I’ve been really bad reviewer lately. I had to go all the way back to January 29th to my review of Rebound (2013) to find the last time I’ve reviewed a full length film. Sorry about that… I promise to do better. Luckily, I’m getting back into my horror groove now that I’ve got some other projects and personal stuff out of the way.
Lights Camera Blood! tells the story of low budget horror filmmaker Mandalor. He is the laughing stock of the film community for his terrible films and pathetic gore effects. He’s filmed accidentally killing the lead actress of his upcoming film and he edits the graphic footage into the final cut. The film goes on to open to rave reviews.
Lights Camera Blood! was written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Kevin Doherty. It stars Alan MacKenzie, Dan Baker-Moor, Heather Russell and Kris Scoran. It is cleary an homage to splatter films of the past, following in the footsteps of such horror greats as Herschell Gordon Lewis. Director Kevin Doherty didn’t tell me that this was his intent, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t the case.
SPOILER ALERT: This review will talk openly about plot points of the film. If you want to experience the film as it was intended please watch it before reading this review.
Lights Camera Blood! Synopsis
Down on his luck and financially strapped low budget horror filmmaker Mandalor is the laughing stock of the film community. His films are terrible and the contrived, poorly done gore-effects make them unintentional comedies of the cinema.
When he presents his latest effort to sleazy, exploitation film producer Gelstein of Gorrific Pictures with the hopes of getting a distribution deal, he is laughed out of the screening room.
The ever-determined Mandalor, along with his trusty hunch-backed cinematographer Rodney, set out to do another horror film but during the course of filming, as he tries in vain to direct an intoxicated and uncooperative actress he accidentally kills her. Rodney captures the dastardly deed on camera and Mandalor includes the graphic footage in his film and screens it to an impressed and delighted Gelstein who offers him a multi-picture deal to deliver more gore galore! A wretched plan hatches that only filmmakers with “nerves of steel” could carry out. Along with a hatchet or an cleaver…
Thoughts & Recommendation
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this one when I first started watching it. It’s clear from the opening credits that this is a period piece. To be more accurate it’s shot in such a manner to give it that “vintage horror” feel. And it’s VERY successful at that. Any fan of the splatter film sub genre will eat this up. It’s got a tremendous grainy feel to it complete with silly dialog and over the top gore effects. That being said, everyone does a great job here and don’t take themselves or the project too seriously.
Alan MacKenzie does a stand out job here with his over the top portrayal of Mandalor (a Star Wars reference perhaps)? He’s got the mannerisms of those silent black and white film villians and he’s just a mustache twirl away from being too corny. The laugh he gives and the way he speaks lets you know he gets the way the character should be played.
I could have done without the “Yes Master” schtick that Dan Baker-Moor brought to the Rodney roll as it became grating as the film went on but it was nice to see this character evolve a bit through the film. This is something I can’t say for any of the other characters.
The blood and gore here is over the top from the word go, and director Kevin Doherty is clearly in his element. We get crushed in skulls, internal organs being yanked out, and eyeballs… oh so many eyeballs. The “squish” that’s heard time and time again is outstanding. It’s not realistic gore but it’s fun gore like I’ve not seen in quite some time. Love it.
The film is also consistent. Perhaps to a fault, but for me that’s a good thing. If you like the first 10 minutes of the film you’re going to enjoy it the whole way through. If you don’t, you might as well turn it off because you’re going to get more of the same throughout the rest of the 82 minutes. Fans of 60’s / 70’s splatter films and gore hounds will love this one.
You can learn more about Light’s Camera Blood! and other project at the following links:
- Official Site: www.kevindohertyfilms.ca
- Twitter: @magictoasterfi1
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/cadabrketish
- IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt4616448/combined
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