Fake Blood Review: Two filmmakers investigate the topic of violence in film and inadvertently find themselves mixed up with an unsavoury criminal in documentary – Fake Blood.
Fake Blood review by Kat Hughes.
Filmmaker Rob Grant has spent years making horror films with his close friend and actor, Mike Kovac. The pair have had a small wave of success on the festival circuits with their movies Yesterday and Mon Ami; now comes their third film Fake Blood. Rather than being a straight horror this time, the pair decided to make a documentary as they look into the effect of violence in film.
The idea came around after Grant received a rather disturbing video from a fan of his previous movie Mon Ami. Mon Ami followed the escapades of two friends whose ‘get-rich-quick’ plan of kidnapping their boss’ daughter went horribly wrong after their captive accidentally died. The duo then had to work out a way of disposing of the body… The film achieved a strong and dedicated fan base, though some took things further than others. The video that Grant received mimicked a scene from Mon Ami where the two lead characters shop in a hardware store to get equipment to dispose of a body. The video talked through what tools the characters would actually need in real life. Unsettled by the video Grant and Kovac started to do research into the responsibility of filmmakers when it comes to violence.
Along the way they encounter a mysterious man, known only as John, whom once advised on a gangster film. John had made several comments to a producer during filming that the dead bodies on-screen looked nothing like the real thing. Intrigued, our filmmakers reach out to John and realise that he’s a very dangerous man and that their quest to make a good film could cost them their lives.
Fake Blood, much like its subject matter, blurs the line between fact and fiction. You never quite known whether it’s a documentary or mockumentary, and that’s part of the charm. The other compelling component is that the story is incredibly personal. It’s an exploration into the tunnel-visioned focus and determination of a filmmaker. Grant becomes so obsessed with the film that he makes reckless decisions and ultimately ruins his friendship with Kovac; the film serves as an open apology.
There’s a very real sense of peril and danger as the film progresses from light-hearted sparring in a gym, to their first meeting with ‘John’. John is an aggressive character, and at times you feel that you’re about to see either Grant or Kovac take a beating. The best documentaries are those that straddle the line between fact and fiction, you get whisked away into the idea that this is actually a work of fiction; nothing in real life could ever be this strange, surely? In that regard it’s very much like Catfish, the moment where Nev arrives at the farmhouse late at night still makes my blood run cold. Fake Blood has a couple of these type of moments too.
Fake Blood is a wonderful blend of documentary and thriller, and will leave you questioning how much is true. Definitely one to exercise the brain cells, and will certainly spark post-screening debates.
Fake Blood review by Kat Hughes, October 2017.
Fake Blood is currently playing as part of the Grimmfest programme.