Blood of Beasts

Format: Color, Widescreen, Dolby
Studio: Columbia Tristar Home
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2005
Run Time: 90 minutes 



The DVD cover may lead you to believe that this is a cheap straight-to-video Lord of the Rings rip-off, but it is nothing of the sort. Instead, it starts off as The 13th Warrior (remember that thing with Antonio Banderas and the Viking warriors?) before it suddenly turns into Beauty and the Beast and then it finally settles for a Romeo & Juliet ending, replete with a Viking funeral. (Did I mention that the movie also features Vikings, one of whom is actually named Erik?)

The lead is played by Jane March whose career kicked off promisingly in the French sex flick The Lover, but judging from flick then seemed to go nowhere since then. Except for South Africa it seems, where the film was filmed on what seems to be a maximum of three sets.

Yup, the movie is still a cheap rip-off though with obvious CGI special effects, fake make-up and obvious wigs that make the cast look like keyboard players for Yes.

THE DISC: The menu looks promisingly good and professional - unlike the movie itself. Sound is fine, but some scenes are quite grainy. The image is in full screen which gives the production a cheap TV look and feel. There are trailers for the movie itself as well as some other straight-to-video fare, two of which are both about Roman emperors (Nero and Augustus) for some reason. Isn't this a bit late to be ripping off Gladiator?

WORTH IT? South Africans will probably have the most fun watching Blood of Beasts, playing spot the actor and guess the location game. (Full disclosure: the author is located in South Africa.) South Africa has a diverse range of landscapes and is cheap to film in, which makes it tempting for cheapo overseas productions such as this one. But in this case the South African scenery is just off (there is no snow) and is pretty much limited to one dull river-side location.

RECOMMENDATION: Blood of Beasts is ripe for Monty Python shenanigans, so when watching it invite some boisterous friends over and make sure you have some beers on hand. Without your friends Blood of Beasts will however be a dreary exercise and not even staring at co-star Candice Hildebrand - blonde kiddie TV show presenter turned FHM mag cover girl regular - will help. Besides, the director has no idea of how to light his actresses so that they will appear glamorous and there isn't enough nudity or violence otherwise to sustain interest in the movie.



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