This installment of Full Moon Fever was suggested by Chaybee Barber (@brahmofficial). Thanks, Chaybee!
After 30 years of producing and directing low-budget cult movies first as Empire Pictures and then as Full Moon Entertainment, Charles Band was looking to change things up in the early 2000s. The decreasing potential for making independent movies with any kind of budget and the viability of shooting on DV was changing the industry, so Band, ever the adaptive survivor, decided to change along with it. In 2002, he put an end to Full Moon Entertainment and relaunched it as Shadow Films, a new and arguably more "respectable" label that would release genre films that more closely resembled what was popular in the mainstream at the time. The Shadow Films experiment lasted only two years and four movies, and by January of 2004 the Full Moon Pictures moniker had returned. Everything was back as it should be.
Two men are leaving a costume party dressed in drag. One is killed as he approaches his car. His girlfriend, waiting for him naked at home (and played by Julie Strain in a topless cameo), is murdered as well. Credits! We're off and running.
From its generic title to its washed-out, looks-like-video photography to its sometimes questionable aesthetics (the locations and production design range from boring and nondescript to comically inept; one character's apartment is so clearly not where that guy would live that it becomes funny at a point that we shouldn't be taken out of the movie), there is a lot to nitpick with Bleed. I'm not really interested in talking about the ways it might not work. The internet has plenty of places to read lists of grievances. I'm more interested in talking about Bleed's position in the history of Full Moon or the things it does that are different or interesting. That's what makes these articles worth reading, right? Trick question! These articles are not worth reading.
Crank's Neveldine/Taylor), in which a bunch of med students form a club to kill people and disguise it as natural causes. See? The influence of Bleed reaches far and wide.
As much as I enjoyed my time with Bleed both as a historical curiosity and as a way of spending another 90 minutes with Debbie Rochon, I have to admit that it's an experiment I'm happy to see was short-lived. You may not love the kinds of movies that Full Moon makes, but at least they're their movies; the idea of the company denying its distinct personality and trying to copy something more popular -- and, to be honest, more bland -- just doesn't appeal to me. Bleed feels commonplace by design, having been engineered at the behest of a corporate entity with a vested interest in movies that feel commonplace and corporate. That's not Full Moon. Maybe not every low-budget killer doll movie is a classic, but there's no one else that makes movies like them.