- Street Date:
- July 4th, 2017
- Reviewed by:
- Bryan Kluger
- Review Date: 1
- March 13th, 2018
- Movie Release Year:
- Gravitas Ventures
- 109 Minutes
- MPAA Rating:
- Release Country
- United States
Bloodrunners is a gangster film set in the prohibition era of bootlegging and jazz clubs where the added bonus of vampires wreak havoc. It's all moonshine and blood here, but in the worst possible ways, even with Ice-T in a cameo role on trumpet. This is not a good film, due to the over-stylized nature of the action sequences and shoddy CGI throughout. Not to mention, the performances are all amateur and laughable. The video and audio presentations both have huge problems with them and the extras are a waste of time. Skip This.
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
Filmmaker Dan Lantz must have been a huge fan of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, because he took those cues and made his own prohibition era gangster film called Bloodrunners. He added a horror twist to it though by adding vampires to the mix, while not only bootlegging liquor, but also blood in and out of the nightclubs, complete with corrupt cops, vicious gangsters, guns, vampires, and Ice-T playing the trumpet.
This is one of those films that bugs me right from the start, as it it prominently features Ice-T on all of the promotional material front and center, which suggests he's a major character here. That's not the case, though, as he's only on screen for a few minutes as Chesterfield, the headlining musician at his own jazz club that doubles as a bootlegging station for blood and alcohol. From here we meet some corrupt cops, vampires, and gangsters, all of which take us to other clubs, bootlegging schemes, and even brothels where vampires can feast on their prey.
We've seen all of these tired subplots before, but here, it's just done in a messier and quicker way, as the film is only 109 minutes. Lantz is perfectly capable of telling a story and framing a scene, but performances are less than to be desired and the script is quite laughable, or at least in how it's delivered, which is fairly over-the-top without any realism. In addition to that, there are too much stylistic choices in slow motion bullet shots or fight scenes that will take you out of the scene and yawn at yet another attempt of nonsensical action sequences.
If that weren't enough, it looks like there wasn't a consultant of the time period on set here, because there are some modern props and clothing that show up throughout, which causes some laughs. I do enjoy when a movie mixes two types of genres together, but the case with Bloodrunners is that it just feels super cheap as it tries hard to be something it isn't. I wanted to like this film, but it kept giving me reasons not to, such as adding ultra fake CGI blood to every scene, rather than showcase a practical effect or two.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Bloodrunners comes with a 25GB Blu-ray Disc as well as a DVD copy from Speakeasy Pictures. There is no insert for a digital download included. The disc is housed in a hard plastic blue case.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
Bloodrunners comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There are quite a bit of problems with this video presentation, which include banding and video noise. Both issues are present in well lit scenes as well as the darker ones, and it can be heavy a lot of the time. It's quite distracting actually. Colors are a bit muted, too, which is strange due to the many colorful scenes outside in the countryside.
The greens, browns, and yellows all seem anemic and pale, while a few shots of red and pink don't stand out as they should. Detail is rather sharp for the most part, though, as facial pores, wrinkles, and wounds show up nicely, as do the fine stitching in the period costumes. Black levels tend to bleed out and the skin tones are a bit lighter than normal. This isn't the best or even that good of a video presentation.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
This release comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and has a few problems as well. The main issue here is that the volume seems to be all over the place. While action sequences are quite loud and boisterous, the dialogue heavy sequences are very quiet and soft and will have you turning up the volume on your speakers to hear anything being said. It was a constant battle trying to find the right volume.
Sound effects are generally robust with gun shots, but never overpower the soundscape. There are some decent low end moments, specifically during the jazz music sequences, but other than that, it's rather rote. Ambient noises creep up from time to time too. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand when the volume is loud enough. Lastly, there are no pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills. Not a good audio track, either.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
Audio Commentary - Filmmaker Dan Lantz and writer/actor Michael McFadden talk about making the film, coming up with the story and different genres and praising the cast. It's an alright commentary track, but not a fun listen.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 8 Mins.) - There are five scenes in total, none of which are that great, including an alternate opening.
Gag Reel (HD, 5 Mins.) - Flubbed lines, missed cues, mistakes, and laughter on set are seen here.
Trailer (HD, 2 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
Bloodrunners looks good on paper in being a prohibition era gangster film riddled with vampires, but the script, performances, and overuse of stylistic choices all make this film fail and laughable. Plus, I highly dislike when a movie promotes an actor as the main character in the film, only for them to have a short cameo. That's the case here with this low budget film, as the "big" actor in question is Ice-T. The video and audio presentations are both less than average and the extras are not worth your time. Feel free to Skip This all together.
- Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
- 1080p MPEG-4 AVC
- English: Dolby Digital 5.1
- English: Dolby Digital 2.0
- English, French, Spanish
- Feature-length commentary with director Dan Lantz
- Deleted and extended scenes
- Gag reel
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