Bombshell Bloodbath’s strength lies in its creators’ love of horror.

Jarosław Kowal

7 July 2023

The first minute of Bombshell Bloodbath is one of the best-managed minutes I’ve ever seen in a Z-movie. There’s everything here to make lovers of this style devour the next eighty minutes with more appetite than Hannibal Lecter’s prefrontal cortex.

Music referring to the work of John Carpenter and the band Goblin, pale colors, the use of shadows like the first Halloween, as if special effects … Such a delightful sixty seconds cannot be true. I paused the video to see if 2015 as the year of release doesn’t mean a remake or remake of a horror from years ago. Thankfully no, this movie really just got made. Brett Mullen clearly knows exactly what connects a tape recorder with a pencil, and based on his love for the 80s, he made a horror movie with such a perfectly unleavened style that it makes me want to tease my hair and throw on a biker jacket with white trainers.

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Returning to the broken thread, modern computers can cheaply and quickly produce tornadoes that spit out sharks (“Shark”) or a shark that walks on fins), and even a shark with two heads (“Two Headed Shark Attacks”). However, none of these maximally inorganic creations will be able to evoke such intense sensations as works created by the skillful hands of make-up artists and technicians. The embarrassing stunts from any Final Destination can never match the hard crafting work done on Hellraiser or Pumpkinhead, for example. If you slammed your fist on the table in agreement with these words, then Bombshell Bloodbath will be as exciting for you as singing the Star-Spangled Banner to Captain America. Glowing purple blood and the completely ordinary one, ejected by a pump hidden in a supposedly severed hand, an eye ripped off from the eyelid, a powerful beat – the absolute heights of kitsch!

The visual side is the responsibility of John Harp – a character almost anonymous in the world of film, but sought after by the hosts of all kinds of haunted establishments, for whom he designs comprehensive methods of scaring customers. The music was composed by Matt Hill, known among synth pop listeners straight from the 80s as Umberto.

The form cannot be criticized, but the content does not always follow it. The requirements for Z-horrors are specific, and it shouldn’t offend anyone that the characters include a blonde stripper, her feisty alcohol-loving boyfriend, and even a mad scientist and his daughter, who shouts out one of the most clichéd lines in film history. : “You can’t play God!”. Fortunately, the duplication of clichés takes place on the basis of a multi-threaded story devoid of the main character, thanks to which the obviousness of events is clear only after they have been played out.

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A serious downside, however, are the acting skills of the vast majority of the cast. Some people don’t actually play their roles, they rather play the actors playing in the film. There are recitations of monologues whose addressee is difficult to guess, which is also reminiscent of the Polish Television Theater and Italian giallo detective stories. Rob Springer looks great as Dr. Carter – the bloody bandages, stooped physique and trailing shovel make him look like Wallace from the Nightmare Creatures II video game. However, when he puts on a mask in the shape of a bird’s beak, characteristic of the “plague doctors”, he becomes intriguing on a par with Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees. The creators of these characters, however, used a very important trick, which was unfortunately omitted when inventing Carter – they discovered that the most terrible nightmare is the one that is silent. Every time the possessed scientist uttered a quasi-mad voice, it forced his lips to shut up and butcher those virgins! Only one actor stands out against this backdrop – Larry Parks, an elderly natural whose Southern accent and lively articulation remind us of how unnaturally James Franco came off in the adaptation of When I Die (more or less as if I had written the line in Highlander). According to Parks, the sheriff could be one of those talkative, life-weary characters who turn simple Tarantino films into masterpieces.

Bombshell Bloodbath’s strength lies in its creators’ love of horror. A big budget and even higher earnings expectations are rarely good enough motivation to make a solid movie. However, little funds and great enthusiasm can create an image that bites the viewer with more ferocity than a living corpse after watching Kitchen Revolutions. I hope that the producers will notice this passion and Mullen’s next film will allow him to fully spread his wings.