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Bad Blood (aka Coisa Ruim) DVD Review

Written by Steve Pattee

DVD released by Tartan Video

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Seems like the devil has broad shoulders here. – António

Directed by Tiego Guedes and Frederico Serra
Written by Rodrigo Guedes de Carvalho
2006, 97 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on August 28th, 2007

Adriano Luz as Xavier Oliveira Monteiro
Manuela Couto as Helena Oliveira Monteiro
Sara Carinhas as Sofia
José Afonso Pimentel as Rui
João Santos as Ricardo
José Pinto as Father Vicente
João Pedro Vaz as Father Cruz
Elisa Lisboa as Dulce
Filipe Duarte as Luis
Gonçalo Waddington as António

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Much to the chagrin of his family, Xavier (Adriano Luz) relocates the clan from the hustling, bustling city to the dreary countryside.

Being the dutiful wife, Helena (Manuela Couto) stands by her man and supports the move, encouraging the kids to do the same.

But even her support wanes when the house's violent history is learned, threatening to destroy the entire family.

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When do you suppose the best time to kick a horror movie into high gear — be it by the reveal of the ghost, evidence of the haunting (think the awesome kids' room scene in Poltergeist), Satan? 20 minutes in? 40?

Well, if you are Tiago Guedes or Frederico Serra, directors of Bad Blood, you do it five minutes before the movie is over. Thus ruining any hope of a scary movie being, well, scary.

And that's no joke or exaggeration. Nothing major happens in Blood until the movie's final moments. Sure, there are a few instances of "supernatural" happenings, but these are neither scary nor dreadful.

It doesn't help that the time being spent on not scaring the audience is wasted on anything but character development. With the exception of, maybe, Father Cruz, none of the characters have any depth at all. This becomes painfully obvious when, at the end of the film, there is, what should be, a tragic and heartbreaking death. Instead of feeling sorrow or shock, I was feeling for the remote to see how much was left in the movie.

The biggest travesty is Blood really could have been something. It has a helluva location — the house and surrounding land really makes for some great scenery — pretty damn good actors and just the right looking extras. There's a great scene where Xavier's daughter, Sofia (Sara Carinhas), stops in a small pub/restaurant for a cup of coffee, and gets the evil eye from the local yokels. The scene is both well shot and well played. The pisser is there are more than a few scenes like this, well directed and well acted in a great setting, but the script and the story are turds.

The story is entirely too underdeveloped and has too many scenes of what the movie doesn't need, and not enough of what it does. I don't need a séance that doesn't further the story. I don't need to be teased that Sofia is preggers, and she won't reveal the father — especially when it adds nothing to the movie but forced tension between daughter and family. What I do need is a much bigger buildup of strange happenstances to get to the finale, so said finale makes some sort of an impact.

Bad Blood is reminiscent of Wolf Creek. In both films, too much time is wasted on insignificant things, so by the time you get to the climax, it's completely underwhelming.

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Video & Audio:

Bad Blood's 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation in too soft in parts, and has specks here and there. The colors are very restrained, but this looks to be intentional, as it reinforces the characters' feelings of the boredom of living in the country.

The Portuguese DTS track is more than suitable. As Bad Blood is mostly dialogue driven (because NOTHING HAPPENS), it more than gets it done. When needed, such as rainy scenes and off-camera noises, the sides and back eagerly kick in.

Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 and English and Spanish subtitles are available.

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Special Features:

  • Making of Bad Blood
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

I'll be damned the "behind the scenes" featurette isn't a bonafide behind the scenes featurette. I'm so accustomed to watching 30 minutes of promotional back patting that when a true making-of comes my way, I'm a bit taken aback. The featurette consists of interviews with the cast, producer and directors, mixed in with scenes from the film and on-set photographs. It's pretty in-depth, covering things such how the idea for the film came about, casting and locations. Surprisingly enjoyable, considering my disappointment in the film.

Rounding it out are trailers for Bad Blood, Red Road, Sheitan, Slaughter Night, Dorm, Silk, The Maid and Bloody Reunion.

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Movie: 2 Stars Bad Blood Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Video: 2.5 Stars
Audio: 3 stars
Extras: 2.5 Stars
Overall: 2.5 Stars

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Bad Blood didn't have much to offer me, so I can't offer it to you. If it ever happens to pop on TV, you might want to give it a cursory glance. Either way, you aren't missing too much.

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About The Author
Steve Pattee
Author: Steve Pattee
Administrator, US Editor
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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