Blood & Donuts Reviews
Boya has lived on this Earth for centuries, and since the moon landing he's been in a deep slumber. But after 25 years he is awakened, and now he has to protect his newfound friends from the mob, and his ex. This dark comedy is pretty low budget and pretty bad at times, but it's irresistible. What makes it so irresistible is Gordon Currie's dramatic, yet funny impersonation of the physicality of Nosferatu, and Justin Louis's weird accent. The story isn't much, but it's good enough.
The thing about Canadian filmmakers is that the use little, but deliver a lot. The director Holly Dale uses a lot of unique filmmaking styles to make this movie even more appealing. From the over use of Dutch angles, creative camera shots, and a very good job with the lighting, this movie looks a lot better than it could have been. There are definitely a mixture of creative shots that, even though this movie is virtually unheard of, once you watch it, those scenes will become memorable. And if the style isn't enough, this movie has a great soundtrack, including The Platters's 'Twilight Time'.
It pays off to watch such unheard of movies, because there are a few gems out there. Blood and Donuts isn't much, but with some funny preformances and a special appearance by David Cronenberg, this vampire flick is still a hell of a lot better than Twilight.
This movie was different. That's not just being polite. It happens to be very true. This is far removed from your regular vampiric escapade. The blood sucking hero, Boya, is characterized as somewhat ashamed and disturbed by his affliction. He is also quite unwilling to pass it on to even those would-be victims who demand it.
It was also very different in another regard. I have spent most of my life recognizing settings in and around Toronto as they are being passed off as various, generally American, cities. Blood and Donuts was not only filmed in Toronto -- it even admits it. They pass around and use easily recognizeable Canadian money and don't try to hide the easily-recognizeable skyline. (Unlike one of the Police Academy movies where they jet ski off Florida with the CN Tower visible in the background)
If there is anything that bothers me, it is that the movie looks cheap. Probably because it was. Internet Movie Data Base reports the budget at about $350,000 CDN. That wouldn't cover the daily buffet on many productions. Music, to my personal distaste, is from the 50s. Presumably because it cost little or nothing to license. They could really have spent less on smoke machines and sprung for a little Motley Crue. Kickstart My Heart comes to mind. (Watch the movie and you'll know why.)
Seedy settings in some of the oldest parts of Toronto's industrial section were perfect, however. While the donut shop at the center of the film was no Tim Hortons, what could be a more Canadian setting?
Helene Clarkson is a likeable heroine -- even with a pair of caterpillers on her brow. Justin Louis plays another dufus cab driver that never seems to work unless he is picking up people involved in the movie's plot. (I'm a dufus cab driver and wish I could make a living that way)
Unfortunately, the most interesting cast member portrays one of the dullest characters. Horror master David Cronenberg is about as menacing as Fozzy Bear as the crime boss of two seriously inept mobsters. But when they cross paths with Boya its funny and unsettling at the same time.
Equally unsettling is Fiona Reid as Rita, the gilted lover we are lead to believe was the reason Boya exiled himself back in the 60s. She is party to one of the best moments in the movie however, when Boya continues to refuse her the gift of life eternal. "Don't believe everything you read."
You can, however, believe this. Blood and Donuts is far from the worst movie out there. If you like Vampires, this has to be in your collection. It will remain in mine.
Another rare treat from the bombardment of unoriginal, market-driven dribble that pervades North America's film industry. This is a Canadian film, a country which really doesn't have a sizable film industry, and opens up the doors to good things you'll rarely find at your local Blockbuster.
I won't ruin the ending for you, but it's perfect.