Get ready for a series of frenetic and weird short films that properly make up the title of this anthology as we get to experience some Blood, Sweat, and Terrors.
In Empire of Dirt, a hitman subsequently goes after some bad men only to learn the horrific reason why he was chosen to kill these certain people. In Awesome Runaway, a beaten-up man is determined to make his escape from a mob boss and his gang. In Jacob’s Wrath, an elderly prisoner battles his own demons when he escapes and seeks revenge. In Flow, two female soldiers find themselves dealing with Mother Nature while fending themselves against soldiers.
In Express Delivery, a “package” is to be delivered until this particular package, a ragged man, looks to make his escape by challenging the collector. In Turncoat, an interrogation forces one would-be robber to question his morals. In Get Some, a reality TV show hunter and a doctor join forces to take on a new breed of monster. In Olga, a hired fighter works for a Russian mobster only she has a bigger agenda in mind. In Fetch, a former military operative gets more than what he bargains for when he is hired to do a private job.
What makes an anthology? A group of stories that can either delve with one genre of film or a collective meshing of genres. In the case of this anthology, it is the latter, which has both some great films and well, some weird films that may not make sense, or one that just relishes on violence but doesn’t have the best in terms of storytelling. So, what can be considered, the good, the bad, and the weird, no pun intended?
The good comes in the form of Express Delivery, which features martial artist/stuntman/actor Beau Fowler as a “package” who convinces the collector to give him a cigarette, which eventually leads to a nicely shot fight, choreographed by Fowler, that meshes high kicking acrobatics and some intricate knife fighting. Another one comes with Turncoat, one of two features to feature a high-profile star, in this case Eragon himself, Ed Speleers, as a rookie who after kidnapping a man with his veteran partner, begins to question what is right. Get Some is another fun ride that meshes horror and action with John Hannah of the 1999-2008 Mummy franchise as a doctor who teams up with a reality TV show host to take on a new breed of monster that melds zombie and werewolf.
Add Olga to the list of good films, revolving around a Russian woman whose impeccable fight skills makes her mobster boss pleased. That is, until she is revealed to have a secret agenda of her own. Finally, there’s Fetch, directed by Daniel Bernhardt and features 87Eleven co-founder David Leitch as the titular ex-military operative turned private investigator whose latest job gets him into more hot water than he expects.
The only bad film of the bunch is Flow, which has a story of two female soldiers at war dealing with not only the enemy soldiers surrounding them, but them dealing with their female issues, which only amp up their need for survival. While there is plenty of bloodletting here, it just seems a mishmash that could have been done better had they had the females give a more raging effect rather than some sort of comic relief. Although the comic relief is okay, it just doesn’t seem to be a fit for this anthology.
The rest of the group is definitely one that’s very weird. The opening film, Empire of Dirt, written by and starring The Vigilante Diaries’ Paul Sloan as a man who goes on a killing spree only to learn the horrific reason why he is killing, which brings to mind shades of various horror films, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to name a few. Awesome Runaway is a pretty wild film about a man’s attempt to escape a mobster after he is brutally beaten with the reason this is weird comes in a few twists and turns. Jacob’s Wrath is another weird film that meshes the past and the present revolving around the titular prisoner and his thirst for revenge. This is weird in terms of having to watch it a few times to get the story.
Blood, Sweat, and Terrors is an interesting anthology that has mostly great films, some weird films that are not bad but may require a few re-watches, and one bad one that could have done better. Nevertheless, anthology fans will want to give this one a shot.
WFG RATING: B
RLJE Films present an Indiecan Entertainment and Unstable Ground production in association with Rue Morgue Magazine. Directors: Daniel Bernhardt, Éric S. Boivert, Alexandre Carriére, Benjamin de los Santos, Beau Fowler, Will Gibley, Adam and Joe Horton, Adam Mason, and Shelagh Rowan-Legg.