E1 Entertainment // 2008 // 97 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 29th, 2010
There's a sucker born every minute.
Vampires. Slackers. Low-budget movie. Usually a recipe for awfulness.
Three friends are on their way to a rock concert, but their trip gets detoured into a weird, backwoods town. It's weird because there doesn't appear to be anyone populating it. Within minutes the solution to this mystery is made clear: the place is inhabited by vampires, who soon descend up our heroes, biting one and sending the others scurrying into the protective custody of the last remaining humans.
As the group arms themselves for a major confrontation with the bloodsuckers, a new, deadly force is making plans to wipe them out: Nicholas Brendon!
I probably didn't transmit the tone of the film properly with the preceding synopsis. Despite the vampires and bloodshed and fangs and what not, Blood on the Highway is a straight comedy. I'm resistant to even sticking the horror-comedy label on it, because it's not scary at all and has obviously been crafted as such. There are buckets of blood and over-the-top homicides, yes, but it's all used for comic effect.
The vampires themselves are light years away from being intimidating. In fact, they're idiots. They love their blood and have sharp teeth and when the moment calls, can turn their eyes white. They also have the brain functionality of a doped up frat boy and typically put themselves in danger because of their stupidity. Basically, they're undead morons, and it's a funny aspect of the film.
And enough beating around it: Blood on the Highway is just plain funny. It may not offer a nonstop series of gut laughs, but the film steadily coughs up amusement.
I never know what I'm going to get with this low-grade, indie horror spoofs -- and more often than not, my experiences with the genre is similar to outpatient surgery minus the general anesthesia -- and it is with a moderate amount of gratitude that I say the creative forces behind this film (writers Blair Rowan and Chris Hardener and directors Barak Epstein and Rowan) actually have some talent. The script can be clever, the gore gags are messy and cool, and the actors are charismatic enough to carry the humor load. Brendon is a nice get, adding some genre cred to the effort, and the finale sequence that features him is a stand-out.
The film receives a clean 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 5.1 surround mix and is joined by a hearty selection of extras: cast and crew commentary, a 30-minuteamking-of documentary, a fake PSA and a Visual FX featurette.
Fun and gooey, Blood on the Highway is worth a glance for splatter comedy enthusiasts.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R