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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Blood Sisters
Blood Sisters
Other // R // February 17, 2004
List Price: $9.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Bill Gibron | posted March 8, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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When last we left 3-D, a really awful bit of mummy miscreance was taking off her top to show the cinema her under-inflated hieroglyphics. We laughed. We cried. We kissed $70 'goodbye' on a set of multi-dimensional sunglasses. And it was all in the name of some atrocious made for pennies puke that attempted to entertain our depth perception but only managed to enrage our crap complicity. Dumb us; we hoped that technological advances would somehow overcome a terrible story, horrific acting and lackluster direction to make even the most wretched Egyptian ipecac digestible. But we were wrong. Wrong like child pornography is wrong. Wrong like letting Freddie Prinze, Jr. act in another movie is wrong. Wrong in the sense that nothing, not Smell-a-vision, virtual reality or direct testicular stimulation can save a bad movie when it's sucking on the root with all its might. So, you may be asking yourself, are there things out there just as bad (or, Isis forbid, WORSE!) than a maxi-pad encrusted tomb walker trying to please her "god" with all kinds of pacemaker fodder? And if there is, what can 3-D do to help lessen the stench? Well, the answer is yes and nothing...or maybe it's a couple of 'perhaps'es. Actually, a nice rhetorical way to put it is "does a bear wipe with his paws?" and "is soup good food?" In the case of Blood Sisters, another fiasco in filmmaking by awkward auteur Joe Castro (his brother Fidel is SOOOOO pissed at him right now) the seemingly unreachable depths of stupidity that Evil Unleashed pre-sunk into the cesspool of schlock movies are surpassed and broadened. This Bloodsuckers Go to College crud is worse than a 7:45am trigonometry class. And the 3-D is nothing to right home for money about either.

DVD:
Everyone knows that college is a place for experimentation. It's a time to find your inner rat for the impending race, explore the limits of bad personal hygiene and settle once and for all those pesky issues of sexuality and musical taste. So in between sessions of Girls Gone Wild and trips to Burning Man to meet up with other Dave Matthews Band fans, Tracy and her cross-eyed Amerasian roommate Melissa are trying to pledge the most popular sorority on the campus of Whothehellare University. And they are also trying to solve a series of serial killings. Oh, and they're trying to get laid (hey this is advanced secondary education, after all). Anyway, seems that Alpha Beta Pi is very exclusive. As a matter of fact, it is so exclusive that pledges check in but they don't check out. See, the Sisters of ABP suck and swallow (I know, I know, a college girl who does both? Hey, it's a movie). Unfortunately, the only bodily liquid they're interested in pumps from a thick, throbbing muscle... in your chest. Yeppers, these bi-Pipers of Greek alliance are vampires and they want to recruit Tracy. Only problem is, Tracy's not sure if she wants to spend eternity as a member of this particular claret klatch. After all, being a member of the living dead has it résumé drawbacks.

In business, there is cost/benefit analysis. In life, there is the maxim revolving around diminishing returns. Cinema also has its own set of technical rules of thumb. Truisms like "never watch a movie with Pauly Shore in a prominent role", "no matter what you cast him as, Andrew Clay will always be 'The Diceman'" and "young Hollywood will always make old Hollywood look like geniuses" are meant to be warnings for wayward artists, not buckable trends or independent indictments. Thanks to the redolent re-imagining of a certain Anne Rice, we can add a new adage to the age old behavior heeding: "the vampire is no longer a viable plot device". That's right, old Dracula is done for. Never give Nosferatu an even break. When it comes to suckers of blood and other bodily fluid, the over romanticizing of the children of the night's leader has resulted in a softer, fluffier fiend, one who garrotes your throat and then seeks a therapist to confess to. It used to be that, when you made a vampire movie, you followed the situational ethics of Bram Stoker and stuck with the whole cross/sun/stake hierarchy. But old fanny Annie couldn't leave Lestat well enough alone. She had to make him a bi-curious creature of deadly sin indulgence whose blood drinking required an intervention, not a torch and pitchfork posse. Her tainted tug on the tomb sleeper has resulted in more dreary fang re-imagining than Disney ever did to fairytale classics. Blood Sisters is one such goofball bit of the gothic.

Blood Sisters is awful; a dreary, dumb attempt at mixing horror with humor that's as funny as an "Incomplete" on your permanent record. Another in an endless line of Joe Castro-phes that substitute exposition for suspense and unappealing nudity for narrative, what we have here is a jaundiced journalism student whose suspicious of the whole world (and she hasn't even interned for Bill O'Reilly yet). Having transferred from 'the real world' where she was trying to jumpstart her career, she learns that life in higher education has its own deadly drawbacks. The whole sorority/serial killing angle is awkwardly handled, we never once feel a sense of fear running up our spines and the whole secret society stupidity reeks of better material handled far more professional by better makers of movies. A good way to look at our Tracy is to consider her plot filler, the kind of character who is always in the right place at the time for expositional need and able to single-handedly get a handle on issues that dozens of others have been flummoxed by for months. Her roommate can tell her a morbid tale of dead bodies and missing co-eds and Tracy will immediately resolve it as supernatural foul play. While the police are following up leads and looking for clues, she stumbles upon spare body parts and knows where the undead drop off their corpses. The minute she meets up with the trio of tarts who make up Alpha Beta Pi, she senses their unreality. Heck, she even gets a horny he-man member of the opposite sex to confess all his banter bullshit to her, leaving him more emasculated than a eunuch in ancient Rome.

