The Jogger & Lights, Camera, Blood (2015) Double Film Review: Must See Films for Fans of Herschell Gordon Lewis

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Keeping up with my promise to the indie filmmaker has been pretty fulfilling. I have had very good luck with the films sent to me. My next filmmaker sent me a short and a full length film for review. His name is Kevin Doherty. He is a Canadian filmmaker with great potential.

His short film, The Jogger, is about a guy that jogs. The film opens with the main character getting up at 4:15 in the morning. Already I’m sitting there thinking, damn I want to kill that guy. As he leaves his place, we see him running through the streets. As an awesome eighties hair metal influenced track plays him through his workout, I say to myself, “Well at least he listens to decent music”.

So just as the guy starts earning my respect, his workout gets interrupted by a sudden urge to stop off at a public restroom. It is here where the madness starts. Our main character is slowly mutilated by an unknown assailant as he sits in the stall. Eventually, the film comes to a climactic confrontation, in which you must watch the film to see the results. A confrontation in a bathroom stall makes the tag-line on the poster make tons of sense. From the short, you can tell that this guys has a sense of humor.

It is this sense of humor that is greatly apparent in his full-length film. It is a blood filled splatter fest influenced by the works of the great Herschell Gordon Lewis. Click read more to continue on to the review of a surprisingly well done film called Lights, Camera, Blood.

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Before you even start the movie, the poster and title scream Herschell Gordon Lewis. If you don’t know who that is, you are probably one of my younger readers, and you have some research to do. Lewis is the “Godfather of Gore”. He is responsible for splattering the decade of the sixties in blood and gore. He made low-budget films, with sub-par actors. What he lacked in budget, acting, and film quality, he made up for in brutal gore effects. He’s known for shooting scenes with bright red blood and organs being ripped from the bodies of the victims. Some of his most memorable gore scenes are also known for taking a disgustingly long time to complete. He forces the viewer to sit and wait. Wait while a murderer fishes through his victim’s open torso, pulling out every organ along the way. He also seemed to have an obsession with popping out the eyes and having his killer play with them like a child playing with his toys. He was an early exploitation filmmaker that pushed the limits of violence. His films have inspired people who do visual effects as well as directing, and he has definitely inspired Kevin Doherty.

Like Lewis, Doherty works with a small budget in making this movie. As an indie filmmaker, it is his responsibility to make the best of what he is given. I am glad to say he definitely delivers with this film. The first thing I noticed was that the movie was shot to look like it was shot on real film. This gives the picture a low quality, cheap look. This is exactly what a film of this nature needs. It makes the movie look like a Lewis film. Tarantino and Rodriguez used a similar technique in the  Grindhouse films, as they were trying to give a nod to the golden age of exploitation film making.

The acting in this film is pretty ridiculous. Some people will absolutely hate it, I dealt with it. Just like the films of Lewis, you have to get through the acting and focus on the the good stuff. That, of course, is the gore. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and you can tell everyone involved had a great time. You can also tell they have a great amount of knowledge about film history. You will see nods to Blood Feast, The Gore-Gore Girls, The Wizard of Gore, and more while watching this film. This movie is very fun to watch if you are a fan of film history. If not, you will still have tons of fun watching the actors’ comedic performances and cringing at the beautiful gore effects.

Now some of the practical effects people may not like this film, because the gore is pretty silly at times. It doesn’t have the disgusting realism that the August Underground trilogy has, but that is because it is a different movie. This is not a gore film that is necessarily supposed to make you disturbed. It is supposed to make you laugh, while squirming around with minimal discomfort. The practical effects people today owe their careers to people like Lewis, and Doherty definitely recognizes this.

Aside from gore effects and acting, this film even looks and sounds like a genuine film from the sixties. The settings look old and the costumes look really old. The actors even use goofy old-fashioned accents that really take you back to that time period. Now don’t let this frighten you if you are a younger viewer. Many people born in the nineties and later probably don’t feel the need to watch anything much more than ten years older than themselves. Well I was born in 1983, and I love films from the sixties and seventies. There is nothing wrong with looking back at where your favorite current films came from. Besides, eventually you will get tired of this pop culture crap and decide to take it back to its roots. I did, and apparently so did Kevin Doherty.

So if you want to see a great throwback film, check this one out. It even has some lessons to teach us about the cutthroat world of film making. The main characters, after all, go down their dark and murderous path because of the high pressure world and competitive nature of making movies. It is only when they decide to take their craft too far, that they begin to find success.

Check out the films of Kevin Doherty at http://www.kevindohertyfilms.ca and stay dead-ucated.

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