrow, which will make it nearly impossible to do a daily movie watch/review. I’m not shutting this all down, just shifting to a couple of reviews a week. For those that have stuck this through with me, I am eternally grateful. It means the world to me. I hope I gave you a little bit of entertainment and distraction from this awful world for just a little while. But stay tuned: it ain’t over yet.






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