The Merits of Sin: Blood Beat (1983) (USA)

Liam Gallagher once sang “Back beat. Word is on the street that the fire in your heart is out.” If he had said “Blood Beat” I would still be writing he and his brother hate mail. Blood Beat’s heart is burning with fire. The kind of fire brought about by a handle of cheap whiskey and a couple bumps of booger sugar. As it is, Oasis never made my shit list and Blood Beat never became “that one movie the Gallagher brothers sang about.” Is anybody better off? Does this opening paragraph make any sense? Welcome to the wonderful world of Blood Beat!

Christmas has come to Wisconsin. More importantly, orgasm inducing samurai-ghost murders have made the trip as well. Ted, his sister Dolly and his girlfriend Sarah have all made the journey home. His painter mother Cathy and her bearded boyfriend Gary are playing host. We first meet the epically bearded Gary as he bow hunts a deer. Sarah meets Gary as he guts the main ingredient of deer stew. Failed bloody handshakes and general holiday excitement take a back seat to mom’s obvious disdain for Sarah. Something is going on and judging by the looks mom gives Sarah its either psychic tension or severe constipation. Based on all the blue and orange optical effects that eventually manifest, it is the former. Although, I’ve never had severe constipation, so I may be wrong.

I am all that is man…I am Gary!

Things play out exactly as you would expect them to during a dreary Wisconsin winter. Ted tries, for what seems like an eternity, to bang Sarah when she’s settling in to the guest room, Cathy goes super creepy and psychically watches her son try to bang Sarah, ma’s hands become possessed, those orange and blue optical effects make an appearance and Ted shows off his rifle around the old Christmas tree. Just your usual winter in the Badger State.

The cracks begin to widen when Sarah finds a samurai helmet in her bedroom. Her curiosity turns to fear when it magically vanishes from the room. It turns out she is, much like mom, psychic. The fragile reality of this film slowly unravels. Up to this point Blood Beat has been slightly off. It drags a little as it moves along. You figure on it being a weird little film that gave it’s best yet failed to entertain. Then a displaced Chicago Bears Superfan looking man shows up. Buckle your safety belt, all hell is about break loose.

Hurricane Ditka got nothin’ on Blood Beat

The appearance of the superfan is the catalyst to the awesomeness of Blood Beat. He shows up and so does the blue light radiating samurai-ghost. The phantom attacks him. He runs and jumps through a window in SLOW MOTION! His death causes Sarah to have multiple orgasms. How is she connected to the blue light spectre? Fuck if I know! All I know is we just witnessed the first ever masturbation triggered ghost samurai attack in Wisconsin history. Blood Beat deserves every accolade because of this fact.

After that little segment of Heaven passes you can just sit back and enjoy the brain meltingly confusing climax. More murders trigger more Sarah orgasms, the kitchen attacks Gary with food and a can of TAB, EVERYONE IS PSYCHIC,  good magic and evil magic clash, stock footage roles and fucking LASERS happen! When the credits finally hit, the best thing to do is scoop up your brains and get on with your life. Don’t dwell on Blood Beat. Don’t look for answers. That will only lead to nosebleeds. Just  let it be.

Gary said it best: “Even the good old boys get fed up.” And if that is the one discernible lesson you can take from Blood Beat, then I think we’ll be more appreciative people. It’s also possible this movie broke my brain and I’m just a rambling idiot. Perhaps we’re all better off. 8/10


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