You know, it’s brutally cool when a movie’s prepared to start with a gas station that’s a front for vampirism. At least until you find some of them are Mexican vampires with horrific accents. And any time a movie’s willing to take the obvious pun involving that vampire by the name of Sanchez, well…surely it can only get better from there.
Can’t it? Can’t…it? Sadly, it can’t. Basically, this is two movies running simultaneously–a hybrid. Now, normally I’m all in favor of hybrids–crossing over the best of two genres gives you the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of movies and who doesn’t like a good peanut butter cup? But when you take the worst of each part, well…all you’re left with is cocoa beans and peanuts, and that’ll break your teeth. They took a career cop, kicked off the force for his propensity to chase vampires on the city dollar, and made him a private investigator (gumshoe, P.I., private dick, sleuth–pick your pejorative) vaguely allied with the church to chase down vampires full-time, including his former partner and a vampire chick that the now-gumshoe and said partner were chasing for years.
“Blood Bound” features some of the worst, most stilted dialogue and pointless perspective shifts I’ve ever seen. They’ve obviously tried very hard to cross over a hard-boiled detective drama with a vampire movie, but in going the film noir route, they’ve almost made it a caricature. The “hard-boiled” detective is so hard boiled that he’s gone solid. And the vampire movie portion is so hackneyed and overdone that it too is no longer appetizing. What happened? They started out so well–a gas station as a front for vampires? Beautiful opportunity. But no, we have to seque into a detective movie that’d make Joseph Wambaugh cringe and a vampire movie so cheesy and overdone that it actually uses a rave as a cover. How many times has that been done? At least three that I know of, and there are probably plenty of others that have slipped my mind.
However, in the “credit where credit is due” department, there were a couple of innovations I should mention. They did a nice job with the whole “bound” concept–basically, in this story, vampires share memories through the transfer of blood. This is used as both tool and weapon to excellent effect. And they included some clever subtitles over the credits, which was also a nice effect.
All in all, “Blood Bound” is a good idea gone horribly, horribly wrong. It might have been something fantastic, if they’d had a better script to operate from, if they’d toned down the “gumshoe” bits, if they’d had some more innovation in the vampire section…a whole lot of disparate elements could have ramped this sucker up but as it stands, it’s just not that great a movie.