August 31, 2015 Blood Punch (Movie Review)
Set for release September 1st on DVD via Midnight Releasing and Bluffroad Productions is the mesmerizing Blood Punch, starring Milo Cawthorne (Power Rangers RPM TV Series, Deathgasm 2015) as Milton, Olivia Tennet (Power Rangers RPM TV Series, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002) as Skylar, and Ari Boyland (Power Rangers RPM TV Series and Mondo Americana 2015) as Russell, written by Eddie Guzelian (Power Rangers RPM TV Series and The Penguins of Madagascar TV Series) and directed by Madellaine Paxson (writer of Power Rangers RPM TV Series and Unfabulous TV Series).
Milton (Cawthorne) wakes up in a cabin, runs to the bathroom, throws up, then notices a video monitor with a note that says “Play Me Right Now” taped to it. He pushes play, and to his horror, the image that appears is of himself giving him a run down of what has been going on. To prove this is no joke, the Milton in the video cuts off two of his own fingers with a meat cleaver.
Flashback to a couple days ago, Milton is in a rehab facility because he was running a meth lab in college and got caught. Suddenly, in walks one of the sexiest things on two legs, Skyler (Tennet), a cool badass in a leather jacket and red high heels, and his whole world turns upside down. She corners him and reiterates to him why he is in there and asks how smart he is, to which he replies, “Smart enough to do this,” grabs his notebook and walks away.
A little later, in group therapy, everyone is sharing their tragic stories. Skyler is clearly not here for that; she places some cold medicine on the table and says the reason she is here is to find a cook to make some high-grade meth. She almost gets attacked by Claire (Fleur Saville: Being Eve TV Series, The Tribe TV Series), a girl rocking a strong ’80s glam look. After the group disperses, Tim leans over to Skyler and offers his services. Later that night, Milton is talking with his roommate, Riley (Mike Ginn: Power Rangers RPM TV Series and My Wedding and Other Secrets 2011), when there is a knock at the door; it is Skyler with Tim, who has a bloody nose. Turns out the cook did not go too well. Milton takes over and produces a nice product. Skyler snorts some of the meth and proceeds to have sex with Milton. During the afterglow, she tells him the deal: a one day cook of over 100 lbs. of pseudo-ephadrine for over a selling price of over $1,000,000. She also tells Milton about Russell (Boyland), her partner and boyfriend, who happens to be nothing short of psychotic, and basically the devil. Also, Skyler points out that they are being busted out that night, as in a few minutes later. Suddenly, there are gunshots and the power goes out. Skyler leaves to make sure Russell does not kill anyone, and Milton runs to his room for cover. After a brief moment of contemplation, Milton grabs his notebook and goes outside where he is greeted with a magnum pointed at his cranium, held by Russell, who also happens to be a cop. Skyler runs out, telling him not to shoot, and that this is the cook. His mood changes from psychotic to jovial, as he is introduced to Milton.
The three are driving and it is clear that Skyler is very scared of Russell. They get to an isolated hunting cabin and get settled in by getting stoned out of their mind. Russell shows off more of his psychotic nature, explaining to Milton why he loves guns and bullets so much. Then he asks Milton if he slept with Skyler, which Russell is apparently ok with, but the only thing he won’t tolerate is Milton falling in love with her. Milton is then asked to prove he is not in love with Skyler by shooting an apple off of her head with a crossbow. They start arguing and Skyler shoots the cigarette out of Milton’s mouth. A little bit later, Skyler and Milton are talking outside, where Milton professes his love…then the peyote kicks in and things get weird.
They all go outside, where Skyler is jumping up and down trying to grab the moon from the sky. Russell explains that the peyote is an old family recipe and that he is a quarter Chacotoy Indian. He further explains that the land the cabin is on is Chacotoy Indian land and a long time ago, a bloody battle was fought until only one man remained, the first Chacatoy Indian. Blood starts to drip onto Milton’s leg and when he looks up, all three of their hands are cut and joined together, spilling blood over the fire.
It is Tuesday morning, Milton wakes up, throws up, and goes to see Skyler outside, where she gives him one last chance to escape. Russell comes up the stairs and announces it is time to cook some meth. Down in the basement, Milton gets started, and outside, Russell chops wood while Skylar holds the wood in place with her hands. When the meth is just about done, Russell comes in and threatens Milton, who pleads that if he dies, the final secret steps will not be done to achieve the highest quality glass. Russell smiles and describes the process that only Milton should know. Russell goes to shoot him, but there are no bullets in the gun. Skyler comes in dumping the bullets on the floor. Russell attacks them with a knife, but Milton hits him with some powder that burns Russell’s face. Russell bursts through the door, firing blindly, shooting off one of Milton’s ears. Just as Russell is about to kill Milton, Skyler shoots Russell with the crossbow. That night, they bury the body, but Russell has some last words for Milton: “Ask her how I knew the process,” and laughs himself to death as Milton buries him. The next morning, Milton wakes up: it is Tuesday…again.
Although Blood Punch is a low-budget Indie film, it exhibits high quality acting from Milo Cawthorne, Olivia Tennet, and Ari Boyland, especially, with all three being from New Zealand, there is no trace of an accent from any of them in the delivery of their lines, which is hard to do. Cawthorne is Milton; everything about his look and mannerisms make him a perfect cast. Tennet is an awesome femme fatale, and Boyland is able to switch from psycho to nice guy perfectly for Russell. Having all worked together on Power Rangers, they already have the built in chemistry to make their characters cohesive and believable. The score by Adam Berry is brilliant as it manages to be both scary and playful to match each mood of the film, with the best sequence of music being the montage of the wood-chopping and meth-cooking. Olivia Tennet even sings a song during one of the more dramatic parts of the film and she has a beautiful voice.
Overall, Blood Punch is dark, funny, full of tension, and is one hell of a directorial debut from Madellaine Paxson, who clearly knows what she is doing behind the camera; but most of all, it is an entertaining and original story kind of like AMC’s Breaking Bad meets 1993’s Groundhog Day. CrypticRock gives Blood Punch 5 out of 5 stars.