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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Death Factory Bloodletting
The Death Factory Bloodletting
Wellspring // Unrated // April 7, 2009
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeremy Biltz | posted May 16, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
If you like watching arterial blood being sprayed across the bare breasts of well endowed women, you're in luck! The Death Factory Bloodletting provides scads of this kind of thing, along with numerous gruesome murders, shootings, cannibalistic mutant women, lesbian make out sessions, crazed Christian fanatics and large handguns hidden in vaginas. If this is not your cup of gore, then this is a film to avoid, as it does not provide much in entertainment outside the parameters of the above list.

This is not to say that The Death Factory Bloodletting is a bad film, in the appropriate context. It is a film aimed at a very particular constituency, which effectively provides just the sort of content that this constituency desires. The story centers on two people who use immoral means to reach at least putatively good ends. The first introduced is Denny, played by Noah Todd. He is a Christian fanatic (presumably some perversion of a Catholic, as he constantly fiddles with a rosary) who will happily give sandwiches to a homeless family, and just as happily kill them and feed them to his mutant, vampire like sister Alexa, played by Michelle Mousel, when he discovers they use heroin. He wants to rid the world of what he sees as its immoral residents, which include drug users, prostitutes, whores in the broader sense of sexually indiscriminate women (who do not take payment for their favors), pornographers, pedophiles and various other miscreants. One way he achieves this end more efficiently is by running a website called Gore House, on which online members trade bomb recipes, snuff films, child porn and various other filth. Periodically, Denny invites a select number of the online traders to a "bloodletting". That is, they each pay him a few thousand dollars to come to an undisclosed location and watch someone be tortured to death. This is just a trick, though. The real purpose of the meeting is to kill the attendees, mainly via the aforementioned mutant sister.

Here enters Ana, played by Claudia Vargas. She is a young mother whose daughter was killed by a pedophile, who then proudly sent a video of the molestation and killing of the girl to police. Ana has made it her life's work to track down and execute her daughter's killer. She has worked toward this end by taking on a false online identity, known as Massive9, and joining the Gore House website. She spends a year trading in the most extreme kinds of vileness, including snuff and rape and child porn, to track down Rubber Love (low budget horror film workhorse David C. Hayes), the man she suspects of killing her daughter. It just so happens that Rubber Love is going to attend the next bloodletting, so she arranges an invite herself. Along with Ana and Rubber Love, the other attendees are a white supremacist, a black slave trader, an anarchist nerd, a dominatrix with her submissive and a prostitute. As one might guess, it does not take long in this diverse group for sparks to begin flying.

One issue with The Death Factory Bloodletting for all but committed gore hound viewers is that it is all setup. There is really no plot to be spoiled by saying that a bunch of people are killed in hideous ways by the end of the film. The premise is the movie. The story progresses in sometimes interesting but never incredibly surprising ways. In this kind of film, it is the presentation that is primary. And that is done quite well. The gore and blood are as realistic as necessary in context, and quite enthusiastically over the top. The characters are bare bones caricatures, but most of the actors turn in good enough performances to give them a bit of life. These folks aren't Marlon Brando or John Gielgud, but they get the job done with refreshingly few wince inducing moments. The writers don't take too many liberties with the normal workings of logic or biology, forgiving the successful concealment of a semi-automatic handgun in the vaginal cavity of one character, which character manages to walk around, sit, stand and converse normally while not contorted in pain. (This reviewer is assuming that said character has not made a habit of hiding handguns in her vagina, thus becoming inured to the practice over time, though of course it is possible.) This kind of thing can be forgiven, though, both because it is necessary for the story to work, and because no one really cares. In a film in which a crazed Christian tricks pedophiles into being eaten by his sister, such paltry details are unimportant.

A caution to the general viewer, however. The Death Factory Bloodletting is not the kind of film that cares about moving character moments, or character development full stop, or even in any kind of deeper message. The film does not succeed in investing any of the events with any meaning because it never attempts to. This is not a movie that is concerned with being emotionally satisfying, so don't expect to be so satisfied. This is a particularly stark example of the nihilist tendencies in modern horror films. The closest thing to a theme would perhaps be the futility of revenge, except that the literal last word of the film is that revenge is, in fact, worth it. (Another theme might be that there is no contradiction between Christianity and murdering prostitutes and drug users, but one would hate to impute such a position to the filmmakers when it is never directly advanced and is quite possibly merely an epiphenomenon of employing fairly standard horror movie tropes with little reflection. Plus, they seemed to be quite decent fellows on the commentary.) Regardless, the general viewer should not approach this film with the expectation of receiving the valedictory sense of well being normally associated with a summer popcorn movie.

In fact, the general viewer should probably not watch this movie at all. It provides none of the emotional satisfactions that people usually go to the movies to receive. However, for gore hounds and fellow travelers who are seeking a lot of arterial spray, decapitations and violent deaths, without the painfully bad acting and patently absurd plots usually present in this sort of fare, The Death Factory Bloodletting is probably a good bet.

The DVD

Video:
The video is surprisingly good for such a low budget film. The color palette is muted and dark, but the shadows never obscure the action. Blacks are deep, and contrasts remain sharp. Against this background, the red of the blood in particular is quite vibrant. The image is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen, and is free of artifacts.

Sound:
The sound is 2 channel Dolby digital, and is nothing special. Dialogue is generally crisp and audible, but is occasionally drowned out or muffled by background noise or score. Little effort has been made to use the sound to enhance the film, but little is needed, and it does the job. There are no subtitles, and audio is available in English only.

Extras:
There are a number of extras on this disc, though most of them are inconsequential. They are:

Trailer
The included trailer is nearly a minute and a half long, with lots of blood and nudity. It is fairly effective.

Featurettes
Behind the Scenes
This clocks in at 3:52, and consists of two very short conversations with a member of the cast and the set designer. Other than that, it is random, short behind the scenes shots. There is not much to it.

Killing Cockmaster
Cockmaster is one of the video traders invited to the bloodletting. This three and a half minute featurette shows the filming of his death scene, providing some insight into how the effects were achieved. Mildly interesting.

Shot in the Head
This is less than three minutes, and shows some behind the scenes footage of two characters who are shot in the head, and how the shots were accomplished. Also mildly interesting.

Deleted Scenes: Baby Death
At one point in the film, an infant is killed by Alexa. The producers removed one or two of the more gruesome shots from this sequence in the final film, but the entire scene is presented here. It's easy to see why this scene was pared down.

Commentary Track
The commentary track is the most substantial extra on the disc, and it is interesting but not astoundingly so. The commentators are director Sean Tretta, producer Dustin Lowry and actor Noah Todd, who plays Denny. There are quite a bit of behind the scenes details and anecdotes provided by the three, who come off as quite decent and committed fellows. We hear stories of being kicked out of locations, losing all of the prop guns, tight shooting schedules and casting difficulties. It is all interesting, but not terribly entertaining. It adds to the experience of the disc, but not much.

For the most part, the extras on The Death Factory Bloodletting feel tacked on or thrown together. There seems as if there would be a wealth of material to draw from, but what is presented is almost pro forma.

Final Thoughts:
The Death Factory Bloodletting is a competently executed film whose intended audience is so small, and which has been catered to that audience so specifically, that most others will not find it enjoyable. There is not much in the way of plot or characterization, but the acting (with a couple of exceptions) is good enough to make things work without discomfiting the audience. The story fails to create empathy with any of the characters, but it doesn't try very hard to do so. What it does well are violence, blood spatter and lesbian kissing scenes. If you are a fan of gore, arterial spray and realistically presented death on film, then check this one out. If not, then avoid it.

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