Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Mini-Review: Troma Take-off Needs Trimming

The film:
Young Blood: Evil Intentions (2012)

The under-the-radar factor:
Brothers Mat and Myron Smith directed, wrote, produced and edited this micro-budget "horror-comedy" effort largely filmed around Martinsville-Henry County. It's been screened in a few towns, the Fright Night Festival in Louisville and the DVD is being self-marketed through the production's website.

The review:

Young Blood: Evil Intentions would look like a Troma pictures release even if it wasn't for the presence of the legendary Lloyd Kaufman himself in the film's cast. Like so many of those flics, YB:EI looks like it was shot on the seat of it's pants by whatever means possible; at the same time the production was able to call on locals by the hundreds to participate as extras. Very Tromaish.

Anavey and Anastasia are hardly in the happiest of homes. Their mom Olivia has hooked up with a drip of a boyfriend in the persona of the rude and crude Dale. Anavey decides to include her sweet but timid sister into a course of revenge not only towards her own fractured home but against all adults. The older sibling fancies herself a vampire and sets about the actions to recruit reluctant Anastasia into the fold, setting off a plan to create an army of children to murder the local adult population.

The film does deliver some smirks towards the middle, usually created by the sidebar characters that drop in - Kaufman as the over-excited news anchor; the redneck and rude Sheriff Bacon; the Rev. Jerry Jackson who mobilizes the adults against the demonic children in town (might have been a good idea to include more of his character). And the gore-score does rise up to some impactful degree as the story goes on.

But the schlock fun-factor is injured by two issues. One is pacing. A few scenes are actually too abrupt but several others go beyond what's necessary or comfortable. The 100 minute running time, overall, has a bloat problem. A more serious hitch is that the dysfunctional family that dominates the first thirty-plus minutes and significant screen time at the end is just not that interesting. Zoe Cox is cute and sympathetic as the reluctant vampire recruit Anastasia but the other three actors are really not that engaging. Once Kaufman and the other animated characters show up you wish that more of their ilk could have paid a visit. Perhaps the Brothers Smith will tighten and enliven with their next project, Invasion of the Killer Cicadas.

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