Manipulating all points toward the middle (and directly into mediocrity) Tracy is a storyline stooge, an absent individual without real place or purpose. Call her Huffy The Vampire Player, since all she does is get ticked off and plot against the Sisters of sin. Castro's casting here is fairly decent. One can easily imagine Erica Howard going on to a bigger and better career. Perhaps not in the movies, but there are a lot of infomercials hiring nowadays. She could easily be "skeptical working girl #3". The rest of the redolent thespians have seen better play dates and the overall tone is one of a hobbled together freshman thesis. The editing doesn't match the effects (blood flows before the bites are made), the actresses tend to shy away from actual contact with their victims (they pull their neck plunges like stuntman pull their punches), and the sound cues are always a second or two early/late. Castro's answer for all this pathetic production value? Why, SKIN, that's what. Now before you get your peter in an uproar, it is important to note this much. The gals here take it all off in a very unappealing fashion. They look like strippers from the local off-ramp dive club, not professional procurers of the flesh. As such, it's a crapshoot about how happy you'll be when the trou and blou start dropping. Nerds who've never known the touch of a woman will steam up their I-Pods pretty quickly. For anyone who's seen anything else, including faded National Geographic newsreels, these wanton women will leave you wanting nothing whatsoever to do with breasts, or this film.

Blood Sisters never tries to achieve a level of camp or cleverness to help it rise above its mediocre subject matter. A sorority of carnal creatures makes for an interesting, if overdone, premise. And the fact that their bite is a wild fantasy inducer could have been worked into a Red Shoes Diaries-esque excuse for softcore. But this is no-budget butt licking at its most unappetizing. Castro doesn't understand things like blocking, timing, compositions or framing. His camera is more comatose than creative. And the script, by Kyle Kline is so filled with unexplained inaccuracies and legend fidgeting (victims only turn AFTER they take a life? These vamps have figured out how to exist in the sun?) that you're never quite sure what's going to happenstance next. Placed in combination with the rest of the aesthetic gracelessness (shots are too dark or overexposed to the light) you end up with something that can't be enjoyed on any level. It is a boring, bland, bit of blood and bodkin baring that never once gives us a reason to rejoice. By the time the story has slid to a grinding halt (and the whole secret society angle has been over examined) all you want is out: out of the narrative; out of the location and out of the dorky 3-D glasses one needs to buy to enjoy the depth perception aspects of the presentation. Blood Sisters is as lame as a broken down mare and should be sent to the glue factory with the rest of the useless pony parts ASAP.

The Video:
Any number of negative adjectives can be used to describe this full screen scrapple, but the best way to explain this 1.33:1 video image is to make the following analogy. The quality of the video transfer here is like finding a cheesy toenail under the covers of a freshly made hotel bed. The outward appearance of professionalism is a ruse for the hidden horrors of the actual repugnance within. In regards to the 3-D, the sequences of stripping have a nice dimensional quality and there are times when hands and stakes seem to come out of the screen. But since Blood Sisters seems to be a movie made for home video and then transferred over to the new technology, the depth effect is never consistent. This film is definitely not worth a $70 outlay of cash for the flash flicker glasses. There are better ways to enjoy trailer skank in multiple dimensions.

The Audio:
Back when I was in boarding school, I had a teacher who used to ask us why Jimmy (an imaginary creation) never sent correspondence to his mother. The answer, of course, is because he never had anything to write home about. This rather warped educator used to use that phrase (he'd say, "time for another non-existent letter from Jimmy" ) to criticize our answers during topical discussions. The same sentiment can be used to describe Blood Sisters perfectly perfunctory audio presentation. If Jim's mommy is waiting by the mailbox for a message from her son, she'll be waiting quite a while. There is truly nothing worthy of notation here.

The Extras:
This disc sets up the basic premise that, if you have a 3-D system, you are getting a 2-D version of the film as a bonus. Same goes for those sans flicker glasses, except in your case the extra is really lousy. You cannot watch the movie in 3-D without glasses: the screen is awash in jittery, blurry images. The 2-D is acceptable for anyone to wallow through. Those outside the dimensional know can therefore sit back and see Blood Sisters as it was intended, that is, a truly crappy made for video void. But to the lens-less, the 3-D is useless. Confused? You should be. I mean, does this sound like a reward on either side for buying this DVD? Thought so.

Final Thoughts:
Horror movies are a lot like chocolate milkshakes. You'd kill several of your more ne'r-do-well relatives to get your hands on a great one, but more often than not you'll settle for something, anything that doesn't taste like fatty air and give you diarrhea. In the world of the fright flick, the splatter can be sub par and the spooks specious and as long as it provides a shred of something sinister, we'll chew on it a while before hocking it into the substandard spittoon. But a travesty like Blood Sisters offers no such snuff stuff. It will unclog your bowel as it fouls the air with its own putrescence. It takes vampires for granted and then grates them up into a stifling, stupid simmer of glorified Greek letters to try and reinvent the genre, matriculation style. It uses the well-known premise that the fraternity/sorority system is a soulless, blood-lusting organization; a Hell spawning bent on a corrosion of conformity that demands ritualistic sacrifice on behalf of its members (heck, who doesn't know that?) but never digs beneath the bare boob business to attempt true social commentary. This is home movies as mindless media meddling. Director Castro and his cast of several have no business making show for anyone. And no dimensional delirium, no flicker glass goofiness can save it. In 2-d, 3-d or any other D you can fathom, this movie is pure-D dung. So unless you feel the need to spend 90 minutes milling about in a poorly-lit dorms, microscopic classrooms and questionable bedroom hi-jinx, graduate from this God-awful sheepdip skin and move on. College is over now. Get out and get a real life!

Want more Gibron Goodness? Come to Bill's TINSEL TORN REBORN Blog (Updated Frequently) and Enjoy! Click Here

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