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Blu-Ray Review: ‘Dry Blood’ (2017)

Dry Blood is another in a long line of films where an off-kilter protagonist is holed up in a remote location slowly losing their mind and plagued by what may or may not be something supernatural. That’s not a slam. After all, most stories are oft-told ones and at the end of the day, what matters most is the execution and the ingenuity with which they are told.

This particular tale revolves around a chronic drug and alcohol addict named Brian (Clint Carney). For what appears to be the umpteenth time, Brian has hit rock bottom and wishes to sober up. So what does he do? He hauls off up onto a mountain to dry himself out at a cabin that he co-owns with his ex-wife. While there, he is forced to confront his demons, some of which may or may not be malevolent spirits roaming about said cabin. He also must contend with a friend (Jaymie Valentine) who doubt his sincerity and a local deputy (Kelton Jones) who thinks he looks like a load of trouble in need of being run off.

This is where I fess up and admit to you that I largely do not care for this particular subgenre of horror. In most instances, one is forced to focus entirely on a single character’s unreliable point of view and a whole lot of insane histrionics. Dry Blood is no exception in this department, particularly when it comes to the latter. Still, there are elements of it that I really did enjoy.

For starters, I think Kelton Jones is a hoot as the sarcastic and aggressive cop. The scenes that I connected with most all seemed to involve him and/or the perpetually-irritated convenience store clerk (Robert V. Galluzzo*). These sequences are all imbue with a sardonic sense of humor that constantly had me chuckling to myself. On top of that, Dry Blood also showcases some great practical gore effects. If you are a gorehound, you are going to love the kills and maimed bodies on display here.

Almost as impressive as the film’s gore FX is how handsome this release is. I’m not talking about the audio and visual specifications either, although it does look and sound great. I’m talking about the packaging itself. Outside of boutique labels, most disc releases are slathered in terribly photoshopped artwork on both their covers and the discs themselves. This largely extends from equally lazy theatrical release artwork.

During the VHS heyday, film companies both big and small made it a point to slap enticing artwork and imagery on their releases. That is not longer commonplace, but the folks at Dread and Epic Pictures clearly still care about such things. In addition to having alternate artwork on the flipside of the sleeve (picture above), which happens to utilize my favorite poster for the film, there’s also a nice stark, yet striking image.

The same level of care has been carried over to the disc’s special features as well. In addition to delivering Dry Blood‘s teaser and full trailers, this release contains a very informative commentary track with writer/actor Clint Carney and director Kelton Jones. For those who aren’t commentary fans or simply just want more, the disc also contains a rather lengthy “making of” featurette that covers every stage of the project, from its conception to its completion. Also yes, it does cover the creation of the film’s practical effects in detail.

As I stated above, Dry Blood simply isn’t my kind of horror film. That said, between some rad death scenes and special effects make-ups, as well as a pretty stacked disc, this is a release that definitely offers plenty of bang for you buck. If the movie itself sounds like it would be right up your alley, odds are you will not be disappointed if you choose to pick this one up.

Dry Blood is an original horror film. It was directed by Kelton Jones, from a screenplay by Clint Carney. The film was produced by Clint Carney, Kelton Jones, Suzan Jones, Suza Kaminga Jones, Graham Sheldon, and Eric Tuennecke. It stars Clint Carney, Jaymie Valentine, Kelton Jones, Rin Ehlers, Graham Sheldon, Macy Johnson, and Robert V. Galluzzo.

* – Full disclosure, I am friends with Mr. Galluzzo. That said, I had absolutely no idea that he was in the film when I sat down to watch it. His appearance came as a happy surprise that turned even happier after how good he was in it!

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