Director – James Bell (Dog Dick, Manuer)
Starring – James Bell, Mae Bell (Tantrum, Nutsack)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3/5
I follow several indie filmmakers in the world of no budget horror. Each has their own style that is unique to them and they create some very unique or weird works of art. One such filmmaker is Michigan’s James Bell and his experimental arthouse style horror films. Over the years he has churned out some fantastic shorts like Tantrum, Manuer, and Nutsack. All have strange names but sum up the films very well.
Recently James wrapped his newest 20 minute short The Bliss which starred himself and his lovely wife Mae. I grabbed a copy at Cinema Wasteland in October but I completely forgot I had it until recently. My family suffered a house fire and when I was going through out belongings I found a box of movies I needed to review I had set to the side and forgot about. It was like a second Christmas except something devastating had to happen in order for me to get a present.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a mysterious man who seems to be disabled and disfigured. He roams the streets and landscape in search of women to disfigure and mutilate until he can find the perfect one. **Spoiler Alert**
You never know what to expect from Bell and his extremely violent and twisted shorts. I typically shy away from films centered around gore because they lack stories but Bell is able to bring narrative to the scenes so the viewer can’t look away. The Bliss is no exception.
The acting in this one is hard to determine just like the rest of Bell’s previous films. There is very little to no dialogue and most of the time the cast is wearing masks of some sort so the viewer can not see their reactions. Instead, they mutilate or be mutilated.
The story for this one is simple but Bell takes it for everything it’s worth which results in a pretty unique experience for viewers. We get to see tons of action and the story is still able to be told through these scenes without dialogue.
Finally, the film is overflowing with amazing practical effects and gore. Bell is an amazing effects artist and his shorts are always full of his spectacular work. Overall, The Bliss is another gruesome short from a mind that truly understands depravity. I highly recommend picking this one up!