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MANSION OF BLOOD (2015)
Published by David Carter on 2016/5/22 (284 reads)
Directed by Michael Donahue
Review by David Carter
Released by MVD Visual/Tom Cat Films
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Stereo English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: None
Trailer Online: Yes
Movies are a peculiar industry. How peculiar? Gary Busey is still in some regards a “movie star” and his name and presence hold some weight in a film, dubious though they may be. MVD Visual/Tom Cat Films’ latest picture MANSION OF BLOOD is good example of this. Despite being an indie horror flick with little to distinguish itself, it got nation-wide press during filming in 2011 when star Busey was allegedly fired from the film for making inappropriate comments on-set. True or not, Busey’s star power wasn’t worth wasting, so he’s still featured prominently on the DVD cover and he receives top billing in the film.
Busey is one of literally dozens of characters in MANSION OF BLOOD in a cast that ranges from major award nominees (Busey and Robert Picardo) to famous relatives (David Hasslehoff’s ex-wife and Tyrone Power’s son) to scores of complete unknowns and first timers. The film’s plot centers on the spooky Mayhew Mansion, which after years of disrepair has been renovated by social climbing millionaire Mason Murphy. Murphy, in a bid to get the respect he desires, has invited the entire surrounding community to a sky-watching party at the mansion to view the “blood moon” and to show off his wealth.
Busey is manservant Zacharia, who seems to be the only one who understands that the Mayhew Mansion is evil. Chaos erupts as soon as the guests arrive: ghosts, zombies, vampires, werewolves, phantom horses, and homicidal little people are just some of the problems the guests have to contend with during a night that refuses to end. The mysterious moon has opened a portal to another world and the bodies start stacking up as evil floods through it.
MANSION OF BLOOD features well over fifty named characters, each of which has their own subplot. To accommodate this, the film bounces erratically between these, never spending more than a moment or two with each character. This is less distracting than it sounds and actually served to hold my interest in the film more closely than if the narrative and editing had been more conventional. It bears noting that writer/director Donahue is obviously going the horror-comedy route with the film, despite the fact that the marketing makes no allusion to this. Reading some of the responses to the film online leads me to believe this was missed by a lot of viewers who bemoaned the film’s lack of seriousness. There are a number of one-liners and obvious gags, but the main source of comedy is the film’s absurdity. The film admirably doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the viewer doing so will markedly diminish their enjoyment of it.
MVD Visual’s DVD of MANSION OF BLOOD is barebones but watchable, and features Busey’s mug on the top of the cover. Busey’s character Zacharia spends most of the film making inappropriate comments to people; a case of art imitating life or perhaps – more likely so – evidence of a publicity stunt. MANSION OF BLOOD is an odd little film that will be appreciated by fans of eccentric cinema. You’ll be a hit with your more adventurous cinephile friends if you pop this in during your next bizarre movie night.
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