If you thought that Cannibal Holocaust was the most traumatic film from director Ruggero Deodato, think again, because Ballad in Blood is far more upsetting, albeit for a very different reason: it marks a career low point for one of Italy's most infamous exploitation directors. In fact, it's so excruciatingly terrible that it even makes Dial: Help (1988) look good.
The film revolves around three wild revellers, Jacopo (Gabriele Rossi), Lenka (Carlotta Morelli) and Duke, who wake up following a heavy night of drink and drugs to find the dead body of friend Elizabeth (Noemi Smorra), her throat cut. Unable to recall the events of the night before, the trio try to work out what the hell happened, their frayed nerves slowly stretched to breaking point.
What sounds like a decent premise is told in such a disjointed manner, with zero attempt to explain characters' motivation, that it all proves extremely irritating. The central trio are all obnoxious, as are the supporting characters (which include a midget and a camp bloke wearing angel wings, and four cartoonish punks), and with the international cast mangling the English language, I frequently had the urge to give up and watch something else instead. Like a fool, though, I watched to the bitter end hoping it would get better; it didn't.
Deodato throws in plenty of gratuitous T&A—there's full frontal female nudity from the word go—and chucks in just a bit of splatter towards the end, but none of it helps. Ballad in Blood is a complete and utter mess of a movie from a once great director. Sad, really.
Ballad in Blood
Ballad in Blood
It's the day after Halloween. Jacopo and Duke wake up in the apartment of two girls: Lenka, the Czech Republic, and Elizabeth, English, both in Italy thanks to the Erasmus project. The dawn of that new day brings with it a big problem: Elizabeth died. But there's more, because none of the three remember what happened. Neither James nor Duke nor Lenka, remember what happened that night.
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May 19, 2019 at 12:09 PM