Review: ‘Blood Punch’ is a weak shot at a comedy-thriller

‘Blood Punch’

A scene from “Blood Punch.”

(Bluff Road Productions)

In the malevolently unfunny comedy-thriller “Blood Punch,” three meth cookers at a cabin in the woods find themselves in not merely a violent love triangle but a repeating nightmare of betrayal with seemingly no exit.

Chemistry whiz Milton (Milo Cawthorne) is freed from a rehab facility by siren-y Skyler (Olivia Tennet) and her psychotic cop boyfriend, Russell (Ari Boyland). Milton is to cook them a batch of meth for a big one-time score, but he soon realizes that the plan all along was for one of them not to survive. And yet the morning after, everyone’s mysteriously alive, and the bloody showdowns begin anew.

Writer Eddie Guzelian’s grindhouse-meets-"Groundhog Day” scenario is not without its clever plot turns, but his terrible faux-noir dialogue is mostly crass, witless snark, and the fresh-faced, hollow actors don’t have the scuzzy charm or fatalistic comic rhythms needed to make this material disreputably fun. (The lighting, smoking and discarding of cigarettes never looked so childlike and uncool.)

SIGN UP for the free Indie Focus movies newsletter >>


Director Madellaine Paxson, meanwhile, approaches every beat — whether comic or nasty or both — with the force of a blunt instrument, including using a jaunty plucked-strings score that suggests episodic television rather than midnight movie.


“Blood Punch.”

No MPAA rating.


Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes.

Playing: Arena, Hollywood.

Get our weekly Indie Focus newsletter