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By Steve Anderson | July 1, 2007

“Blood Trails” is an excellent lesson in judging a book by its cover, or rather, why you shouldn’t engage in just such practices. Sure, they’ve got these bloody gear / sawblade things on the cover art and the first minute of footage just screams “torture porn!” at the top of its merry little lungs, but when you wear past this less than auspicious beginning, what you’re left with is a halfway decent package.

And what’s in that package is a woman getting hit on by a cop, ultimately having a one-night-stand with him, and then breaking the news to her boyfriend. It doesn’t end well. And not in the way you think. Anyway, without giving too much away, the cop is, as it turns out, a total freaking psychopath (sound familiar?) who engages on a nice long killing spree whilst trying to reunite with our heroine.

On the plus side, when the killing does get started, it gets started in a pretty wild fashion. If you’ve ever wanted to see what a bicycle jump kick to a man’s throat would look like, then man, is “Blood Trails” the movie you’ve been waiting for.

That and there’s the strangest pick-up attempt I’ve seen in recent memory; our psychopathic cop picks up the heroine by –get this– writing his phone number on her ARM. Does that actually work? Ladies out there, if you’re reading this and shaking your head in bafflement, you’re not alone! In fact, I’m inviting all my readers to tell me if this actually makes sense. Ladies, if you’d actually call a guy who WROTE HIS FREAKING PHONE NUMBER ON YOUR ARM, then email me and let me know that this isn’t as stupid as it sounds.

But, one of the major problems with “Blood Trails” is that it’s trying its damndest to be a slasher flick, but it has a teensy little body count (tops out at like seven, two of which will be off camera), and requires the patience of Job to get through as there won’t be any actual killing for almost a third of the movie.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some pretty nice tension buildup here, and some pretty fair cat-and-mouse action, but there’s just so much nothing going on between the high points that it’s hard to really get into “Blood Trails.” Worse, there’s a LOT of mountain biking going on here, and footage of people mountain biking is almost but not quite as boring as actually mountain biking yourself. It’s like watching golf. And that, sadly, puts “Blood Trails” down into the land of solid mediocrity.

The ending is kind of a sludge, what with a whole lot of torture-porn-esque stuff going on and some rather nonsensical sequences. Though at least the victim gets a chance to strike back for a change.

The special features include various audio options, English and Spanish subtitles, and trailers for “Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave,” “Ed Gein,” “Silent Scream,” “Open Water 2: Adrift,” “The Descent” and an even bigger blast from the past, “High Tension.”

All in all, “Blood Trails” was a pretty fair effort that just couldn’t get itself off the easy trail into something a little more challenging. Not bad by any means, but there’s a whole lot better out there.

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