I absolutely love randomly stumbling across trailers for films I’ve never even heard of. About a week ago, I happened upon the trailer for Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh on Facebook and I instantly pre-ordered the film (which arrives on 2 disc DVD from Unearthed Films August 8, 2017). My anticipation was eating away at me, and lucky for me, director Jakob Bilinski hooked me up with an online screener. Thanks, Jakob! Read on for my thoughts on Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh.
Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh is the latest film from Jakob Bilinski (Volumes of Blood 2015 – see our review here). The film stars Bill Gobin, Jim Dougherty, Kayla Crance, Angela Steele, Rosalind Rubin, Scott Ganyo, Kevin Roach, and Jim O’Rear.
Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh is a modern, Mid-westernized spin on the Giallo. This is the tale of Dominic, a man with a dark past who returns to the small town he’s long since abandoned, to bury his niece Lexie, who has recently passed. Dragging his troubled daughter, Kendall, along with him, he simultaneously reunites with his estranged sister, Stella, and reignites a past rivalry with the corrupt town sheriff, Rex Drisko. Convinced that there is more behind Lexie’s death than is being said, Dominic begins digging around the town, probing its strange inhabitants, and in the process, unearths his own demons and uncovers the town’s dark secrets, which include a mysterious cult, a supernatural curse, a masked killer, and a very high body count. Everyone is both a suspect and potential victim, and only one thing is for sure: the Earth will be stained red before Dominic uncovers the truth.
Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh is the bastard love child of a Giallo and a small town revenge thriller, resulting in a potent cocktail of the two that feels like something wholly original. The film is wonderfully acted by a supremely talented cast. I honestly can’t off the top of my head think of a weak link. Bill Gobin as Dominic gives the film the needed gravitas and emotional weight to ground it and keep me interested for the film’s entire 2 hour and 20 minute duration. His emotional complexity and physically intensity are a great asset to the film. Dominic is a deeply flawed individual. He’s ruined lives. He’s not a good person, but for once, he’s doing bad things for the right reasons. From the opening minutes, I was intrigued to see where his fucked up journey was leading.
Acting as a foil to Bill Gobin’s flawed hero is the character of Sheriff Rex Drisko, played by Jim Dougherty. Rex is a mean, vulgar and sleazy bastard whos equally easy to hate and hard not to love. He’s a major fucking dick. He’s a horrible person and an even worse sheriff, but damned if he isn’t hilarious with all his talk of cunt punching strippers and such. The interaction between the two characters is absolutely flawless, and you can tell there is a deep seated history to their hatred. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a prequel dealing with Dominic’s early life in town and past with Rex.
The film is stylishly lit, at times using the colorful and moody lighting common in typical Giallos. The characters are all unique and have their own interesting quirks, such as the perverted necrophiliac coroner and the young ritual obsessed teens who frequently engage in orgies. The fights scenes are energetic, intense and, for the most part, well shot (even more so given the obvious low budget nature of the film). The film moves expertly from shocking twists to emotional revelations at the drop of the hat, and just when you think you are starting to think you have a handle on where the story is taking you, forget about it.
The climax of the film is intense, brutal, shocking, and beyond fucked. Just when I thought things were starting to go back to normal, the story stabbed me in the gut with an emotional knife and twisted the handle, leaving me emotionally gutted. If I had one ever so small complaint, it would be the film’s over reliance on CGI blood splatter and spray in the final act, but by that point, I was so emotionally invested and hooked, that I really didn’t give a fuck.
Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh is a low budget indie masterpiece that deftly mixes Giallo twists with revenge thriller action, resulting in a strong and intoxicating brew of the two. The film is intense, brutal, bloody, and funny and features a bleak as all hell ending that left me feeling gutted and exhausted while struggling to pick my jaw up off the floor. I can’t recommend this film highly enough. Be sure to pick up your copy of Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh from Unearthed Films when its released on August 8th.