15th Dec2017

‘Blood Harvest’ VOD Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Robert Render, Jean-Paul Van der Velde, Griffin Madill, Alan Crawford, Liam Rowan | Written and Directed by George Clarke


When the movie opens with a masked psychopath sowing a woman’s mouth shut right before gouging her eye out with a fork, you know exactly what the next 90 minutes has in store. Blood Harvest is a gore-splattered film that grips you by the throat and yanks you around for a while.

Detective Jack Chaplain (Robert Render) is investigating a series of bizarre murders where the victims are mutilated and drained of blood. Is this the work of madmen, vampires, or something even stranger?

That’s about all you need know, which is good because that’s all you’re going to get. I couldn’t figure out what has going on through most of this movie. Detective Chaplain and his long-time partner Detective Hatcher (Jean-Paul Van der Velde) do a lot of talking, but never really say anything. Chaplain believes the murders are the work of honest-to-goodness vampires, but why would he leap to that? What supernatural events could he have seen? We never know. When Champlain is fired, the story shoots forward several months without any real indication. I always felt like I had missed something. Call me crazy, but I don’t think a movie should make the audience feel like they haven’t paid attention.

Not that a lack of information really hurts Blood Harvest. This isn’t the kind of movie you want to watch for its plot or characterization. The film moves along from one unfortunate victim to another without any reason to care about their fate. One might think this was done on purpose, as if maybe the film’s victims are mere cattle for slaughter, but I’m not going to give this movie that much credit.

For whatever it lacks in writing, this Irish gut-churner more than makes up for in its fantastic practical effect driven carnage. The constant eye gouging looks incredibly real. From sliced tendons to sutured mouths, the gore delivers on every level.

The camera work is very impressive. George Clarke has obviously read a couple books on filmmaking because his angles were unique and helped visually move along what might have otherwise been a dull film.

While I might have a bone to pick with the poorly written script, on the technical side this is a solid flick. I have heard Blood Harvest was made on a £10,000 budget. If that’s true, good on Clarke and crew of making an impressive low budget feature. I probably wouldn’t recommend this one for a date night, but I think the gore-hounds out there will thank me for some blood well spilt.

 Blood Harvest is available on VOD now from Wild Eye Releasing.


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