The Merits of Sin: Blood Lake (1987) (USA)

The last vacation I took with “da boyz” was probably 5 years ago.  Just a handful of idiots getting drunk till the sun came up and the bonfire was reduced to a lump of smoldering remains. A little fishing, a few gallons of cheap beer and a chance to get away from the people and jobs driving us crazy. We didn’t have a care in the world. We also didn’t have a Lil’ Tony. It was our loss.

After the poorly staged murder of a groundskeeper, Blood Lake begins it’s assault on your idea of vacations. Opening credits roll to the hard rock sounds of Voyager. Bleeding Skull’s Joseph A. Ziemba described the music of Voyager as “butt metal”. In the history of music there has never been a more spot on genre label. A traveling montage and Voyager combine to completely turn you off to the notion of Blood Lake being an accomplished 80 minutes of film making. Luckily, we’re not here for accomplished filmmaking. We’re in shot on video (SOV) country, and I will tell you right now that this country is vast and full of wonder.

Grab your buds, bring your babes, and prep your boat. Some prime property for a bad ass vacation just became available. To quote our hero it’s “a real party house”. It’s actually just his girlfriend’s father’s lake house but with enough beer, any house can be a real party house. Test it out. It’s true. They have their beer and they have their place to drink it in but it still feels like I’m forgetting something. Lil’ Tony! They have brought along Lil’ Tony. He’s our hero’s younger brother and he’s a mulleted piece of shit. But in the best way possible. Lil’ Tony has a sex fixation and no filter. Lil’ Tony is that person you knew in 7th grade who was always on the hunt for porn and talked endlessly about boobs. Sure he could be annoying but he also had some damn funny jokes. It was the perfect mix of wanting to slap the shit out of him and wanting him to be around because he was completely out of line. This is Lil’ Tony and this is his movie.

Lil’ Tony. Big Dreams


The characters have been introduced and we have had glimpses of the bearded, cowboy boot wearing murderer. The vacationers are doing exactly what they planned on doing. Drinking beer, making sexual innuendos, participating in frat boy humor and experiencing the excitement of unloading a boat…. in real time! If you’re thinking this sounds boring; don’t worry, you’re about to be hit with a water skiing montage. And do you know what a water skiing montage means? MORE VOYAGER!!! The kids are feeling good to the sweet sounds of Voyager’s “Feelin Fine”. After that ends we are not allowed to catch our breaths as we get hit in the face with a game of quarters, also played in real time! Blood Lake don’t give a shit. You are a part of this vacation whether you like it or not.

Action? Yeah. We got that covered


Sadly, the party must always end. This party is no different. Two boys that befriended the group of vacationers and joined in on all the funfair and drinking are the first to fall. After water skiing they noticed a fat, bearded man checking out the “real party house”. These two skinny weiners somehow managed to scare him off with shit talk. For this, they die first. Slightly inebriated and pumped up about their toughness, they make the mistake of stumbling home.  They never arrive. But they do leave us with this small piece of dialogue to remember them by:

Blonde weiner: “Man, next time we come down here we need to bring some chicks with us!”

Other weiner: “Yeeeeeaaaaah. That’d be great. Sure as hell wouldn’t be out here fishing.”

Blonde weiner “No shit! We’d be diving……MUFF DIVING!”

Godspeed, you angels. Your time on this earth was far too short.

Those first murders take place at almost fifty minutes into the running time. Sure, we saw the groundskeeper get his but it happened off screen and is pretty much forgotten by the time Lil’ Tony shows up grinning like the smart ass he is. The core group is targeted next and the “real party house” is to blame. Apparently the bearded, cowboy boot wearing fat man is owed money for the sale of the place. Daddy never paid. It’s another case of real estate debt leading to murder.

Becky (the girlfriend) and Lil’ Tony end up hanging from a rope in the shed out back, held at knifepoint.  Luckily, our hero, comes to the rescue. The struggle that ensues is as exciting as you’d expect from a film where real estate debt is the motivation for murder. More importantly, we learn that Becky is an afterthought when it comes to the safety of Lil’ Tony. I can’t say I disagree. The supposedly dead killer vanishes and we cut to a scene of a cowboy hat wearing man surveying where the lake once was. Voyager plays as the man walks and as the camera shoots the dried up lake from various angles. Before the end credits roll this text appears on the screen:



SOV films are to be enjoyed with a certain level of understanding. Some of us find the lack of scripting and “family vacation tape” quality charming. Some of you will not and will probably hit me many times if you tracked down Blood Lake because of this review. I apologize for nothing.

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