Production: Plotdigger Films / New Image Entertainment
Distribution: Breaking Glass Pictures
I watched a Ryan Nicholson film called Hanger recently, and found myself totally blown away by it. The nudity was off the charts -- borderline pornographic, even. The level of gore and the sheer amount of crazy ass things going on (tampon teabags?!) was enough to garner the film a damn solid score despite some production quality shortcomings. So when I got my hands on another one of his movies -- the cleverly named Bleading Lady -- I thought I was guaranteed to be in for a treat.
Unfortunately, Bleading Lady has so little in common with Hanger that I found myself constantly hoping for a whole lot more than I actually got. First of all, the sheer glut of graphic nudity that I loved so much from Nicholson’s previous effort was nowhere to be found. There is a brief full frontal from Riversa Red (Sindy Faraguna), but all it managed to accomplish was to whet my appetite for follow-up scenes that never came.
The gore in Bleading Lady is also fairly decent, but once again, nowhere near the levels displayed in Hanger. On the occasions when blood does start to fly, it’s all done well and with a reasonable amount of creativity, but ends up as a pale comparison to it’s immediate predecessor. In fact, if it weren’t for all the small stylistic touches and unmistakable charm that I’m coming to recognize as hallmarks of Nicholson’s work, I’d almost think this movie was made by an entirely different person.
On Nicholson’s website, he states that he follows a filmmaking philosophy that’s characterized by the phrase, “More is more.” Yet, for some unfathomable reason, he chose to scale all that “more” down to a whole lot “less” with this particular effort. And frankly, the film suffers for it.
Bleading Lady has a pretty cool plot, in that it follows the surly figure of Don Cardini (Dan Ellis) as he goes about his daily routine, driving semi-celebs back and forth to a low-budget movie set. While fulfilling his duties as driver, he discovers that his favorite Scream Queen -- a lovely ginger lass named Riversa Red -- is the secret star for the film. He also finds out that the reason her presence is being kept secret is because she has a dangerous stalker on her tail.
Being the consummate expert on Riversa and super-fan that he is, Don takes it upon himself to watch out for the woman’s safety and become her personal driver. Unfortunately, Don isn’t the most stable person in the world, and finds himself descending deeper and deeper into a pit he can’t crawl back out of, as he begins to murder people on the set and slowly lose his grip on reality.
Dan Ellis does a great job in the leading role, and once again left me impressed with his B-movie cred. He may not be the most polished actor in the world, but his onscreen presence and crisp charisma were more than enough to make his scenes a pleasure to watch. The actress playing RIversa (Sindy Faraguna) was also a highlight of Bleading Lady’s cast, and I thought she put in a really solid performance, especially during the scenes where she has to play scared and traumatized.
So while Bleading Lady was a reasonably enjoyable film, with a good, original plot and solid performances for the majority of the roles, the simple fact that I was expecting something more along the lines of Nicholson’s previous film, Hanger, managed to hold me back from really getting the full measure of enjoyment I might otherwise have.
I have yet to see any of Nicholson’s other efforts, but I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that they’re a whole lot closer to the gonzo gore-fest of Hanger, and a whole lot farther away from the timid restraint of Bleading Lady.
This film receives a score of:
7 out of 10