Blu-ray Review: Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, October 24th, 2021  

Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood

Studio: Scream Factory

Oct 26, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Unlicensed detective Rafe Guttman (Dennis Miller) is hired by a goody two-shoes blonde (Baywatch’s Erika Eleniak) to find her missing punker brother (Corey Feldman). Meanwhile, in a location possibly related to his case, Lilith (supermodel Angie Everhart), the queen of all vampires, runs a brothel out of a rundown funeral parlor.

Way more interested in being tawdry than in being terrifying, Bordello of Blood is a fitting big screen version of HBO’s hallowed Tales from the Crypt TV series. It’s by no means a good film—really, it’s Dennis Miller versus undead prostitutes—but b-movie fans shouldn’t overlook it just yet. If you watch the fascinating Making Of documentary included on this new Collector’s Edition, you’ll be impressed that the film holds together as coherently as it does. (In a bid to keep filmmaker Robert Zemeckis from defecting to the upstart studio Dreamworks, Universal made a deal to purchase the first script he wrote with Back to the Future collaborator Bob Gale all the way back in film school—and, indeed, Zemeckis and Gale get story credit on Bordello of Blood.) Unlikely leading man Dennis Miller only agreed to do the movie because they met his demands of a million-dollar fee—which was a healthy portion of the film’s budget—and then improvised most of his lines because he hated the script. (Miller actually told audiences “not to waste their time” with the movie during a promotional appearance for the film on Leno.) Model Angie Everhart was cast as the film’s villain as a favor the studio made to Sylvester Stallone—her boyfriend at the time—despite having little acting experience. On top of that, the film was shot in Canada to avoid union rules, and entire subplots were half-cut from the movie in the editing room, leaving beats that really don’t make any sense at all. These are only a handful of the disasters Bordello’s crew overcame during production, and hearing them speak honestly about what a nightmarish trainwreck it all was makes this Blu-ray edition such a fascinating set.

The resulting movie is a surprising amount of fun. Despite sounding like a world-class asshole to work with, Miller isn’t bad as the smarmy, fast-talking private eye; he comes off as a sleazy, mid-90s working approximation of the classic film noir archetype. It’s certainly juvenile, relying on jokes that include farting cadavers and vampire body odor—Bordello’s predecessor, Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, looks positively highbrow in contrast—and the target audience seems to have been 17-year-old boys looking to rent their first R-rated VHS tapes. (But, oh, the super-soaker shoot-out—with exploding vampires—set to “Ballroom Blitz” is oh-so-much fun.) The Blu-ray also includes a new commentary, vintage video promo, stills gallery, and the trailer. It’s not going to be a flick everyone will be able to tolerate, but paired alongside the wonderful Making Of doc the whole package becomes an intriguing look inside the Hollywood sausage grinder.

www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/tales-from-the-crypt-presents-bordello-of-blood-collector-s-edition

Author rating: 6/10

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October 5th 2020
7:58pm

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