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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Innocent Blood (Blu-ray)
Innocent Blood (Blu-ray)
Warner Bros. // R // September 19, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $21.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted September 19, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

Detective Joe Gennaro (Anthony LaPaglia) is an undercover cop working a case on the mean streets of early nineties Pittsburgh. It's here that he's made his way into the inner circle of the gang run by Sal "The Shark" Macelli (Robert Loggia), a ruthless mobster currently sending his soldiers out to do war with a rival gang. This leaves a lot of bodies in its wake, and a lot of blood. There's enough blood, in fact, to bring in a beautiful French female vampire named Marie (Anne Parillaud) who prefers to feed on the criminal type.

When Joe runs into Marie one night, seemingly by chance, he's attracted to her and offers to buy her coffee. She declines, suspicious of this man hanging out with another mobster Tony (Chazz Palminteri) who winds up giving her a ride home. Or he tries to. She encourages him to go park and soon enough, has drained him of his blood, savvy enough to blow Tony's head off with a shotgun to eliminate any evidence of vampiric happenings. When Gennaro's cover winds up blown, Macelli puts a hit out on him despite the protests of his smart talking lawyer, Manny Bergman (Don Rickles). The next night, Macelli meets Marie and likes what he sees. When he invites her over for dinner, she bites him but has to flee when the bodyguard interrupts, leaving the job unfinished. As is wont to happen when a vampire doesn't kill its victim, Macelli soon ‘turns' and decides to get rid of Gennaro himself…

Well cast, clever and gory Innocent Blood plays well more than twenty five years since it failed to set the box office on fire. It's actually a surprise that this one isn't better known than it is, it offers up the horror fan a whole lot to love. The effects are well handled and the scenes of vampiric action are plenty bloody. Anne Parillaud makes for a delightfully sexy antiheroine while LaPaglia is pretty solid as the male lead. Robert Loggia is excellent as the main foil in the picture, and that supporting cast? It's hard not to love Don Rickles in this film, especially once Sal turns and realizes how convenient his new found abilities are to his chosen occupation. Never one to underplay a role, Rickles is hysterical here and he and Loggia have a real chemistry together that director John Landis is never slow to exploit. On top of that we get small supporting and cameo roles from the likes of Linnea Quigley (as a sexy nurse), future star of The Sopranos Tony Sirico, the instantly recognizable Luis Guzman, the lovely and talented Angela Bassett and a few of Landis' fellow genre stalwarts like Tom Savini, Forrest J. Ackerman, and directors like Sam Raimi, Michael Ritchie and even Dario Argento!

The film is nicely paced, never overstaying its welcome but giving us enough character development to chew on. The humor is solid, it never feels too forced and it functions nicely along the main plot. Landis' direction is controlled while the cinematography does a nice job of capturing a fairly gritty atmosphere. The film's main flaw is the contrived and predictable romance that blossoms between Maria and Joe. They don't quite have that spark that you need to pull this off, it feels forced and it doesn't really wind up adding all that much to the picture. But hey, that aspect is pretty forgivable when the good outweighs the bad by as much as it does with this film.

Note that this is the international version of the film and that it ruins two minutes longer than the old R-rated DVD release did. Most of what's added here are quick slightly stronger extensions to various scenes and some additional dialogue but there is one stand out addition involving Loggia's character at the morgue. We'll say no more to avoid spoilers.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

Innocent Blood looks fantastic on this Blu-ray framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. There's excellent detail here from start to finish and the image is more or less pristine outside of a few tiny white specks here and there that most won't even notice. Black levels are nice and deep, which is really important for the darker scenes that are fairly plentiful in this film, but at the same time we get strong shadow detail and avoid obvious crush. There are no noticeable compression artifacts nor is there any edge enhancement or noise reduction to complain about. The end result is a clean, crisp film-like transfer that blows the old DVD out of the water.

Sound:

The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track. Optional closed captioning is provided in English only, there are no alternate language or subtitle options provided. The audio here is clean, clear and concise. Dialogue is easy to understand and follow and there are no noticeable issues with any hiss or distortion worth noting. Range won't floor you but there's some decent channel separation up front from time to time that helps add to the experience.

Extras:

Extras are slim, limited to a trailer for the film, menus and chapter selection.

Final Thoughts:

Warner Archive's Blu-ray release of Innocent Blood might come up short in the extra features department but otherwise, no complaints. The transfer is excellent, the audio rock solid and it's great to see the international/uncut version of the movie included here. The feature itself is a good one, a genuinely entertaining mix of horror, comedy and action really well. Recommended!

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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