BLOOD BAGS ** Italy 2018 Dir: Emiliano Ranzani. 83 mins
Photography student Tracey (Makenna Guyler) visits what seems to be an abandoned mansion yet gets more than she bargains for when she and her friend Petra are attacked by a disfigured man. At the beginning of the film a brief text appears on the screen highlighting Gunthers Disease and the stigma attached to sufferers likening the symptoms to that of vampires. The attacker here is one such victim of the disease who has taken to hiding from the world, attacking and killing whoever enters his domain. He has family and his brother visits him regularly plus there is an elderly man who keeps watch on the premises. Before Tracey and Petras arrival a couple of thieves had broken in. One had met a sticky end and the other had managed to barricade himself into a room. Alex (Emanuele Turetta) and Tracey battle the monster and his brother in a desperate attempt to escape but all is not as it seems.
This Italian giallo style horror is atmospheric in places with a well created monster but it seems very confused to me. Not a great deal is explained and when you think you’ve got it sussed it then goes off on a different tangent but not in a good way. The make up and effects are really good with a great reveal of the monster who bears a similar resemblance to something out of the WRONG TURN movies. However, the vampire element is lost, the opening scene shows a fair bit of blood letting and the brother is seen paying a prostitute for her blood but at no point do you see any blood being consumed. So those of you thinking this is a vampire movie will be disappointed. The monsters point of view is nicely done in black and white and there is a really touching moment between him and his brother. On the whole it is not badly acted, there are some scenes that are a bit cringey and the police element is fairly comical but they are few and far between. In places it is a bit dark and gloomy but it accentuates the general creepiness of the mansion so not a bad thing. The end twist made no sense to me at all but it was an okay watch.
Review by Sarah Budd