Blu-ray Review: Bliss (2019)

September 27, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Dezzy (Dora Madison) is havin’ a bitch of a go what she is. Between painting and back due rent, D-dawg is not livin’ her best fucking life, that’s for sure… but she remains a hard mother fucker through it all.

Hey, you know what may help with all that? Getting addicted to a mega-cocaine called Bliss offered to our heroine by her dealer Hadrian (Graham Skipper),which sends her into a spiral of lasciviousness that eventually puts her in the company of old scene friends that are of the fang bang way. This soon leads her into a sex-filled, blood-soaked pseudo-vampiric living nightmare… but hey, her painting skills improve, so win/win?

I have to tell you lot, writer/director Joe Begos (The Mind’s Eye) goes balls deep into psychotronic insanity with Bliss. Everything from color choices to camera angles to score collide to make the viewer feel like they’ve embarked on one hell of a chemically-induced journey… and just when that settles in he sprays barf and blood all over the damn place to let you know that you are well and truly in the horror biz… and the inclusion of a body melt! It’s a lot to take in over a lightning fast seventy-nine minute runtime, but holy hell if it isn’t effective AF!

One negative here… that jingle-jangle visual panache comes with a whole lot of flashy-flashy, so if you are prone to seizures, you should stay your ass away from Bliss (and yes, an onscreen warning to that effect plays before the film begins).

Back on the positivity tip, lead actress Madison absolutely owns her role as Dezzy. The character goes from egocentric artist to villain to sympathetic protagonist at the drop of a hideous hat, and Madison does it all with ease while making you say “Jesus, I can’t believe she did that!”… so real choice stuff here cats n’ creeps!

As for bonus features on this Dark Sky Films Blu-ray you get two audio commentaries; one featuring Begos and Madison, the other with Begos, producer Josh Ethier, and the Russell FX Team. These are fascinating listens, and are a great crash course in independent horror filmmaking, so take note future frightmeisters! Also included are a deleted scene, the film’s trailer, and a teaser.

Bottom line; Bliss is a fascinating take on the whole tried n’ true vampire bag that manages to be blazingly original (though if you are looking for a flavor profile you can think of this flick as the result of a three-way between The Hunger, Driller Killer, and Sid and Nancy… with a dash of Near Dark, and a pinch of Tim Bradstreet art on top)… no easy feat for sure; but Begos and company are more than up to the task… and with the acting skills of Dora Madison mixed with the off the charts craziness and blood on display you have the makings of one hell of a grizzly gem that will appeal to the coffin crowd like ghoulish gangbusters!




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