Review: ‘Blood Appears’

Bleak portrait of a semi-psychotic Argentine family features a wacko father and son who get involved in various petty capers before they go bare-knuckle in a final act of butchery

It takes about an hour until “Blood Appears” in writer-director Pablo Fendrik’s violent sophomore feature, but when it comes, it comes in buckets. Bleak portrait of a semi-psychotic Argentine family features a wacko father and son who get involved in various petty capers before they go bare-knuckle in a final act of butchery that will prove a turn-off for any auds. Sophomore outing by Fendrik, following his 2007 Critics’ Week entry “The Mugger,” this stylized artsploitation pic should drip through a few fests prior to marginal B.O.

Narrative kicks off with an explosion of semen in plain daylight and terminates in a pool of pus and blood, both of which belong to Leandro (Nahuel Perez Biscayart), a grungy teenage drug dealer whose principal goal is to make it with a severely underage street vamp (Ailin Salas). Meanwhile, cabbie dad Arturo (Arturo Goetz) shuttles a bunch of appalling human specimens around town before he flips his lid and goes Travis Bickle on his own brethren. Blown-out colors and dizzying closeups don’t make this ketchup fest any easier to digest.

Blood Appears

Argentina-France-Germany

Production

A Magmacine (Argentina)/Acrobates Films (France)/Neue Cameo Film (Germany) production. (International sales: Coach 14, Paris.) Produced by Juan Pablo Gugliotta, Claire Lajoumard, Ole Landsjoaasen. Directed, written by Pablo Fendrik.

Crew

Camera (color), Julian Apezteguia; editor, Leandro Aste; music, Juan Ignacio Bouscaryol; production designer, Pablo Maestre. Reviewed at Cinematheque Francaise, Paris, May 7, 2008. (In Cannes Film Festival -- Critics' Week.) Spanish dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Arturo Goetz, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Guillermo Arengo, Stella Galazzi, Ailin Salas, Guadalupe Docampo, Susana Pampin.

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