1.5 out of 10

Director: Raoul Girard

Cast: Danny Dyer, Zoe Grisdale, Keith Allen, Jason Durr and Craig Conway

Writer: Raoul Girard



TO BE PROOFREAD: There’s dire films, then there’s Danny Dyer dire films.  This was probably made before his transfer to Eastenders but Bloodshot is a return to the fucking terrible shit he’s contributed to British film history – see Run For Your Wife, DeviationFreerunner,  The Age Of Heroes,  7Lives,  Basement, Pimp, Malice In Wonderland,  Just For The RecordDead Man RunningDead CertThe Devil’s Playground, Jack Said or rather don’t see. Bloodshot is a wildly uneven, badly scripted, badly acted psychological thriller with zero nouse.

One night Danny Dyer‘s Phillip is jogging through the park when he finds a French speaking down and out woman Jane (ZOE GRISEDALE) who’s completely bonkers. On glimpsing her blonde hair, Phillip is in love and invites the crazed psycho to come and live with him (like you would).  Trouble is his work deeply troubles Jane. He’s a SFX ‘genius’ that builds body doubles for destruction in horror movies.  The girl’s increasingly weird behaviour and instantaneous mood swings send him to his psychiatrist friend (KEITH ALLEN – SHALLOW GRAVE) who’s only advice is to make sure that Jane is not a trans-sexual (???) And so it goes on and on. Knives get pulled out, Philip goes as mad as his new girlfriend and what does it all mean? I think this film baffled everybody making it especially the editor who seems to have gone home before the end – hence Blood Shot‘s very odd non-ending.

Even amazing actors couldn’t have turned this into a good film. Newcomer Zoe Grisedale is given zero help by a clueless and clumsy Danny Dyer. The film is unintentionally funny especially the part where Danny Dyer convinces Jane that he can speak French by saying ‘petit pois, petit pois’, yes this is from a script excerpt from a deadly serious scene. The tone is all over the place veering from high comedy and rom-com frolics to death by blade the next second. The setting has to be the most boring to have featured in a horror thriller ever – it’s a 1950 detached rental in Hammersmith. The unconvincing script and story will vex and confuse all who try to watch this and it’s not even worth deciphering.

There are worse Danny Dyer movies out there (not many mind) but this is a return to the bottom of the shit-can. He had a good 2014 with Eastenders, Vendettaand a beautiful cameo in The Hooligan Factory. Unfortunately Bloodshot is a giant set-back. It could have been interesting with a more conherent plot, better actors and a sensible script. It’s hard to think of another film that’s quite like it so it has originality going for it and I did love the SFX horror sequence near the end (no spoiler!) which was really impressive (hence the 1.5 points).

1.5 out of 10 – I’m not sure who this was made for? It’s too different from other Danny Dyer films and it certainly doesn’t qualify as good horror (minus exemplary gore FX). Business as usual then, Mr Dyer. Sad news.

Second review by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II below…. Oh Oh!



One thought on “BLOOD SHOT

  1. BLOOD SHOT – review by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher

    Can Danny Dyer act? The National Television Awards voters have just given him a prize, but what do they know? I’ve seen TWENTY(!) Danny Dyer films. And some plays. Which means I can no longer answer the question. But BLOOD SHOT certainly provides some ammunition for the prosecution.

    Our hero – Danny Dyer with a dark secret – runs into a woman sleeping rough (newcomer Zoe Grisedale, unable to do much with a ludicrous character). He immediately assumes she’s French (though she only starts speaking French after he’s made this deduction) but that’s OK because it turns out that Dyer’s character is half-French as well, which means we get to hear Danny Dyer speaking French and I can forgive any film a great deal, simply for making that happen. But who is she and why is she sleeping in a London park? It turns out that she isn’t French (that would have required subtitles all the way through), but she is American (without an accent – either American or French, which was probably a wise decision; a script adjustment half-explains this at some point) and has some sort of dark secret. It’s this: she’s recovering from heart surgery but is on the run from her American doctor/husband (played by a bloke who used to be in Heartbeat – alas the film-makers fail to put in any sort of heart-related in-joke). And she doesn’t think it’s nice to chop women up in horror films. (Obviously you can argue about the rights and wrongs of decapitating and dismembering women for entertainment purposes even if you haven’t been under the knife yourself but it’s very unclear what point the film is making.) In the normal run of things this wouldn’t be a sticking point but Dyer takes the unfortunate lady home and reveals his dark secret. He is a sculptor who makes bodies of women so that they can be splattered to death in horror movies. You can see that this might lead to problems. It does.

