Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bloodstained Bride (2005)

Directed By Aaron Burk
Starring Renne Madison Cole, Dane Moreton, Erica Ellis

From the makers of rakish splatter comedy The Van comes this witty, tongue-in-cheek retro-slice n' dicer. Not to be confused with '72's The Blood Spattered Bride (although a double-feature of both films would serve as a great deterrent for nervous grooms-to-be), THIS crazy-ass-bitch-in-a-wedding-dress-goes-bananas-flick is about a hapless sandwich delivery guy named Tracy (Dane Moreton), whose life is slowly sinking into the muck. Besides the heartbreak of being stuck with a chick's name, his haughty, glammy girlfriend has just decided she's too good for him, and some weirdo ass-fucker at work is stealing his sandwiches, when he's not swallowing the boss's man-goo for a better route. It's a bad scene, Jack.

Meanwhile, toothy blonde Madeline (Renee Madison Cole) is starting a new life in Tracy's neighborhood after hacking her first hubby to death in bed on their wedding night. She's got sexual hang-ups that just won't quit, see. Spotting fresh meat in put-upon Tracy, she charms him in a series of awkward but playful dates, and the next thing ya know, sandwich boy is starry-eyed.

And that's when the trouble starts.

Madeline's possessive and jealous ways begin to infect their relationship like a creeping cancer, making life increasingly difficult for regular-guy Tracy and his drunken jack-ass friends. Worst of all, Maddy won't even blow the fucking guy. Reluctantly, even with a mile-high stack of evidence that points the other way (like the 'gift' of a natty hairpiece, for instance), Trace agrees to marry the crazy girl.

Meanwhile, just to hedge her bets, Madeline starts hacking his exes to pieces.

Blood and nerves co-mingle in this queasiest of all love stories until an explosive, stripper-filled, apocalyptic bachelor party where the bride, and everyone else, wears red.

Rare for the genre, Blood-Stained's biggest asset is a thoughtful script and strong performances. With the very glaring exception of Tri-Toader Brad Paulson, whose drunken lout character is a screechy, under-cooked mish-mash of Deputy Dawg and Bob Cat Goldthwait, all the actors do an admirable job of breathing real life into their roles, which is no small feat when you're playing a chick in a bloody wedding dress choking strippers to death with dildos. Despite a script that's rife with exploitive elements (bloody killings, lap dances, blow job demonstrations, and much, much consumption of booze wrapped in hilariously generic packaging), Blood-Stained Bride never really sinks into pure sleaze, coming off more like the kind of darkly comic slasher flicks popular in the 80's, like Return to Horror High, Chopping Mall, or Student Bodies. Fun stuff.

- Ken McIntyre

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