Innocent Blood – Blu-Ray Review

Innocent Blood is probably not at the top of your list of cult favorites, although maybe it should be. In fact, it is one of those movies I will be talking about to random people for many years to come.  Alright, I will admit maybe “top of your list” is a bit extreme…it should, however, be on a list of films that you should definitely watch. It offers much more than meets the eye.  Looking at this release I did not expect much, in fact, the overall presentation is confusing.  The cover image points to low budget noir to me, and there are moments in the film that seem to want to learn that way, but ultimately this is not that kind of film.  What should have been highlighted better on the cover is John Landis. Landis, of course, is well known for his wide range of films including  An American Werewolf in London, Animal House, and The Blues Brothers. Which, when you look at Landis’ body of work you definitely get a mixed bag and no one particular genre.  That is the perfect description for this film it doesn’t really fit into one particular category.  

The Film

Our story follows Marie an experienced vampire with a rather particular appetite.  You see, Marie only likes to feed off of bad men.  Everything seems to be going well for Marie as she started picking off mob men one-by-one.  That is until she meets Joe Gennaro, an undercover cop who seems to be the only one to see who she really is.  Things come to a screeching halt when she feeds on mob boss Sallie Macelli (Robert Loggia) and inadvertently lets him live.  His reign of terror is bound to lead to the eventual destruction of New York.  Joe and Marie team up as an unlikely buddy cop duo dead set on taking Sallie down.  

 

Admittedly, the plot is rather shallow.  It leaves much to the imagination in the writing department. However, for what it lacks in well-set plot lines and dialogue, we get some unexpected charm from our two main characters.  Marie is played by the legendary Anne Parillaud (known for La Femme Nikita) and Joe is played by Anthony LaPaglia (probably most known for Without a Trace although I will forever remember him from So I Married an Axe Murderer) resulting in a combination that I would have never put together on paper.  LaPaglia manages to carry along his side of the story with sheer charm and relies heavily on the sex appeal of Parillaud to meld the stories together.  Coupled with that Landis feeling we have all grown to love over the years this is one unique Buddy Cop Comedy/Horror/Noir/ Love story…?

 

The Film 3.5/5

Picture Quality

Working in tandem with Landis is cinematographer Mac Ahlberg known from his work on Re-Animator, Beverly Hills Cop III, and of course Good Burger.  What we have from their work together is an entirely unique film with an odd combination of filming techniques and style.  We get a rather nice experience with the upgrade to Blu-Ray.  The special effects in this film are unique and use a combination of practical gore effects along with what I have to assume is CGI for the different colored eyes for the Vampires.  On that note, I would like to add that the brightly colored eyes, however vivid they look on Blu-ray, distract from the overall story because I found myself trying to figure what each color meant.  The picture keeps some of it graininess and works well with a film like this to keep some of its moments feeling a little grungier.  

 

Picture Quality 4/5

Audio Quality

For the soundtrack, we get to hear several Sinatra songs fitting well into the story and even at one point is a focal point of a scene.  By doing this it adds to the overall eerie feeling of the scenes.  One thing I halfway expected was to experience some audio level problems which I commonly have found in movies of this nature and made during this timeframe, however, I was happily surprised that I was safely free to sit back and watch without adjusting a single time.  I will say that Parillaud’s accent is a bit rough in some scenes and I found it easier to leave the subtitles on for continuity.  

 

Audio Quality 5/5

Packaging

The packaging artwork needs some serious work, as it does nothing to give the film justice or point to what it is about.  In fact, from looking at the image, reading the description, and then watching the film, it just doesn’t all fit together very cohesively.  Other than the image, we have a standard Amaray case with the Archive collection logo adorned on the front of the case.  The case feels great which seems commonplace for the Warner Archive releases.  Once again I am overjoyed to see an image included on the disc once again.  

 

The Packaging 3/5

Special Features

Unfortunately this is another Warner Archive Release where we just get a trailer included.  I would have loved some extras about the crazy effect they used for the eyes but alas no such luck.  This of course isn’t uncommon because for the most part Warner Archives usually only includes what features were on the DVD version if any.  In any case, it is still cool to see the original trailer.

Special Features 1/5

Overall

Innocent Blood took me by surprise.  I definitely didn’t think I would enjoy the film and I definitely thought it was going to be really bad.  However, for some reason I found charm in its inexplicable genre mashup.  It also helps that Anne Parillaud is very enticing and you want to constantly see what she will do next.  Without her, the film would not have worked and would have just been another 90’s horror film to go unnoticed.  Being paired with LaPaglia, who is not someone you would expect her to end up with, also makes for some rather entertaining back and forth.  All in all the movie isn’t very good at its core, however, the film makes up for it more than enough in entertainment value.  You can purchase this edition HERE.

 

Overall 3/5