A young kid’s favorite comic book character comes to life but not how you would expect in this thriller homage to 80’s horror and nostalgia from filmmaker Daniel Benedict.
Sam has had a rough life. His parents divorced and he has had trouble adjusting with life with his new stepmother Kim. To make matters worse, he is constantly bullied in school by local punk Perry. Sam’s only outlet is a series of horror comic books, including one issue with a character known as The Bloody Man. When his mother gives him a Bloody Man action figure for his birthday, he is excited to receive the gift. However, the next day, tragedy strikes when his mother is killed in a car accident.
Sam begins to begin depressed over the death of his mother. His relationship with his father, brother, and sister begins to sink lower. However, Sam begins to notice something strange. Kim slowly begins to show signs of change. When Kim begins to let his little sister Amy do whatever she wants and older brother Michael attempts to sneak out to see his girlfriend Stacy but is forced to stay, Sam realizes that the character he once idolized has come to life and has taken full possession of Kim. Using all of his knowledge of the comic books, Sam must discover a way to stop his outlet from causing havoc before it’s too late.
Daniel Benedict’s latest directorial effort is destined to follow in the footsteps of the hit Strangers Things as it similar to that show, it is an amazing homage to 1980s nostalgia mixed in with shades of horror films released during the decade. The 80s horror films have a taste of both sides of the spectrum whether it is ultra-gory or have a family-friendly supernatural environment. This film starts out with the latter only for the last act to have bits of the crimson and gore that defined the genre. As far as nostalgia goes, this follows suit in terms of the top billed cast.
Benedict has stated his favorite film in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is The Dream Master. And he has been blessed with the casting of two stars from that very film. Tuesday Knight is excellent as Kim, who we see trying to have a relationship with our hero Sam, played by David Daniel. She only means well for the most part and like Sam, she is adjusting as well. It’s clear with some of her reactions to things, but soon enough Knight goes into a sinister mode in the second half of the film as it takes a page of The Stepfather. Is she really that evil? It’s clear considering the title she has possessed by the titular Bloody Man, played in full form by Nicholas Redd.
The other Dream Master actor to appear in the film is Lisa Wilcox, who played final girl Alice Johnson in that film. Here, she is Laurie, Sam’s mother who gives him a Bloody Man action figure and raises concerns when a creepy guy talks to Amy at his birthday party, complaining to the management. However, her character is killed off when she dies in a car accident, triggering the effects of Sam for the rest of the film. She is seen through flashbacks throughout the rest of the film even when we learn the reason why she was killed.
The supporting cast is great. Aside from lead Daniel as Sam, Sam Hadden is great as typical older brother Michael, who would rather do his own thing. However, when he learns that hearing one story about his girlfriend being attacked turned out to be false, he is convinced that maybe little brother may be on to something. As for Olivia Sanders’ character in little sister Amy, she is just more of the precocious type who doesn’t have a care of what’s going on even when she tends to be a spoiled brat at times.
There is a scene where a group of teens hold a séance and seems to have a connection and one of the teens is played by indie horror star KateLynn E. Newberry. In addition, look out for a cameo by director Benedict himself as the manager of the diner where Sam’s birthday is held and look out for a special homage to the opening of the 1983 Filmation series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe with wrestling star Brian Cage voicing the character of Barbarian Man.
The Bloody Man is an excellent homage to 80s nostalgia while keeping its stance as a great supernatural horror film. If you like Stranger Things, then you will like The Bloody Man.
WFG RATING: A
Wild Eye Releasing presents a Red Serial Films production. Director: Daniel Benedict. Producer: Casi Clark. Writers: Daniel Benedict and Casi Clark. Cinematography: Daniel Benedict. Editing: Daniel Benedict.
Cast: Tuesday Knight, Lisa Wilcox, David Daniel, Sam Hadden, Olivia Sanders, Nicholas Redd, KateLynn E. Newberry, Jeremy Carr, Daniel Benedict, Brian Cage (voice)
The film will be released on July 12 on Digital from Wild Eye Releasing.