Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blödaren (1983)

... aka: Bleeder, The

Directed by:
Hans G. Hatwig

If you're wanting to see a good exploitation / slasher / gore film, look elsewhere. If you're wanting to see some overacting guy chasing girls with horrible hair and clothes around in abandoned houses and through the woods for 80 minutes, this is your movie. Blödaren aka "The Bleeder" (Åke Eriksson) is the nickname given to this film's psycho. He has a beard, long hair and wears a tan jumpsuit, pushes around a baby carriage, is emotionally stunted, likes to wag his tongue around a lot and suffers from some kind of rare, incurable genetic disorder that makes his eyeballs bleed. Twenty five years earlier when he was just a child, his mother attempted to simultaneously drown him and commit suicide in a lake but only managed to kill herself in the process. After spending years in a mental institution, The Bleeder has escaped and is back at his old, long-since-abandoned lakeside home killing whoever he can get his hands on. A young couple whose car breaks down nearby become his first victims. Three months pass, and a new group of people have the misfortune of getting stranded there so it's time for more of the same.

A (terrible!) all-female glam rock band called the "Rock Cats" finish a concert for about a dozen people, hop in their tour bus and are on their way toward another gig. They - Axet (Sussi Ax), Mia (Mia Hansson), Nulle (Agnetha Öhlund), Eva (Eva Danielsson) and Maria (Maria Landberg) - are all bleached and teased blondes decked out in stiletto heels, studded leather jackets with shoulder pads, giant hoop earrings and leopard-print spandex pants. One of the girls even wears leg warmers with bells on them, which are annoyingly heard jingling during nearly every scene. They have a problem with the "generator" on their bus and are forced to walk to Bifors; the nearest village. When they get there, they discover that the entire area has been abandoned and all that remains are a bunch of run-down, unoccupied homes. As they go from house to house, they find blood on the floors and in bathtubs, an altar with cups full of blood and a human skull in a baby carriage. None of that stops these shred-head bimbos from continually wandering off by themselves so they can get picked off one-by-one. Their only hope for being saved is a forest ranger (Danne Stråhed) with a braided rat tail who happens to be in the area checking his mink traps.

You'd figure that a film with the title The Bleeder would have a little, you know, blood in it, right? Think again. Pitchforks, knives and other weapons are brandished at various times, but the killer ends up actually strangling everyone. Though some of the girls are pretty good screamers, the acting is awful and none of the characters are given any personality whatsoever. They all keep their clothes on, too. So there's no gore and no skin... What exactly does this slasher flick have to offer? Well, some of the chase / pursuit sequences are pretty long if you're into that kind of thing. There are a few minor jump scares that actually work. The director has also lucked out in having some pretty great shooting locations in numerous huge, abandoned, lake-front homes. But at the end of the day, I was amused enough just seeing early 80s fashion victims wandering around spouting insipid dialogue and then getting killed.

You also get such well-written dialogue exchanges such as; Girl 1: "I wonder where we are?" / Girl 2: "In a fucking forest somewhere." and one of the most blatant rip-offs of John Carpenter's Halloween score you'll ever hear. Some moments are accidentally amusing; like when they're eating dinner and a can of hair spray is sitting right on the dining room table, and others are just hilariously stupid, like at the finale when the last remaining girl is told to roll up the windows and lock the doors on the car and she leaves the sun roof wide open so when the killer shows up he can easily yank her out. Despite lacking exploitation elements, there's probably going to be enough general stupidity here to please fans of low-budget trash. The director was known primarily for being the editor of a music magazine and several of the actors were involved in the rock music scene (the guy who plays the killer, for instance, was the drummer for a band called Attack).

The only other 80s slasher flick from Sweden I'm aware of is Blood Tracks (1985), which strangely also involves a hair rock band stranded in the middle of nowhere. Aside from torrents (some of which have English fan-subs), this is only available in its home country. The director used his magazine to promote it.



Anonymous said...

It really does seem like all Swedish slasher films (old and new) kind of... suck.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I think this is actually the only Swedish slasher I've seen unless I'm forgetting something. Can't say it has sparked my interest in seeing more of the same. I'll be watching Blood Tracks eventually, so hopefully that'll be better.

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