Ever seen a horror film about a haunted ghost samurai who comes to life at night? Well, neither had I until I saw Fabrice Zaphiratos' mind-bender, Blood Beat.
When Sarah and her boyfriend Ted go home to spend the holidays with Ted's family weird things start to happen. Weird things like the serial slaughter of local townsfolk and family members by a mysterious ghostlike figure dressed as a samurai. As Sarah and Ted try to unravel the mystery, the members of the household start to drop like flies and it's only a matter of time before the killer ghost gets to them.
I really don't know what to say about this film. It doesn't make one goddamned lick of sense, and yet it's inexplicably compelling. There is literally zero reason for a samurai to be a part of this film at all, but nevertheless, there's a goddamned ghost samurai murdering dudes left and right. There's a lot of painting, a lot of terrible clothing, and certainly a lot more mystical boinging than one might expect in a bargain basement supernatural slasher from 1983.
I've now seen Blood Beat and couple of times and while I no more clear on what it's about now than the first time I saw it, I'm pretty sure I like it.
Blood Beat another stellar release from Vin Syn in the A/V department. I'm not going to rehash the amazing job they do with restoration of all of their work, but I will pause here to point out that apparently the end credits weren't available from a film source, so those appear from a pretty messed up looking video source. Apart from that, everything looks and sounds great.
On this disc we get another boatload of really fascinating extras, including one which may be my favorite Vin Syn extra so far (for personal reasons). First up is an audio commentary from the director, who seems to believe that he made a much more ambitious film than the one I watched. More power to you, man. That's followed up with a video interview from the same Mr. Zaphiratos in which he claims inspiration from Star Wars in this project. I don't see it, but hey, you do you. There's also an interview with cinematographer Vladimir Van Maule that was less compelling, but worth checking out. The big bonus on this one, however, is a 28 minute silent version of the film with a custom score from Denton, TX band, Nervous Curtains that was specifically commissioned for Horror Remix in Richardson, Texas several years ago.
The silent version of the film cuts together all the best parts of Blood Beat and lays a new audio soundtrack over the film that is surreal and compelling at the same time. I was fortunate enough to be at the live premiere of this live scoring project when Horror Remix debuted it several years back and it was a really fun experience that is pretty decently recreated here. If the film's 86 minute runtime is intimidating, this shorter silent version is just the ticket.