"Cold Blood" DVD
It's a bit out of sequence,
but this is Brian Avenet-Bradley's first film. Longtime readers
will remember my "Ghost of the Needle" coverage about
a month back, and now, thanks to Heretic Films' recent rerelease,
Brian Avenet-Bradley's first film is back in video stores.
And man...is it ever
is the...well...let's face it, downright chilling story of a man
who murders his wife in a fit of insane, homicidal rage.
And yet, strangely, he's
still in love with her. He even goes so far as to wash the blood
off her face after braining her with a baseball bat. The man actually
cleans up the crime scene himself, down to the coffee mug spilled
and broken when she fell after getting hit with the bat.
In a quick fifteen second
montage, we discover that she's been cheating on him (actually,
he caught her in bed with the other man!), and this is why he gave
her a Louisville divorce.
No one actually knows
he did it. He's free, and uncaught, no trouble there. But naturally,
he's feeling pretty guilty about what he's done, and thus packs
up to go to the family farm.
that's where our boy J.M. (the wifekiller) married our girl Andrea
(the cuckolding wife).
Oh, yeah...did I mention
that he goes back to the farm almost one year to the day after marrying
This can't end well.
Now, the sequence just
ahead of the seven minute mark, where JM tries to get Andrea's corpse
out of the building without anyone noticing is just fantastically
well done. This is a full minute of the most creative and tautly
plotted suspense I have seen in a long time. Incredible stuff, really.
There are, to be sure,
some positively chilling stretches in "Cold Blood". Lots
of shadows moving for no reason and upon investigation have no causes.
JM gets frequently shocking discoveries of random people just suddenly
cropping up in and around the farmhouse he took up residence in.
And the plot just becomes
more and more complex with every passing minute, putting an enormous
onus on the ending to manage to tie up so very many loose ends.
Murder, blackmail, any of a dozen other crimes crop up in a thriller
that is easily the rival of any of the greats. There are a great
many harrowing sequences where he is very nearly caught, or even
IS caught, red-handed in his crimes, and only quick thinking (or
worse) on Jim's part.
In fact, given the slate
of recent releases from Heretic Films, this is easily the best I've
seen from them.
The ending is one long
string of surprises that actually manages to wrap up all of the
loose ends, which is a daunting task in itself given the depth of
The special features
include a making of featurette, deleted scenes, cast and crew bios,
a featurette revolving around the music behind the story, Brian
Avenet-Bradley's commentary, French and English subtitles, and a
trailer for "Cold Blood."
All in all, "Cold
Blood" is the shining star in Heretic Films' lineup--easily
their best. It's also the best thing Brian Avenet-Bradley has ever
done, not to slight his other work, but this one's just fantastic.
GRADE: 4 stars ****
Directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley
Written by Brian Avenet-Bradley
Starring Barnes Walker III, Carrie Walrond, John L. Altom
Produced by Laurence Avenet-Bradey
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