All reviews by Stafford Christensen.
Film is a powerful but subjective medium; this is a personal take on movies both classic and contemporary....
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello Of Blood (1996)
"I feel like I'm in a bad episode of
Tales From The Crypt!"
- Bordello Of Blood (1996) is not a great movie – or even just a great "horror" movie – but it is a great *bad* movie! When it comes to movies that are "so bad they're good" this "Tales From The Crypt" film about a Private Detective, Rafe Gutman, who stumbles across a vampire whore house is one of the non-genre's premiere films! If you are looking for cerebral dialogue, a mind-bending story, a positively scary thriller, deep characters, or any sort of element that makes a great film, well…. you are looking in the wrong place. But if you are looking for T&A, blood, obscenities, and jokes, Bordello Of Blood has more than any straight male could ask for! Honestly, the film is set around a vampire-controlled whore house used to lure straight men into for the purposes of killing and consuming their blood – how classy and highbrow did you think this movie was going to be? Expect a lot of poor acting, writing, and direction as well as some particularly cheap-looking sets and special effects – but if you want to get any kind enjoyment out of the film, then you have to consider all of these elements as part of the fun.
And, if you ask me, fun it surely is! Bordello Of Blood has to be one of the worst funny movies (with comedy that is both intentional and unintentional) made in the history of bad movies. Angie Everheart, Erika Eleniak, Corey Feldman, Chris Sarandon, and Aubry Morris are absolutely terrible in this movie but it could not be funnier watching them all twist in the wind (especially Everheart as head vampiress). The special effects are so cheesy that they make the Hammer Horror films look up-to-date. The levels of blood, gore, death and destruction are at maximum levels as far as quantity goes but they are not set at particularly high levels as far as quality is concerned. Still, this fits perfectly into the dumber than a doorstop nature of the movie and contributes greatly to its overall B-movie charm and unintentional laughs.
While the many unintentional laughs come from a variety of sources throughout the film, all of the successful attempts at intentional laughs can be attributed to one member of the cast, and one member only: Dennis Miller. Bordello Of Blood may be cheap, brainless, classless but it does have one clearly impressive and enjoyable element in Miller's performance of Private Eye Rafe Gutman (an in-name-only homage to the Gutman character in The Maltese Falcon (1941) no doubt). Miller is simply inspired casting: not only is his presence and humor about the only watchable aspect of the film but his built-in sarcastic wit and cynicism simply plays perfectly on-screen as Rafe Gutman. Miller is absolutely hilarious from scene to scene – even fitting in a trademark arcane reference or two from time to time – but apart from the humor aspect of his character, Miller is simply a great silver screen private detective. Amidst the absolutely ludicrous setting, inadvertently hysterical dialogue, and flavorless filmmaking Miller creates a likable, believable character for the audience to invest in (I did anyway). And when the film pleas for him to be the one actor in the film to show the few instances of featured genuine human emotion, Miller answers the call in full Dick Powellesque-Murder My Sweet (1944) tour-de-force. Dennis Miller is funny enough and all-around good enough as P.I. Rafe Gutman to make Bordello Of Blood watchable all by himself – all of the boobs, blood, bawdiness, and B-movie charm are just window dressing.