The Blood Shed is a horror-comedy about a hillbilly/cannibal family from New Jersey called the Bullions. Beefteena Bullion (director Alan Rowe Kelly) is turning 12, and her family are organising a birthday party for her. Beefteena is really an overweight old man, with Shirley Temple curls, Mary-Jane shoes, and a fashion sense derived from the 1930’s comic Little Lulu. Her brothers Hubcap and Butternut are just as messed up as Beefteena, and their pastimes include shooting squirrels, drinking beef broth and running around in bear and pig suits. Other family members include Papa Elvis Bullion and the catatonic Grandma Bullion.The Bullions are a bunch of murderous cannibals, with no morals or values.
Their only rule is ‘strangers are tops, neighbours bring cops’. Most of the film revolves around Beefteena and her encounters with the neighbourhood kids who bully her, and her plight to be a model. Beefteena signs up at a modeling agency to become the world’s next top model and all hell breaks loose when the photographers start to tease her. Her brothers and friend Sno Cakes are always around to protect her, so naturally everyone gets what is coming to them. But in the end Beefteena isn’t all that sweet and innocent…
Now, I am not a huge fan of horror-comedy or modern day indie horror, but I was quite surprised by this film. The Blood Shed should have been what Rob Zombie made instead of that piece of crap House of 100 Corpses. Any film that is about a hillbilly family immediately conjures up The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and whilst House of 1000 Corpses was nothing but a white-trash-chic rip-off of that movie, The Blood Shed brings a lot more insanity and fun to this age old movie recipe.
The script in this movie was really solid and had some funny as hell lines, such as when the local sheriff comes out to the Bullions house to question them over a missing boy and says “fuck the trial, I’m going to go Deathwish on your ass”. But the genius of the film is definitely in Beefteena, although all the other characters have their own thing going on and are funny, Beefteena is beyond lurid. I appreciated the fact that they didn’t do the obvious and exploit Papa Elvis, because the whole Elvis thing has been done far too much.
There isn’t loads of gore in this film, but there’s a few gross out scenes, including a boy being used in a game of tug o war, a rotting goat (I think), legs being sawn off and lots of other bloody scenes. Although certain props were reminiscent of House of 100 corpses such as fairy lights and dolls heads, there certainly was a lot of wacky props including Beefteena’s dead squirrel Flapjack (he is tied to a wooden plank with wheels and she wheels him around) and lots of other stuff. The opening sequence is of Beefteena and Flap Jack skipping and rolling down the street to a rockabilly song (I found this to be quite John Waters inspired – as well as the attitudes and vocal deliverances of some of the characters.)
The Blood Shed does not look like a low budget film, the colours are very vibrant and the camerawork varied, I especially liked the handheld camerawork which wasn’t nauseating and created a more realistic atmosphere. The Blood Shed is a crazy piece of trash that will give you some laughs, and maybe gross you out. For those of the horror-comedy genre, this is a must have, but for those who are not, it is a film worth seeing once, if you haven’t got anything to watch.
- Audio Commentary by Director Alan Rowe Kelly
- Actor’s Bios
- Behind the scenes montage
- Theatrical Trailer