Love Like Blood
by Tony Liccardello
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When a film is made on a heavily independent scale, it often is lacking in production value, costumes, and ability to enlist recognizable talent. Obviously then, the film must attract interest through story, writing, and acting ability. Unfortunately for the independently made Love Like Blood, it is severely lacking in the latter.
The story focuses on Kevin (Thaddeus Schneider), a low level criminal who decides his life sucks and wants to stop being a complete degenerate. He does the cliché thing and befriends a priest, who tries to help him stop his immoral ways. Kevin gets a girlfriend, and all seems well. He has a steady job, he goes to church, and has a girl to bang in an actual relationship. Then the ball drops. Bad guys from his criminal past appear and want him to revert back to his old ways. This sound familiar yet? It is part History of Violence, only on an extremely low budget scale, minus all the quality.
The acting is exceptionally bad, even for an independent film. There are a few instances where I really felt bad for the actors for their lines of dialogue were atrocious. Remember the scene in Day After Tomorrow where Jake Gyllenhaal (or however the hell you spell his name) is talking calmly while almost drowning to his parents on a pay phone? Yeah, some of the dialogue is as bad as that. Thaddeus Schneider is serviceable as Kevin, but he peppers the story with some of the worst lines of the film, creating an exponentially melodramatic atmosphere. Caroline Whitey Smith as Beth is just terrible.
The story has an ‘I’ve seen this before’ feel, that is eerily similar to A History of Violence. There really is no story arc, because the plot is predictable. After the first twenty minutes, you can basically paint what is going to happen for the rest of the story. There are no twists or surprises. The ending is basically a whimper, and even though the film is 82 minutes, it feels like 120. There are a few scenes that should have been left in the deleted scene section on the DVD. This really destroys the pacing and makes the film feel much longer than its actual running time.
The biggest problem the film has is that as an audience member, you don’t really care about the main character, Kevin. It does a very poor job on developing any interest towards him. They also force a convoluted love story that takes up way to much screen time. Overall, the story is basically boring. It suffers from some seriously poor dialogue, and acting you wouldn’t even see on late night public access.
Grade: 1 out of 5
Tony Liccardello is a film critic living in Michigan.
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