Watching Blood Out was a purely selfless act on my behalf. I watched it so you wouldn’t have to. Unless you like your straight-to-DVD action really hammy, then it’s not a film that can be easily recommended.
The film follows Michael (Luke Goss, most recently seen in Death Race 2), a small town police officer whose gang member brother David is murdered by his own people when he wants to quit. (“Blood in” is a reference to a prospective gang member murdering someone to join a gang, and the only way out is to “blood out”, which is to be killed. Believe me, you’ll hear the phrase “blood in, blood out” a few times in this film.) David’s murder causes Michael to go vigilante.
Michael’s descent into vigilantism is hilarious. In order to look like a gangster, all he does is start smoking and gets some tattoos. The work of the world’s fastest-working tattoo artists, who complete two sleeve designs and several other chest pieces in what seems like a couple of hours, the tattoos magically heal before he’s even left the shop. I guess real badasses have super skin healing powers.
There are a few famous names attached to the film, namely Val Kilmer (who now seems to be trying to beat Steven Seagal as reigning World’s Biggest Face champion), 50 Cent, and Vinnie Jones. There is probably about five minutes of screen time between the three of them, and it definitely isn’t the finest five minutes in any of the actors’ oeuvres.
There’s also a cameo from a wrestler.
Then there’s the script. A lot of it sounds like it was written by an eight-year-old with crayons. I actually ended up respecting Luke Goss a little for playing the role completely straight. Half of the extras seem to have never acted before (there’s a particularly funny early scene with another policeman), and half of the cast mumble so much that I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I wouldn’t ever want to watch this again, but if I did, I would certainly want to turn on the subtitles.
Blood Out definitely couldn’t have existed in a pre-Crank world. It has the same sort of look: shaky handheld camera, oversaturated colours, and fast edits. However, given that Crank actually had a budget to make it look decent (I unashamedly admit that I love the first Crank film, even if I hated the second), Blood Out seems to have spent its entire budget on getting the big(ish) names in, and ends up looking like the rest of the cast and crew were paid in cups of tea and half smoked cigarettes.
I have spent around 500 words telling you how terrible Blood Out is, but, despite its many faults, it’s actually pretty funny. Maybe it will become a cult classic, one of these so bad it’s good sort of films. I don’t think that it’s supposed to be particularly funny, but it had me laughing quite a lot.
I also found myself really wanting to know what happened at the end, although admittedly, had I not been reviewing it, I probably would have turned Blood Out off sooner. The ending is typical clichéd action film ending with a hilarious one liner, but I would have been disappointed if it was anything else.
I can’t really recommend Blood Out to anyone. It might be worthwhile if you were making a night of watching bad action films; maybe if you were to sandwich it between some Statham and Van Damme flicks, it might complement them well, but I wouldn’t ever want to just watch it for the sake of it. But hey, if you like your action films to be straight-to-DVD and super hammy, then you might have some fun with Blood Out.
The disc lacks any extras, aside from some unskippable trailers at the start.
You can rent or buy Blood Out at Blockbuster.co.uk.