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Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2006!
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"BORAT: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" áby Michael A. Smith
Indie Film Review:
"Blood Descendants" áby Michael A. Smith
Horror-Mania: Three Big Events áby Andy Lalino
Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! Part One áby Drew Reiber
Hey Everyone, Let's Put On A Show....Music That Rocks (And Rolls)...Land Shark Ho!...Where In The Hell Was She Staying?...Get Well Soon....Back In The '70s....Coming Soon....Passing On....My Favorite Films, Part 44: "Annie Hall" áby Mike Smith
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 345  (Vol. 7, No. 44). This edition is for the week of October 30--November 5, 2006.

Indie Film Review:
"Blood Descendants"
Starring: Jeremy Make and Christy Cianci
Directed by: Steven Charles Castle
Rated: R

By Michael A. Smith

This past week I was given a look at an upcoming independently-produced horror film called "Blood Descendants." I first became aware of the film after learning it had been given a special midnight screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Nice. Though it didn't come away with the Palme d'Or (though I should add that it wasn't in competition), the film generated good word of mouth. With a scheduled release, through Maverick Releasing, next Spring, and with two main focuses of this web site being independent film and horror movies, I gladly jumped at the chance to review it. Enjoy.

Night. In a clearing we see a pick up truck. Inside a couple are undergoing a heavy make out session. A twig snaps and the girl stops. "What's that," she asks? "Nothing." More kissing. SNAP! "What's THAT?" "Nothing." Suddenly a shadowy figure descends on the truck, cuts the boy's head off and declares "You're debt has been paid." Sounds like the beginning of a classic horror story, doesn't it?

In a small college town, Jenny Bradford sticks out. Unlike most of the teenagers her age she's polite, shy and deeply devoted. The subject of her devotion is Matt, who works at his fathers restaurant. Matt attends the local college and has unfortunately drawn an idiot for a roommate. A class project puts them both in a group that would rather party then study. Meanwhile, the local sheriff is trying to solve the whole "head cutting off" problem that has suddenly afflicted the town. The locals speak of a curse put upon certain families in the town by Jenny's great, great grandfather, Jacob. Seem's Jacob had gotten Jenny's great, great grandma pregnant without benefit of marriage and some people frowned on it and buried Jacob alive. Some people are so touchy!

Shot on video, "Blood Descendants" is quite an achievement in that it has a tight script, good performances and pretty impressive special effects. Hell, "Poseidon" didn't even have that. Director Castle and director of photography Greg Parker use lights and shadows to their best advantage and Castle's camera flows through the action, taking the audience along for the ride. The script, by Castle and producers Richard J. Lucas and Bonnie Farley-Lucas, follows the standard horror movie formula but with much better lines. Castle, who like Kevin Smith sites Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" as a key influence, pays homage to the shark thriller with a great ongoing pretzel gag. The cast of mostly local actors do fine work, particularly stars Make and Cianci. The music, by James Downey and Ryan White, is quite eerie and the special effects quite messy! And how can you not like a film where the director makes sure that even the extras are listed in the end credits?

With the Halloween season upon us, "Blood Descendants" was a perfect way to get into the mood. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Blood Descendants" 3 STARS

The review of "Blood Descendants" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.

All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ę2006 by Nolan B. Canova.

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