Directed by Michael J. Murphy [Other horror films: Invitation to Hell (1982), The Last Night (1983), The Hereafter (1983), Death Run (1987), Moonchild (1989), The Rite of Spring (1995), Skare (2007), Zk3 (2013), Nekros (2015)]
This is a bit of an obscurity that I’ve wanted to see ever since I read a review for it on A Slash Above. And after seeing it, I can say that it’s a pretty okay film for the quality it is.
Shot on Super 8mm, this is an awfully low-budget film, and the quality of the available print isn’t great. Video’s a bit scratchy, occasionally switching to black and white as the color becomes faded. The audio’s also quite murky at points. But if you can set these presentation issues aside, this movie has a lot to offer.
In many ways, it’s a bit like 1984’s Deadline. Deadline was a drama, dressed up as a horror flick by the fact that throughout the film, random horror clips played. Really, the movie was a somewhat depressing drama, but the effect of playing random horror clips, sometimes quite graphic, and putting to the viewer the connection between on-screen violence and actions, it was interesting. Bloodstream does some of this too, splicing into the story a lot of random, violent horror clips that the protagonist is watching on television.
Some of these are pretty gory, but nowhere as gory as the actual kills in the film. A dismemberment is of particular amusement, but a good throat-slitting and some other solid kills really make this a British version of one of Nathan Schiff’s entries to the genre. As a slasher fan, these kills are damn solid. And the in-universe movies have some entertaining deaths as well, including an extraordinarily fake-looking decapitation, and a good ax death.
I’ve not seen any other Michael J. Murphy films – perhaps his best known titles are The Last Night (1983) and Invitation to Hell (1982, not to be confused with a film of the same title from 1984 directed by Wes Craven). If this is any indication of how his others films are, though, I’d say they might be worth a look. Bloodstream is a very low-budget film, and if you can’t get into that, I’d recommend not coming near this one, especially since the print is so iffy. As for me, though, this British film had both a pretty interesting plot (it was indeed a nice revenge tale that independent movie-makers could get behind) and great gore.