from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Video title: Bloody Proof.
For a completely unheralded
straight-to-vid (it may have had a theatrical release in Mexico), this
film has some very strong positives. The photography is beautiful, at
least what the DVD shows of it. Unfortunately, the DVD is a boring 4:3
pan 'n scan, but the director is Gabriel Beristain. He's never
directed before, but he has been the cinematographer on several
good looking flicks, like Molly, The Spanish Prisoner, Caravaggio, and
parts of Aria. He also did some second unit photography for Wide
Sargasso Sea, and The Green Mile.
|The man knows how to
compose a shot. He knows how to move a camera (the opening credits are
a very impressive pull-away down a bar that eventually seems
infinitely long ). He chose beautiful locations in Mexico City, both
interiors and exteriors, and he did some impressive angle shots of
those locations. Even inside, all of his characters manage to speak in
front of windows which show off magnificent cathedrals and
Spanish-style baroque architecture. The grotesque home of the
psychotic serial killer is creepy and imaginative, highlighted by a
giant Aztec calendar-stone which he's embellishing with body parts,
and which is lit with colored lights to make it both spooky and
impressive. I would very much like to see this movie in a widescreen
Hussey's breasts are "exposed" while the killer
starts to mutilate them, but I suppose that it is a
prosthetic, and it is an extremely dark scene.
One woman is
seen naked in B&W flashbacks.
| Having said that,
let me point out that the film is not exactly Citizen Kane.
- The plot is the usual
straight-to-vid crap. A serial killer is terrorizing the city. A
reporter wants to break the story by revealing all the connections
between the murders. The lead detective keeps a lid on her. The
fight, they fuss, they are falling in love .... The killer is
stalking women who used to be mistresses to a powerful man. The
reporter's best friend used to be one of them. Gee, who do you
think will be the intended victim when they finally kill the guy?
- The characterizations are
presented in great depth, but aren't very interesting. The special
character development in the lead player is that she is the wife
and daughter-in-law of two other rich guys who kept multiple
mistresses, and the only job she could get after dumping her
husband was with a sleazebag tabloid newspaper. She's angry at her
life situation, and that affects her perception of the murder.
- The logic of the investigation
escapes me. At one point, the reporter concludes that someone
might be the murderer because he cheated on his wife, and a man
capable of adultery is capable of murder. I'm not joking.
- The story takes place in Mexico
and is performed by bi-lingual actors, but they all speak
English. Most of them have no Spanish accent at all! I suppose
they must have filmed a Spanish-language version simultaneously,
but there is no alternate language track on the DVD, so I'm at a
loss to explain why it is in English.
- What the hell happened to Olivia
Hussey? The sweet, innocent, round Juliet really aged strangely.
Her cheeks are sunken far below her cheekbones. She now delivers
all of her lines in a haughty contralto like a pompous
pseudo-society dame from the 1930's movies. She has turned into a
thinner version of Margaret Dumont, or all those stuffy women who ended
up as straight women for the Stooges.
To tell you the truth, they missed
out on a good opportunity here. If this film were available in a
widescreen version with an alternate Spanish soundtrack and some
features, I'd probably be recommending it as a fairly good little
flick about a Mexican investigation of a serial murder, with brilliant
cinematography and some insights into Mexican culture.
As a pan 'n scan, however, it just
isn't worth your time, and is nowhere near worth the suggested retail
of $29.95. Are they kidding?
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: not enough votes for a score.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a C-. I'd recommend it as a decent
rental if it came in a widescreen version with some features. As
it is, skip it unless you're to tired to change the channel.
It's not much of a rental, and is priced about 4x its
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