Review: Pretentious serial killers of ‘Blood Brothers’ gets old fast
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.
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.
Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle Royal, West Los Angeles
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