The Bleeding

Year 2009

Michael Matthias   as Shawn Black
Vinnie Jones as  Cain
Michael Madsen as Father Roy
Armand Assante as Jake Plummer  
DMX as Tagg
Director - Charlie Picerni
Screenwriter - Lance Lane

An Operation Desert Storm veteran must destroy his returned-from-the-dead brother in order to prevent a vampire apocalypse. Viewer enjoyment is hampered by bad direction, worse dialogue, and mailed in performances.

That would have been my "review" but since this is commentary, I can go further.

The actors aren't A-List, but some of the stars are (or were) in the running at one point. Who wouldn't be tempted to sit down to watch a movie with Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels), Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Donny Brasco), and Armand Assante (Hoffa) in it? But don't do it! Save yourself!

Look at the title for starters. The Bleeding? What's that about? Is it edgy? Why not Bl33ding? Does that title make sense to you? Did they go through all of the one word titles that had to do with vampires and settle on this one because it sounded like blood? (You can bleed steam, don't forget.)

Well, Blood had been taken by another property. So had Bleeder and Bleeders. Even Bled had been used. So, I guess The Bleeding was what was left. A better title would have been More Cookie Cutter Vampires, But with Cars.

The director was a stunt man, and he likes cars. Want to play a drinking game? Have a sip every time someone mentions "Shelby" or "Shelby Cobra". Take a big swig every time someone says "Super Snake". It's an obsession for either the director or writer or both.

You may have to take on faith the fact that Shawn Black (Michael Matthias) actually says it because he's one of those "actors" that believes that if he sounds like he has a mouthful of marbles, then he's being mysterious. In fact, if there wasn't a close-up of the car showing the "Super Snake" car trim, I might have never figured out what he was saying.

What all the mumblin' was about.

Shawn's dad's Super Snake was off limits to Shawn when the boy was growing up. Considering that the Super Snake didn't exist until 2007 and the movie was released in 2009, all you can say is that...the comment did not make sense! It's a new car! How long did his dad keep it from him? Two years? From the time he was twenty to twenty-two? It's not an antique!

This sort of mindless dialog is rampant. My favorite line is by Jake Plummer (Armand Assante). (Uh, Jake Plummer? Really? The football player? An untrustworthy movie cop is named after a professional NFL quarterback? Did the names come out of phone books or a Ouija Board?) Anyway, here's the line. Memorize it! There'll be a test. "Your dad was a good guy. So was your mom."

The word "addlepated" comes to mind when thinking of the screenwriter.

This poet's words flow from the voiceovers by Shawn like rain dripping incessantly on a sheet of tin. It's not communication, it's merely boring noise. When Shawn describes the death of family members, he calls them "decimated". Considering that decimated means reduced by ten percent, you wonder how his mom and dad could have been decimated. Hint: They can't! They're 100% dead!

It's like using penultimate to be more than ultimate. (Penultimate is just before the ultimate.) Or making curves rounder. (Curves are round. If they're not round then they're not curves.)

In one scene Shawn lays on the floor while people beat him. He doesn't defend himself. But in the next scene against greater odds he's an offensive machine - punching, kicking, and shooting all of the bad people. Sometimes it takes two shotgun blasts to the stomach to kill a vampire. (Who knew?) So is Shawn a wimp or a hero? Wait a second or two and you'll change your mind.

At this point he meets Tagg, whose right hand is being deep massaged with a screwdriver or something. His hand should be numb, right? But Tagg has no problem using it to write instructions within a minute or so after being rescued.

Oh, Tagg is the one who gives Shawn the moniker of "Vampire Slayer". All I could think of was, "Do you mean like Buffy?"

It goes downhill from there. In the movie, Michael Madsen has jet black hair! Even when he was younger he didn't have jet black hair. Rubbing shoe polish on your head does not make you look younger, it makes you look like a doofus.

In one scene, Father Roy and Shawn are talking civilly about kicking vampire butt. (It just so happens that the day that Shawn arrives in some podunk town is the one and only day he has to save the world from vampire infestation. Not tomorrow or sometime soon. Not even in some other podunk town. But this town and tonight or the whole world will be infested!) Suddenly Father Roy starts shouting and getting pissed off. There's no reason for the mood shift except maybe the director said, "No! Agrier! Start shouting!"

Just as suddenly Shawn stormed off in a fit of pique. Just as quickly, I hit the "off" button on the remote.

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