Saturday, November 7, 2015

TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1995) (Blu-ray Review)

TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1995)

Label: Scream Factory

Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 87 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0, DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Gilbert Adler
Cast: Erika Eleniak, John Kassir, Corey Feldman, Dennis Miller, Angie Everhart, Chris Sarandon


Synopsis: Wisecracking private eye Rafe Guttman (Dennis Miller, Joe Dirt) investigates some strange happenings at a titillating bordello on the edge of town. It seems owner Madam Lilith (Angie Everhart, Jade) and her luscious cohorts want more than money… they want blood! Soon Rafe finds himself up to his neck in a den of hungry vampiresses and battling the Reverend Jimmy Current (Chris Sarandon, Fright Night, Child's Play), a slick televangelist with an unstoppable talisman.

While Tals From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight was in my opinion an under valued gem of the nineties horror cinema the follow-up from the Tales from the Crypt factory, the truly awful Bordello of Blood is an uninspired mess of a movie. Again, we have an ensemble cast of actors which on the surface would seem to indicate good times are about to be had, but how wrong you are. We have '80s golden boy Corey Feldman as Caleb, a low-life loser who disappears after a trip to a whorehouse which is disguised as a funeral home. His sister Catherine (Erika Eleniak, Baywatch) hires a wise-cracking private investigator named Rafe Guttman, played by comedian Dennis Miller, to look into her brother's disappearance. 


As it turns out the brothel is run by a vampire queen named Lilith (Angie Everhart), who is being controlled by the pint-sized Vincent (Phil Fondacaro, Ghoulies II) who somehow possesses the blood-filled key from Demon Knight, which grants him control over the lustful and blood-hungry vampire, and her vampyric legion of whores. Throw into this mix the Reverend J. C. Current (Chris Sarandon, Fright Night), a rock n' roll evangelical who has some sort of unholy allegiance to Vincent and Lilith. Of course Caleb has been turned into one of Lilith's blood-sucking minions, with Feldman really hamming it up in a fun sort of way, say what you want about him, I still loved him at this point, even if the best years of his career were starting to slip away rather steadily.  

Watching it right after Demon Knight it is hard not to see that the budget was stripped away, it feels cheap, and the humor is uniformly corny and awful. Bordello of Blood is just a clunky, vampire-comedy with blood pumpig through it's veins. Feldman is clearly having a blast vamping it up, and why not, it must have been fun to play the role of a vampire after slaying them in The Lost Boys. Then we have Sarandon who was an iconic vamp in the classic Fright Night, here hamming it up as the guitar-slinging preacher. Angie Everhart is a gorgeous woman,a great choice for the busty blood-drinker, but she goes from vampy to campy maybe a little too fast. Then we have Dennis Miller as the wise-cracking P.I. hired by Catherine to find her missing brother. I both love and hate Dennis Miller, the once funny SNL alum is now a right-wing shill, but in the nineties I loved his stand-up comedy, his wry sarcasm, his holier than thou schtick worked for me and he was one of the reasons I was looking forward to this movie back in the day, and I think I even liked the damn movie the first time I watched it, but now... woof. 


Watching the making of doc we're told that Miller was paid a million dollars by the producer to appear in the damn movie, a role he didn't want in the first place, which is quite evident. He is on autopilot delivering what turned out to be mostly ad-libbed lines of dialogue, which partially explains the disjointed nature of the movie, everyone seems to be in a different movie with a slightly different tone. On the plus side, if you are a fan of Miller's stand-up there's some enjoyment to be had, but as a movie with an ensemble cast this is a mess. On the plus there are ample amounts of nude, blood-sucking vampires, but the story is straight-up shit, the comedy is corny and the production feels cheap from the start. 

Audio/Video: Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory looking a little softer than the Demon Knight Blu-ray, but not too bad all things considered, there's just something about movies from the nineties that looked cheap. Audio options on the disc include both 2.0 stereo and a 5.1 surround options, both are crisp and clean, well-balanced and free of distortion, I prefer the stereo to the anemic surround option. 

Onto the bonus features we have a new audio commentary with Co-Writer/Producer A.L. Katz which I have not listened to as of yet. worth the price of the disc alone is the 36-minutes behind-the-scenes doc with Actors Corey Feldman, Angie Everhart, Erika Eleniak, Co-Writer/Co-Producer A.L. Katz, Editor, Second Unit Director Stephen Lovejoy, and Special Effects Creator Todd Masters. Its sort of a free for all as the cast and crew speak about the problems on set, the conflict of personalities, and what a dick Dennis Miller was on-set. The Blu-ray includes a reversible sleeve of artwork and a slip cover with a new illustration by Justin Osborne. 

Special Features
- NEW Audio Commentary With Co-Writer/Producer A.L. Katz
- NEW Tainted Blood: The Making Of Bordello Of Blood – Interivews With Actors Corey Feldman, Angie Everhart, Erika Eleniak, Co-Writer/Co-Producer A.L. Katz, Editor, Second Unit Director Stephen Lovejoy, and Special Effects Creator Todd Masters (36 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Video Promo (3 Mins) HD
- Still Gallery (6 Mins) 

Bordello of Blood is a mess of a bad movie, but as someone who loves a trashy movie now and again I did enjoy it for what it is, a bad movie. On the whole it is not too far removed from the occasional awful episode from the Tales from the Crypt TV series, which despite my fondness for it was at times not that great. Where I feel Demon Knight is not given it's proper due as one of the better horror entries from the decade, Bordello of Blood deserves it's reputation as a bad movie, which is not to say it is not fun, just poorly produced and dumb. Scream Factory have brought it to Blu-ray with a nice transfer and decent extras, the making of doc is the highlight of the disc, more so than the actual movie itself. 2/5


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