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Blood & Donuts

"Blood & Donuts" has a promising premise, but this quirky Canuck feature fails to deliver on it. Andrew Rai Berzins' script attempts to combine classic horror with camp comedy in a story about a vampire stuck in an all-night doughnut shop, but helmer Holly Dale, making her feature debut after a career in docs, isn't able to juggle the two genres. Result is a jumble of a film that is short on both yuks and spooky scenes.

With:
Boya ... Gordon Currie Earl ... Justin Louis Molly ... Helene Clarkson Rita ... Fiona Reid Pierce ... Frank Moore Axel ... Hadley Kay Crime Lord ... David Cronenberg Bernie ... J. Winston Carroll

“Blood & Donuts” has a promising premise, but this quirky Canuck feature fails to deliver on it. Andrew Rai Berzins’ script attempts to combine classic horror with camp comedy in a story about a vampire stuck in an all-night doughnut shop, but helmer Holly Dale, making her feature debut after a career in docs, isn’t able to juggle the two genres. Result is a jumble of a film that is short on both yuks and spooky scenes.

Due out theatrically in Canada around Halloween, pic is unlikely to scare up much B.O. action, with a more prosperous life looming in video.

Boya (Gordon Currie), a grungy-looking vampire, has been snoozing in a garbage bag since 1969 when he’s unceremoniously awakened. He stumbles into a cab driven by Earl (Justin Louis) and checks into a fleabag hotel across the street from Bernie’s Donut Shop, where Earl hangs out because he’s infatuated with waitress Molly (Helene Clarkson).

Tame shenanigans ensue, such as Boya hungrily chasing a rat and stepping in to save Earl from two thugs who try to beat him up. His life is further complicated by a former g.f. who’s furious because he wouldn’t turn her into a vampire. David Cronenberg enlivens things as the suave, intellectual crime boss who lectures his goons on proper footwear and grammar at a neighborhood bowling alley.

Currie is endearing as the handsome, blue-eyed vampire who is uneasy with his bloodsucking role in life, but the other thesps are less successful, especially Louis, who hams it up way too much as the loser cabbie. Dale never manages to capture the right tone.

Lensing by Paul Sarossy is equally uninspired, while score by vet Canuck musician Nash the Slash adds Gothic flavor.

Blood & Donuts

(CANADIAN)

Production: A Malofilm Distribution release (in Canada) of a Daban Films production, in association with the Feature Film Project and with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Film Development Corp. and the CRB Foundation. (International sales: Malofilm Intl., Montreal.) Produced by Steven Hoban. Executive producer, Colin Brunton. Directed by Holly Dale. Screenplay, Andrew Rai Berzins. Camera (color), Paul Sarossy; editors, Stephan Fanfara, Brett C. Sullivan; music, Nash the Slash; production design, David Moe; associate producer, Stephan Fanfara, Justine Whyte. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival, Sept. 8, 1995. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: Boya ... Gordon Currie Earl ... Justin Louis Molly ... Helene Clarkson Rita ... Fiona Reid Pierce ... Frank Moore Axel ... Hadley Kay Crime Lord ... David Cronenberg Bernie ... J. Winston Carroll

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