Director – Christopher Leto (Crazy Lake, The Cheerleader Sleepover Slaughter)
Starring – Ken Anthony II (Zed’s Dead, Cannibal Claus), Alexis Baca (Stories of the Paranormal, The Sacrifice), and Honeylet Conlu (Ghost Trader, Just Hitched)
Release Date – 2023
Rating – 3.5/5
Lately I’ve been in a rut. I don’t watch the amount of films and television shows like I used to and I find myself spending most of my free times playing games with the kids. They don’t have the attention span that I had at that age and haven’t taken to film like I did. Instead, we play games in the evening and I couldn’t be happier. However, at random times during the day I find myself wanting to watch something. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it’s an indie film.
A few days ago director Chris Leto hit me up to review his newest crime thriller Death Blow. Many of you may recognize Chris’ name from other films I’ve reviewed like The Cheerleader Sleepover Slaughter, Crazy Lake, Rough Cut, and The Housewife Slasher. I agreed, and it took me a few days to finally check it out but I’m glad I did. Thank you, Chris, for sending this one over.
**Spoiler Alert* * The film follows a loving husband and father who finds himself struggling financially when he took a gamble on rental property that has not paid off yet. Things seem to take an unexpected turn when his most recent tenant fails to check out at the agreed time. When he enters the home he finds him dead in a pool of his own vomit. He panics, knowing that this could ruin the image but soon discovers a bag full of cash. He decides to keep the money and instead of reporting the death he decides to dismember the body. While he is preparing the body and hiding the money, those that works with the young man that has died has invaded his home and they are waiting on his arrival with what’s left of his wife and son. **Spoiler Alert**
Death Blow is not the type of movie I’m expected to review for Horror Society but that cool with me. Sometimes I need something not necessarily traditional horror to recharge my batteries. I love horror but sometimes I over do it by watching dozens of genre titles at a time before watching anything else. This can become tiring especially when I spend the next couple hours after watching a film writing my review and putting it together. That’s why I look forward to releases that are not horror specific or a horror film in a traditional sense. Death Blow was exactly what the doctor had ordered. This dark crime thriller reminded me a lot of the early films of Tarantino like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. I really enjoyed it and I think those of you with a taste for cult cinema and crime flicks will appreciate it as well.
The acting in this one is very consistent which is something you don’t see too often in indie productions. The cast for this one is very grounded, and everyone carries their own weight. We don’t see anyone outdoing their co-stars. Instead, we have some great on-screen chemistry and people working together to pull the scene off. I really enjoyed this small cast and look forward to seeing them appear in more films in the future.
The story for this one is a bit predictable, but the ride is enjoyable. From the moment we follow the home owner finding the large bag of cash, we know exactly the way the film is going to play out. Sure, we don’t know every single detail or what will be the outcome, but we know the direction the film is going to go. That doesn’t ruin the movie and we still get to experience the situation unfold in all it’s gruesome detail. The movie does start out slow but finds itself early on before ending with a bang. The characters are all well written and the last scene really does bring the film on home.
Finally, the film doesn’t have a lot of blood and gore but there are a few gags that I found very effective. The film is limited with their practical effects but the ones we do get work. They showed imagination and made the scene work but for those of you expecting a bloody or gory flick will be very disappointed. Overall, Death Blow may not be the horror release I’m known for reviewing but it’s still a violent and enjoyable film especially if you are into crime flicks with a taste for torture. I highly recommend checking this one out as soon as you can