Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blood Relations (1987)

Directed by:
Graeme Campbell

Confusing, but very interesting little Canadian horror/thriller opens like your typical erotic thriller, then gets extremely ridiculous (and more entertaining) as it goes along, with lots of horror elements thrown in. Thomas (Kevin Hicks), estranged from his family, returns home to the family mansion with his sexy French girlfriend Lydie Denier in tow. The brain surgeon father (Jan Rubes) and ailing grandfather (Ray Walston) are the only two living there and before long everyone is in a sick competition for a multi-million dollar inheritance. The twist ending comes out of left field and is a surprising conclusion to the blackmailing, backstabbing and seduction which takes up the bulk of this film. The slick photography and broadly engaging performances help, and if this seems too slow-moving and talky during the first half, try to stick with it. There's a pretty good payoff. The cast includes Lynne Adams (THE CARPENTER) and Steven Saylor (who also wrote the film).


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