Once more we take a creepy trip down Indie (Not major studio) Horror Hill. Beware of the dangers along the way or you might take a spill on a film can containing Director Patrick Van Barkenberg's BLOOD PARADISE. Fear not (or maybe you should if you are a jaded audience member) for this picture is the artfully funny, corpuscle spilling deal with a difference to be seen. The opening pseudo sadism attack handled wonderfully sets the film up.
BLOOD PARADISE concerns the plight of best selling author Robin Richards (Andrea Winter) of the Blood Paradise series advised to go to a farm to trigger inspiration for her next best seller. Of course she goes and the games begin as she meets a obsessive cab driver and fan Hans Bubi (Christer Cavallius) who gets Richards to sign book after book which he has read many times. Later we meet his wife who obsesses that he spends to much money on the books while she artfully tends a room full of plants and flies that remind one of DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1963) in amount. Many such moments from many characters as the subtitles click in and the English pop back in without a loss of content.
Robin Richards is a person out of place in the rural farm community as she dresses in haute couture fashion, worries about her cellphone reception and drops her clothes to swim naked only to have her garments taken.
This sets up a wonderful outdoor shot of the naked Richards moving through a field in the daylight. She doesn't hunt for her clothes or go where others wouldn't. The difference is that in other films she would had the staggered zombie walk from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) and been covered in blood from her latest rampage or encounter. Richards walks with hurried purpose of strong person coping with a situation.
The farm where Richards is staying is not a vicious as the Inn in CALVARIE (2004) but you have a similar situation of a farmer obsessed as we later find out with his 'beautiful wife"which becomes important.
BLOOD PARADISE is more than funny or quirky as behind every moment in comedy lurks the mask of tragedy. The events get graphic as one of the most understated portrayals of obsession creeps in close The Tenant (1976) in intent and purpose. A late night delivery of a fresh toilet roll to an outhouse has never been more terrifyingly delivered.
Andrea Winter and Patrick Van Barkenberg have co written a screenplay with characters that give actors roles they can find a challenge. Each person in the film has moments of dialogue and business on camera that populate BLOOD PARADISE with a rich background. The quick moments where some actors may have difficulty saying dialogue convincingly are kept short to three or four lines then a cut. This keeps the action and the story going without listening to someone struggling in role that maybe beyond their present acting abilities The challenge in creating quirky roles is that they can overpower the main story or turn it into outright silly moments do not happen.
BLOOD PARADISE is wonderful photographed with lots of wood, green grass, lakes, hills, and interiors. Transitions keep the flow going giving you time to enjoy the actors and the scenery around them. In true fashion you will notice many of the actors doubling as tech people even performing and writing music. With all the goes on around her Robin Richards remains a force as it really is her story and journey as told in an image with blood patterns on her face.
BLOOD PARADISE can be enjoyed non genre audience as well as piece of film making without being overpowered yet it will satisfy on all accounts.