Summer of Blood Movie Review
Written by Becky Roberts
DVD released by Monster Pictures UK
Written and directed by Onor Kutel
2015, 86 minutes, Rated 18
DVD released on 23rd February 2015
Onor Kutel as Eric
Anna Margaret Hollyman as Jody
There’s never a dull moment in Onor Tukel’s self-starring black comedy, Summer of Blood – and that’s largely courtesy of the man himself. Tukel plays Erik Sparrow, a wildly inappropriate, unambitious middle-aged man with a girlfriend he doesn’t deserve – let alone can afford to turn down a marriage proposal from, as goes the opening scene.
In fact, twenty minutes into his overt self-portrait and his unrelenting string of overly candid rambles, outrageous crude and racist quips, and bad performances in the bedroom leaves you wondering how he had a girlfriend in the first place.
He sounds like an intolerable, pitiful character – and he is – yet Tukel’s on-screen charm (the kind that Zach Galifianakis, as The Hangover’s Alan, has so wistfully mastered) leaves you warming to the unlikely protagonist and reeling in laughter in every awkward situation he leaves in his wake. If you’re ever in need of a way to feel good about yourself…
As we follow Erik’s monotonous life – his dead-end job he doesn’t take seriously, his inevitable relationship break-up and then a string of unsuccessful yet entertaining dates – the tone finds good balance between amusing and laugh-out-loud moments (there’s a couple of real gut-busters there), and you find yourself quite happily going along with the chatty monologue gag-after-gag.
Like your favourite rollercoaster ride, it can’t go on forever, though, as much as you might like it to; after hitting a low, Erik unknowingly falls into the lap of a bloodthirsty vampire and tells him he wants to die. Obviously, the willing stranger complies and spreads the ancient curse any viewer will be well aware of.
Cue, mood changer.
Now he has the ability to tell people (e.g. his Landlord) what to do (e.g. ignore his outstanding rent) and suddenly becomes a girl-a-night stud who’s a stallion between the sheets, he lives the life he’d always dreamed of – it’s an adventure of an eccentric on acid – until multiple hangovers and women later he realises it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be.
There’s a message in there somewhere, though how effective it is in the film’s comical milieu is questionable. While Erik’s (and the film’s) turning point gives things a new lease of life for a few scenes, unfortunately the genre satire element is lazy and uninventive. It gets too silly in its conclusion, diluting the formerly entertaining character-based plot and replacing it with a whacky and raunchy, yet ultimately soulless, ride that tires a bit too quickly.
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