The beauty of low budget independent movies occurs when you find a diamond amongst the coal. With films being made in every format imaginable, the market has saturated itself with junk – high class, low class and everything in between. So, when something comes along and really takes you off guard; makes you laugh and cringe and, believe it or not, think (well think about the perils of relationships, which we all do anyway), you’ve found yourself a winner.

“The Bloodstained Bride” is just such a movie. Now, this isn’t a flawless work of art, but it is a great no-budget indie featuring great performances, strong direction and a cynical look at marriage. Oh yeah, and some folks get killed real good too…

On Madeline’s (Renee Madison Cole) wedding night, her hubby forcefully encourages her to consummate their vows, but to woeful results. Seems she don’t cotton to no bullying and gives her husband a good stiff stab in the heart, and leaves him for dead.

Sometime later, she’s prowling the streets of Los Angeles and happens upon Tracy (Dane Moreton), who is in the middle of being dumped by his trampy girlfriend. Madeline arranges a couple of ‘chance encounters’ and finally finagles a date out of average-Joe Tracy. Things start off great – she’s beautiful and giving and supportive – but his freedom begins to taper off as the relationship gets more serious. First, Terry has to quit drinking with the boys and before you know it, he’s power walking in the park with Madeline in matching sweat suits! Terry’s best friend, Dirk (Joe Sperandeo) thinks Madeline is really putting a damper on the bachelor lifestyle and does everything in his power to make sure these two never make it to the alter, but he’s unaware that Madeline will do anything (and I mean anything – short of actually sleeping with Terry) to get those nuptials underway.

Although it looks like a horror movie, and it undoubtedly contains the elements of one, “The Bloodstained Bride” is actually a wry look at relationships, with a fun gender-bending spin on the classic thriller “The Stepfather”. Here Madeline is a wanna-be Mrs. Cleaver lost in a world of Roseannes. A satirical and smart peek into the hell of going into marriage, not one aspect of dating is safe from Aaron Burk and Brad Paulson’s adept script. Thoughtful horror? Not really, but “The Bloodstained Bride” is certainly brimming with enough genius and talent to make this micro-cinema flick worth checking out.

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