Blood Paradise Blu-ray Review

Written by Robert Gold

Blu-ray released by Artsploitation Films

Directed by Patrick von Barkenberg
Written by Andréa Winter and Patrick von Barkenberg
2018, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Released on July 16th, 2019

Andréa Winter as Robin Richards
Christer Cavallius as Hans Bubi
Patrick von Barkenberg as Teddy
Martina Novak as Lilo Loewitsch
Ellinor Berglund as Elsa
Ingrid Hedström as the Sister



Robin Richards has found worldwide success as a bestselling crime novelist. Her latest book however is a total failure leaving her devastated and creatively drained. Her publisher encourages Robin to take a vacation to the Swedish countryside to relax and find inspiration. She reluctantly agrees and makes the trip immediately, leaving her worries and her boyfriend Ted behind. She arrives in Sweden where she is met by Hans, her number one fan who is also her driver. She is taken to a remote farm free from distractions, including internet and phone service. Mourning his late wife, Rolf runs the farm and is socially awkward but accommodating. It seems that everyone in Sweden is a bit peculiar, and Rolf is no exception. He spends much of his time locked away in a small cottage on the farm doing something secretive.

While Robin is out in the hills searching for a cell phone signal, there is a murder at the farm. When she returns, everyone is acting strange. Suspects include Rolf the farmer, his sister and his shirtless farmhand son, as well as the obsessed superfan Hans and his jealous wife Elsa. Robin is unaware of the crime, but grows more uncomfortable and decides it is time to leave. It is here that the movie finally kicks into gear as secrets are revealed and our heroine is thrust into a nightmare scenario, held against her will and abused by a sadistic psychopath. Can she escape her situation on her own or will someone come rescue her – or will she become just another statistic among the missing?


Director and co-writer Patrick von Barkenberg makes a stylish debut with Blood Paradise, the English-language, Swedish-lensed thriller. Co-written by lead actress Andréa Winter, there is much emphasis placed on isolation and on studying human behavior. The story unfolds in a series of eight chapters presented with simple title cards, including “The Writer” or “The Sister” and more telling like “The Murder”. The tale is presented in a linear fashion although there may be time jumps between segments, as everything seems to transpire within a matter of days. For example, Hans’ wife fights with him over his change in behavior ever since picking up that writer – seemingly within hours of him meeting Robin.

Blood Paradise begins as more of a mystery, as our protagonist arrives as a stranger in a strange land before descending into a tale of madness and psychological terror. There is plenty of setup, although not everything is crystal clear when we reach the end. As a character, Robin Richards is well-realized and relatable as a fish out of water in a new environment. She is not prepared for the ordeal she is about to be put through, but shows great strength under pressure. This is a quiet, deliberately paced movie that takes a while to get where it’s going, but steadily builds an uncomfortable atmosphere before it hits its stride. It held my attention, but I don’t feel compelled to watch it again, so catch this one streaming if you can.


Video and Audio:

The film receives a solid transfer filled with bright colors and rich black levels. The picture makes good use of the 2.35:1 framing and there is plenty of small-object detail.

Audio options include a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix or a 2.0 stereo track. This is an English-language film with a few scenes in Swedish. Dialogue levels are well-balanced with music and effects cues.

Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.


Special Features:

A collection of four deleted scenes are included, each containing material that was cut for pacing.
Blood Sex Dream (2 minutes) is a masturbation fantasy of Ted covered in blood having sex with Robin. Up next is Fly Scene (1 minute), where Robin gets distracted while trying to write. Latex Dreams (3 minutes) is a mostly silent scene featuring Robin trying to flee a man in a latex suit before having sex with him. The last scene is titled Tractor and Sheep (2 minutes) in which we find the farmer digging a hole and unearthing a suitcase with Hans’ screenplay.

There are two music videos for the band Baba Yaga; “Dreamer” (4 minutes) and “You and Me” (4 minutes).



Movie: Cover
Overall: 3 Star Rating

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Robert Gold
Staff Reviewer
Robert's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
Other articles by this writer



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