Werewolves sure have it easy.
Aside from a few fleas, excruciating once-per-month-transformations and obsessively/compulsively marking their territory, there’s not much to ruffle their fur.
Want it tough? Trying being a were-frog.
You leave a slime trail pretty much everywhere you go, no one wants to kiss you and you have an uncontrollable desire to rip your family to ribbons. At least your uber-hot friend buys it ten minutes in so you don’t have to compete with her (spoiler alert).
Such is the quandry that befalls our heroine, Victoria (Mary Malloy) in Bad Blood: The Movie, the latest offering from indie horror/sci-fi/horror house, Level 33 Entertainment. It’s a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the creature features of the ‘80’s that never takes itself too seriously, but offers up some fun makeup effects and drive-in style schlock that will appeal to hardcore humor/horror fans.
It’s a safe bet that it won’t get an Oscar nod, but it did score the top spot at the Chattanooga Film festival and turned heads at several other small-scale shows. Produced on a shoestring, it manages to deliver atmospheric sets and shots that evoke memories of other low-budget classics like Re-Animator and Basket Case.
Protagonist Victoria sets herself up for a whole lot of grief when she decides to sneak out of the house to escape her overbearing stepdad (a classic mistake). Throwing caution to the wind, she meets up with her bestie for a wild night of partying. One fateful gas station stop later, her friend becomes frog food when a six-foot amphibian makes a meal of her. Victoria gets mauled but survives, thanks to a mysteriously nameless gas station attendant (Vikas Adam).
Attempting to prevent Victoria from becoming a frog-beast, the Attendant spends a fortnight pumping her full of chemicals you wouldn’t find at your local Citgo. Turns out he’s working his way through med school and has the inside dirt on the nefarious MD responsible for creating the frogman in the first place.
Luckily the Attendant assisted with the initial research, so he’s able to craft an antidote to temporarily keep the frog-canthropy at bay. The bad news? There is no permanent cure for poor Victoria.
Meanwhile her vengeful stepdad hires a violently-delusional PI to find her, not because he’s really concerned, but just so he can get her back home and keep her underfoot.
He’s really gonna wish he’d been nicer to her.
Bad Blood plays like a classic cautionary tale—how disobedience breeds catastrophe, how vengeful oppressors eventually get their comeuppance—think Samson meets Pharaoh (this time the plague of frogs is decidedly singular). But there’s even a bit of anecdotal (or should it be antidote-al?) redemption for the Attendant (shades of Paul, David and Jonah) as he tries to make up for his destructive science by saving Victoria. And even though he essentially fails, he’s able to offer her at least some semblance of salvation and a small dose of sanity — an allegorical addendum not always included in the world of small-time splatter.
Though its likely that Bad Blood won’t become a part of any pop culture review curriculum at seminary, it makes for far-fetched Friday night fun, if you’re feeling froggy. Just make sure you fill up before you head for the Blu-Ray kiosk. You don’t want to take your chances at a gas station.