Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Bleeding (DVD Review)

Photo - Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Dir: Charlie Picerni (Three Days to Vegas)
Cast: Michael Matthias, Michael Madsen, Rachelle Leah, Vinnie Jones, Madison Weidberg, Katherine von Drachenberg, DMX, Armand Assante
USA, 2009

Reason to see: Vampire films are always a yes for me.

Vampire films are always start as a yes for me as I love the genre and the many permutations it can take to comment on life, the world, humanity, love, etc. The Bleeding uses vampires as a outlet for action and the opportunity to avenge, in this case for Shawn Black (Michael Matthias) who returns from Afghanistan to find all his family obliterated and it's up to him to set things right.

One of the big things that pulled me into see The Bleeding was the trailer, as it piqued my curiosity because it had what looked like a variety of different visual styles on top of the vampires, action and club culture to boot. My one reservation was that the film was a primo target for gender crap, and although there is some gratuitous nudity it wasn't as terribly rampant and we do get some kick-butt female characters of the vampire (Katherine von Drachenberg) and human (Rachelle Leah) variety. I particularly enjoyed Rachelle Leah as Lena who was believable as a the tough-but-not-heartless chick who wasn't going to take crap from anyone. That being said it's really a film centred on the guys and Michael Matthias does a good job as our hero Shawn who is out on a blood trail to seek revenge, and along the way meets Tagg (DMX) and Father Roy (Michael Madsen) which give the film a strong quest-vibe going on especially with mention on a slayer, although after years of watching Buffy make it hard to think of a vampire slayer as a guy.

One of the highlights of the films is really the action and the stunts, which are very impressive. I'm not one to normally get all excited about car chases and explosions, but in The Bleeding you will get worked up over them because they really are that good. I also oddly enjoyed the visual style, which I noted you can see in the trailer that it bounces from style to style and usually I'd pull the inconsistency card and call foul but here it completely adds to the atmosphere and gives it a dynamic tone and exciting pace.

As a vampire flick, it's a little light on themes and heavy on blood but as an action flick if fires on all cylinders and delivers you tons of fun.

DVD Extras:
  • Cast Interviews (4 minutes) Behind the scenes footage and interviews on set with actors Michael Matthias, Rachelle Leah, Madison Weidberg, Vinnie Jones on the effects, , Kat Von D, Armand Assante on working on a vampire film, the effects, on the cars, on their characters, working together and working with director Charles Picerni
  • Makeup & Effects (5 minutes) behind the scenes with make up and effects preparation, application, prosthetics for vampire effects, gun fire, atmospheric elements and interviews with actors Michael Matthias, Kat Von D and Michael Madsen.
  • Stunts (5 minutes) Behind the scenes footage of physical stunts, car stunts, explosions, sword play and interviews with actors Michael Matthias, Vinnie Jones, Rachelle Leah, stunt man Fabiano Iha on the stunt work and working with stunt players vs actors doing their own stunts.
  • Trailer
The Bleeding is available on DVD as of March 1, 2011. Check it out over at &

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of action flicks, especially vampire action flicks.

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© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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