By now, you all know that there are certain studios that I support 100%. Every release that XLrator Media puts out, whether under their Macabre label or otherwise, I get excited about. Like a few other letdowns recently, however, the latest XLrator release is kind of a disappointment. While it had some shining moments, Chad Michael Ward’s Strange Blood was lackluster overall.
Dr. Henry Moorehouse is on the verge of finding a cure for all known illnesses, ranging from the common cold to HIV and cancer. When trying to take a sample from his miracle creation, however, the good doctor is infected with a parasite that begins to take over his body, causing him to develop an insatiable thirst for blood.
Within minutes of pressing play, more often than not, I’m capable of telling what caliber of film I’m getting myself into. It is easy to tell that the budget for Strange Blood is not the highest, but I am always willing to look past that in hopes of great acting, effects, plot, or any other number of things that make a film worth watching and enjoyable. Unfortunately, as the film went on and the story progressed, I just felt bored and as though there was no real delivery of what I was promised on the release’s DVD case. I saw no real comparable traits to Cronenberg’s The Fly other than the fact that there is a doctor working alone on an experiment that no one else would dare get close to. I was hoping for this great transformation and while Robert Brettenaugh who plays Henry does a grand job of developing his character from this passionate scientist to a bloodthirsty madman, I was hoping for something more monstrous.
Strange Blood features a very tiny cast consisting of two main characters and a handful of supporting characters. I’ve already mentioned Robert Brettenaugh’s ability to transform himself as the film progresses and I was impressed by Alexandra Bard’s portrayal of Gemma, but I feel as though the duo wasn’t able to really do much given the script they were provided. Although the film only runs 84 minutes long, it seemed to stretch out way longer than it needed to. In that time, Brettenaugh and Bard were on screen together quite a bit, but I didn’t feel any real type of chemistry between them, which sadly took me out of the film more than I had already felt.
By the final act, Strange Blood turns itself into a modern-day vampire tale. No form of the word ‘vampire’ is ever used, but any time I see a character hellbent on consuming blood, I can’t help but make the connection to the famous monsters. I believe it is a fair connection to make, too. This is made even more clear as the film wraps itself up, including a post-credits scene that I don’t want to spoil for you guys. Just keep a look out and don’t turn the film off when the end credits begin to roll. In fact, the post-credits scene is actually my favorite of the film and looking back, I wish there was more of that type of stuff going on throughout.
I give this film 2 burned diner hamburgers out of 5.