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Review: Pretentious serial killers of ‘Blood Brothers’ gets old fast

Graham Denham, left, and Jon Kondelik in the movie "Blood Brothers."
(Uncork'™d Entertainment)

Jose Prendes’ arty serial-killer drama, “Blood Brothers,” is so affected that it takes about half of its running-time to adjust to what it’s trying to do. But while the movie never develops much of a point, the offbeat rhythms and exaggerated style do set it apart from run-of-the-mill genre fare.

When “Blood Brothers” does find a good groove, it’s largely because of the supporting players. Horror fan-favorites Barbara Crampton and Ken Foree have a handful of memorable scenes — the former as a bed-ridden alcoholic and the latter as a psychic detective. Hannah Levien is terrific too in dual roles, as a savvy prostitute and a sweet-natured single mother.

The film’s stars don’t come off as well, through no real fault of their own. Graham Denham and Jon Kondelik play snobby, misanthropic half-brothers who get their kicks from torturing and killing people they feel to be inferior. The actors slowly articulate overwritten lines in a cartoonish approximation of “intellectual” that quickly becomes annoying.

“Blood Brothers” mostly takes giddy pleasure in its protagonists’ antisocial violence. While hardly approving of murder, the movie does court a vibe similar to the work of David Lynch or Gregg Araki, where transgressive behavior is framed as a kind of avant-garde art.

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Prendes doesn’t have the deft touch of either of those directors — at least not yet. It’s hard to recommend “Blood Brothers,” which is mostly unpleasant and shrill. But it is unusual enough to suggest that Prendes’ next film might be better.

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‘Blood Brothers’

Not rated

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Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle Royal, West Los Angeles

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