In Blood Bags, American photography student Tracy (Makenna Guyler) is studying abroad in Italy. As part of her portfolio, she is photographing unique and historic architecture. One day she and friend Petra (Marta Tanayan) are walking around town when Tracy sees the perfect house for her project. The two of them sneak into the seemingly abandoned mansion, and Tracy sets up a tripod in one of the rooms. So, Petra goes exploring the house. That is when she is attacked by the Creature (Mario Cellini).
Meanwhile, two Italian police officers, Antonio (Salvatore Palombi) and Laura (Denitza Diakovska) are investigating an abandoned car. This leads them to the same house that the students explored. Their arrival coincides with that of Vittorio (Alberto Sette), a man with some sort of connection to the Creature. Now, Tracy, Alex (Emanuele Turetta) who is also trapped, and the cops have to figure out what the creature and Vittorio want with them. And for them to discover a way out… alive.
“… two of them sneak into the seemingly abandoned mansion…attacked by the Creature.”
For the first hour, or so, Blood Bags struggles to find an identity of its own. Don’t misunderstand, director Emiliano Ranzani helms a competently made picture, which moves at a decent pace. Antonio and Laura are layered and intelligent people. Thus, whenever they are onscreen, the film picks up considerably. Plus, Alessandro Mattiolo’s cinematography creates a creepy looking and atmospheric film. Though the full extent of a seemingly abandoned mansion, with all of its hideaways, halls, and spare rooms, is not explored enough to give the setting a personality.
But, from just before the cops enter the buildings, roughly 5-minutes earlier, onward, Ranzani brings a kineticism heretofore missing from earlier in the motion picture. There is a Giallo-inspired dream sequence that is worth the price of the movie all by itself. Plus, this is also when, from a story perspective, the two halves merge together, and the viewer is treated to context about the creature and the enigmatic Vittorio. It is shocking to find out how much the audience has come to invest in Tracy and the other (hopeful) survivors.
I think this mostly has to do with Ranzani and David Mela’s script. See, Tracy and the other university students are generic as they come. The various actors in those respective roles are good and likable. The screenplay does allow each of them distinctive personalities (which is rarer than you might think), but their backstories have been played out to death in a hundred different movies. As such, there is only so much the viewer can invest in the students.
"…these two Italian cops, Antonio and Laura, are a breath of fresh air."