Alexander E. Fennon
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Silent Blood Night (2006)
15th Oct 09
Ziz year’s break at ze wunderbar summer camp vil be the best ever… oh shucks zere eez a crazzee person with ze bladed veapon!
The totally nonsensical title (were Silent Death Night or Bloody Silent Night already taken?) hides one of the most inadvertently hilarious slasher movies of recent vintage. If you see only one shot-in-English-pretending-to-be-American Austrian horror movies this year, then
1) see this one, and
2) don’t tell anyone we advised you to do so and
3) get out more, maybe start a new life as a care home rapist.
“Is he just missing or did he shoot himself?” It quickly becomes apparent that this film’s weird, stilted dialogue is going to be delivered by everyone with all the fluency and panache of Arnold Schwarzenegger reading from cue cards. Circa 1975. While stoned. Everyone has an American name like Matt or Joe or Sabrina, and the on-the-money pop culture references are keenly distributed (yes, young people everywhere say things like “Elementary, my dear Watson” to each other all the time these days), but these “teenagers” couldn’t be any less convincing if one of them were played by Bela Lugosi in a blonde wig and hotpants. Did anyone else just get slightly aroused by that mental image?
Kudos for a surprising degree of full-frontal male and female nudity at the very start during an otherwise wholly generic slasher opening in which skinny-dipping / screwing young folks are killed in a familiar lakeside setting by a spade-wielding old guy in a hat. Yep, that’s the costume of the first killer in the story, he wears a hat. Some time later a bunch of young friends are reunited at summer camp (“So, another year has gone by…”) and are destined to be drenched in pink-paint-like blood as a fresh killer - wearing a wonderfully lame wig and “Lady in white” costume - gets to work.
The chief suspect is “Jacob”, a local outcast who looks and dresses like he took a 7 week evening class called How To Come Off As A Batshit-Crazy Loon. He spends the movie talking to himself (“he’s either jerking off or just nuts”) and much is made of the sister he has at a mental home and his missing dad. Said chocolate-munching, mental sister was subject to a rape depicted in the opening stretch and proves key to the dramatic revelations at the climax.
“Eet eez nice you credeet my dad viz such deetective skeels...” Welcome to “See it to believe it” territory. The smart-assed post-Scream slasher style hangs over some of this movie (“This could be some horror plot from a Hollywood movie!”) but most of the time you’ll be too busy laughing at the dialogue and acting to notice. This is the kind of movie in which characters refer to each other in such terms as “My dad, the police officer” just in case we were too slow to realise the familial connection.
Key to this film’s success as a laugh riot to be watched after three or four joints is the performance of Vanessa Vee as “Sabrina”. Potentially the most annoying female character ever to appear in a horror movie, she is a persistent Nancy Drew-wannabe who fancies herself as a better investigator than her dad (the police officer) - “Daddy eez just a pencil pusher!” - and strives to further her desired career by videoing amateur news reports while wearing a bikini. Most of her lines start with a whiny “Daddy!” and most of them are exclamations of “Somefeeng unbelievable has happened!” or, a stand-out, “But her belly has swollen tree-mend-ously!”.
As annoying as Vee is, she is a key part of a particularly hot, well proportioned female cast that extends to a busty blonde who gamely participates in a naked chase scene toward the end. This attention to cheap titillation is to be admired and helps make up for the fact that all the gore FX - including the spade beheading of an obvious mannequin - suggest there have been no advances in the realm of special make-up since Blood Feast. Sometimes, the movie gives up in trying to come up with cinematic killings: check out the scene in which the killer offs a girl by tying her to a chair and subjecting her to...(drum roll!)... an allergic reaction via a solitary bee sting (the soundtrack gets excited and gives the impression an entire swarm have descended upon her).
If you stick around to the very end, you are rewarded with much more hilarity, a show-stoppingly odd spanking scene involving Sabrina and “daddy” and end titles that credit folk for “Costume Desingn” and “Cameratography”. Ah, foreigners: a constant source of cheap amusement.