Director – Thomas R. Rondinella (Scrappers, A Girls’ Guide to Sex)
Starring – Robert North, Jeremy Whelan (The Beastmaster, Hot Splash), and Victoria Scott (Kingpin)
Release Date – 1989
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Many years ago I started collecting Troma. This was years before I started with companies like Blue Underground, Vinegar Syndrome, and Wild Eye. Troma, along with Full Moon, was one of my first loves within the genre and over the years I’ve collected VHS, DVD, UMD, and and now blus from them. I fucking love Troma and over the years I’ve found numerous gems among their catalogue.
When Vin Syn announced that 1989’s Blades was among their newest batch of releases I couldn’t order it fast enough. I love when Vin Syn and Troma partner together for a release and I’m always looking for another reason to revisit a Troma flick. I wasn’t able to actually watch it when it was released but after spending some time with several Vin Syn partner labels I decided it was time to revisit this odd supernatural slasher.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a country club who hires a new pro to look over the golf course as a new charity event is coming up. However, he picks a horrible time to join the team as bodies start to appear on the various holes on the course. The bodies are horribly mangled and the owner wants the police to catch the killer as quick as possible without drawing too much attention to the bloodshed. They soon arrest a disgruntled former employee but when the bodies continue to pile up while he is in jail they are forced to release him. He partners with them and they hunt down the real killer… his deceased father’s lawn tractor. **Spoiler Alert**
Blades is an odd film to say the least. It’s not a bad film but it struggles with it’s own identity. It’s a movie that tries to take itself seriously but the plot and characters are so absurd that they just don’t work. It struggles with the tone of the film but I always found it fun regardless.
The acting in this one is surprisingly well done. The cast is a little stiff at times but I always found the characters to be rather charming especially when you compare it to other slashers from the same time. Most of the film’s stars lacked on camera experience but that didn’t stop them from delivering memorable performances. With that being said, Jeremy Whelan was the highlight of the film and one of the few cast members with other credits under their name on imdb.com.
The story for this one using the traditional formula that made slashers from the golden age so entertaining. It’s a murder whodunit that leaves the viewer guessing who the real killer is. However, instead of a masked killer that was wronged we have an inanimate object that was replaced and now seeks revenge. It’s a story that could be overflowing with humor when you consider what is killing but the fact that the film is serious and grounded it feels extremely uneven. Honestly, it feels like a missed opportunity.
Finally, the film doesn’t really deliver on the deaths. We get the after math with some body parts and blood but that is the extent of it. It is a bit disappointing in terms of deaths because this is what makes slashers so much fun. Overall, Blades is an usual film that I enjoy but I know a lot of other genre fans will not. I like the story and the cast but I am always bummed by the lack of fun kills with some decent gore. It’s a great watch and the Vin Syn release is a must for collectors. Check it out.
Region Free Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm original camera negative
Commentary track with director Thomas R. Rondinella and writer William R. Pace
“Fore Warning” – a making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles