Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next level of rock and roll horror sophistication in the exceptional Bliss of Evil by director Josh Morris. The screenplay, written by Morris and Corrie Hinschen, is purportedly based on something that really happened in 1997 in Brisbane, Australia. The film harkens back to the early 1980s glory days when suspense movies would ape the money-making slashers, with the major difference being the cops won in the end.
Isla (Sharnee Tones) is the sound engineer for the grunge band Prom Night, led by her girlfriend Nic (Shanay De Marco). Isla barely gets any sleep as she is recovering from some heavy trauma, and her pal, Jamie (Michaela Da Costa), is concerned. So they head over to the recording studio owned by Isla’s Uncle Michael (Wayne Bassett). Here Prom Night is rehearsing with Lee (Jordan Schulte), the new guitarist Nic found. Lee meets the rest of the band: bassist Roy (Brendan R Burman-Bellenger), drummer Rhea (Emily Rowbottom), and groupie Courtney (Chenaya Aston). They are discussing whether a famous rock musician’s recent death was a suicide.
“…the remaining band members are stalked by the horrible hooded killer Bloodface.”
While rehearsing, Lee asks about playing “Bliss of Evil,” a popular song from Prom Night’s setlist. The band declines at first, but Isla tells them to go ahead, she will be fine. They play the song, and Isla falls apart, breathing hard with sweat pouring down her face. Nic consoles her while no one in the band will tell Lee what is going on and why Isla is panicking. Suddenly someone gets their throat cut while a different person gets their skull caved in. The survivors then find the exit doors have been chained shut. Throughout the night, the remaining band members are stalked by the horrible hooded killer Bloodface (Corrie Hinschen). The rehearsal room walls are soundproof to cover the scream, but are they blood proof as well?
With Bliss of Evil, Morris rises above the previous summit in the rock and roll horror subgenre achieved by cult favorite Green Room. This is done by an expert mixture of suspense elements into the slasher formula. Here Morris reverses the stream by having the slasher follow the guideposts of the suspense picture, trading by-the-numbers body counts for tension building across the narrative. In addition, the mystery surrounding the trauma Isla suffered keeps the audience’s interest locked on something other than impending murders. Instead of watering down the slasher traditions, Morris uses thriller elements to enhance them.
"…a heart-punching ride up a highway of gooseflesh."