    For the next hour or so the film comprises scenes which follow exactly the same course: they chat, a small disagreement turns into a big row, one of them storms off, they get back together. In order to introduce variety these scenes take place in various settings – a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, a shop (the dress-buying scene is a beautiful example of a scene which is hilarious and embarrassing simultaneously, whilst also defying all logic and credibility), and a road (where better to introduce some gratuitous nudity than in the middle of a street?). Every now and again Dyer has a chat with Keith Allen, who seems to be playing some sort of sex-crazed therapist, or possibly a manifestation of Dyer’s id. At one point Dyer has a choice – phone call with Keith Allen or sex with Zoe Grisedale. He chooses the former, and Allen suggests the woman might be a man. It’s as if the director thought that Keith Allen was a genius, a National Treasure or an escaped lunatic, and just said ‘do what you like sir, make up the dialogue, we can work round it, yes that’s very funny, and if you want girls we can get a girl, or two. Three if you insist. OK three frolicsome girls. No problem Mr A.’

    Meanwhile the sinister American doctor is revealed as a control-freak weirdo who likes to be called ‘master’. And he wants his wife back, and he’s willing to get on an aeroplane to get her. Meanwhile a sub-plot shows Dyer at work, demonstrating his body-making expertise. But he begins to question his life choices – is it right to fashion clay and plastic into human female form in order to then just hack at it and squirt fake blood all over it? He decides that maybe this is a bad thing and in a scene of unintentional comicality berates his colleagues for enjoying such a spectacle. There could have been a genuinely interesting attempt to explore aesthetic ethics, but it is not to be found here. Having gone nowhere it should be no surprise that the film ends with little more than a shrug of its shoulders. Grisedale goes back to her husband and looks wistfully skywards, whilst Dyer, having slightly lost control of his car, looks wistfully skywards. And that’s it.

    So what is the film about? It’s not a horror film (despite a gory semi-pornographic dream sequence which is the only bit in the film where you get the feeling that anyone involved was even awake which is a bit ironic as it screams out ‘yes it is OK to dismember for entertainment!’). It’s not a character study – the characters are too unbelievable for that. Nor is it a romance (there is no chemistry between gormless Dyer and dreary Grisedale), nor is it a thriller (thrills absent) nor a crime story (I don’t think anyone dies – which is quite an achievement). And it’s certainly not in any way an art movie, but I think that may have been, at one point, the intention. This of course completely ignores Keith Allen’s bizarre involvement. Or Danny Dyer’s for that matter. On the other hand, to demonstrate that this is a ‘serious’ and ‘sensitive’ film we sometimes hear snatches of Madam Butterfly by Puccini who is bizarrely credited as Classic Music Composer. I suppose it’s not the worst choice in the world – both film and opera deal with unhappy wives wandering about unwisely with knives, but it suggests the film had aspirations, which is sad.

    And so back to the big question. Does Danny Dyer distinguish himself in this dross? No. This is the PIMP / BASEMENT Danny Dyer. Lacking both a strong script and a strong director, Dyer floats about over-enunciating and looking dozy. There are many nadirs in his filmography (he does have a family to feed), and this is one of them. It lacks the awfulness of BASEMENT, the insanity of THE LAST SEVEN or the weirdness of MALICE IN WONDERLAND. It resembles DEVIATION – effectively a two-hander which goes around in circles then fizzles out. It’s the same here – they argue, cuddle, argue, kiss, argue, cuddle, argue, copulate, argue, argue, she turns into a dream-sex-vampire and gorges on his guts, they argue and so on. But the big disappointment is that although bad, it’s not enjoyably bad. But there is one moment that is hard to beat: ‘I’ve lost my ring’ wails the unfortunate non-American non-Frenchwoman, ‘here, have my metal detector from when I was a kid’ replies Dyer, producing said item with a flourish from who knows where, a mystery deepened by the fact that he’s only house-sitting and therefore has no obvious reason to have such an object lying around.

    I think BLOOD SHOT is meant to be a tense, erotic, disturbing thriller, a film which makes us look again at who we are, what we do, what we take for granted. It’s meant to be a film about how our certainties are uncertain, and our desires are our undoing. Alas, it’s an unholy mess, as atmospheric as a sandwich bag, as exciting as an election speech, as erotic as a dead penguin, and as disturbing as your favourite teddy bear.

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