Okay, image problems. For some reason, none of the discs in The Horror Collection will play on Windows Media Player, so my reviews for all six films will unfortunately be image free.
Bloodstained Romance is the B-side of the Horror Collection's first disc, the same disc that contains the terrible 'The Kiss', yet despite being very boring in many places, Boodstained Romance is a good film. But it's not good enough to save this disc's reputation from being the disappointment disc of The Horror Collection.
Bloodstained Romance is about Holden (Chris Burchette), a high school kid who sees a girl in the local library, Sadie (Cameron Wright) and he develops an obsession with her that soon turns violent...
The film starts of with a non-linear murder over the opening credits, then starts off from then on following Holden, as his grip on his sanity dwindles. Holden asks friends about Sadie, subscribes to the gym she frequents at and spies on her constantly.
Events come to a head when Holden's best friend Rolen (Keith Brown) goes looking around in Holden's house and finds a diary full of disturbing statements and whole pages repeating 'I love Sadie'; and he finds a duffel bag full of body parts. Rolen-disgusted-tries to escape, but he's caught and knocked unconscious by Holden.
After killing Rolen and a couple of other people and learning that Sadie has a boyfriend, Nick (Adam Anderson), Holden finally decides to make his move towards the girl of his fantasies...
The first thing to say about Bloodstained Romance is that Chris Burchette as Holden is GREAT in his first time role, he totally nails the part! The rest of the acting is good as well. The film had a very low budget, which shows as the film is shot on video. Though that isn't really a distraction for anyone who can get used to films shot like this. The film is very violent and while what we see isn't very convincing, it's not really meant to be given the nonexistant budget. The film's musical scoring is also good.
And a great scene is when Holden is talking to Rolen before killing him. It's very emotional and the acting from Burchette is-once again-great! Now though I have to talk about the bad...
The film has terrible lighting in many places. In these scenes, from Holden's house, to other people's houses, they are nearly pitch-black, lit only by a faint red light. This is effective in a torture scene near the film's end, but everywhere else it just makes the film hard to watch.
Another bad quality of the movie is its pacing. There are long stretches in the film where little to nothing happens, mainly in the horribly lit scenes. And when Holden makes his brutal entrance into Sadie's home, there's still over half-an-hour left of the movie. The climax is further dragged by scenes such as when Holden searches Sadie's house for saran wrap, and we see it almost in real time! This really hurts the film, as all it made me want to do was fast-forward through it. This probably would have worked a whole lot better if it was a short film-about 40 minutes, then it could have been paced better.
The film also lacks any adult characters. The film's characters are all meant to be high school students, yet we never see any parents. There are no parents at Holden's body filled house or at Sadie's house when hell breaks loose. Now I might be wrong and they might be college students or something, but I'm pretty sure that they're high school. The film is also very empty. Holden is parked by a park and he's making no attempt to hide Rolen's bloodied-up body, and when Rolen manages to escape, he runs out into a wide open space in broad daylight yet none of this is noticed.
The film also could have fared better plotwise if when Holden meets Sadie in the gym, she wasn't so kind, but what we get in the film, she says hi to Holden, makes conversation, is kind and the fact that Holden doesn't just keep talking with her and try to get to know her the normal way makes him look like a huge dumbass!
These negatives aside, Bloodstained Romance is a good film that, despite crippling problems, still manages to entertain on several points.