• Mansion of Blood



    Released by: MVD Visual
    Released on: January 26, 2016
    Director: Mike Donahue
    Cast: Gary Busey, Robert Picardo, Ray Quiroga, Sarah Alami
    Year: 2015
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    The Movie:

    To celebrate his homecoming, millionaire Mason Murphy (Ray Quiroga) holds a party on the night of a lunar eclipse. While at the party, Samantha (Sarah Alami) casts a spell in order to speak to a recently deceased boyfriend, however, her spell was not perfect and went out of control. Soon strange happenings and ghostly apparitions are haunting the mansion’s party goers. Will anyone survive the ordeal?

    I am not sure what to say about Mansion of Blood the new film from Michael Donahue. The filmmaker has directed several direct-to-DVD films over the past decade and frankly that is shocking. Mansion of Blood is completely inept. Beyond the typical trappings of a modern no-budget film, wooden acting, poor special effects, et al, Mansion of Blood suffers from a schizophrenic script courtesy of Mr. Donahue, himself. There are times when the film seems like an over-the-top farce, lampooning horror films and the characters whom inhabit them. Quiroga’s performance as Mason has to be played for laughs. His line readings are so arch and campy I simply cannot imagine any direction from Donahue other than “louder, goofier!” The appearance of an undead southern gentleman is further proof of the filmmaker’s intent at making a comedy. However, some moments, particularly death scenes, are played straight. This left me emotionally confused. My bewilderment was further enhanced by the unfunny nature of the obvious humor.

    The script’s schizophrenia is made more pronounced by the film’s nonsense plot. I outlined Mansion of Blood’s basic premise above but let me simplify it: rich guys holds party in a haunted house. That is the basic story, however there is so much going on and so many characters running around, nothing in the film made any sense. Just to mention a few of the characters and plots: there was stuff regarding a will and rightful heirs to the mansion, a nerdy guy getting dumped by a would-be girlfriend for a hunky handyman, the aforementioned southern gentlemen ghost, and two elderly women who bake arsenic laced cookies. None of these characters or storylines connect in anyway, they all just exist within the film. I continually lost track of what was happening and which characters were still alive. At one point late in the film two police offers show up for some reason, Mason does not want them in the house, again I am not sure why, so Mason brings out two prostitutes to distract them. This was the first time the prostitutes were mentioned, I guess Mason has them on retainer.

    Mansion of Blood’s big selling point, based on the cover art, is the presence of Gary Busey and Robert Picardo. Busey is a butler of some sort and is not in the film too often. His performance is one of the better ones in the film. I suppose it is sad to see a once successful actor fall this low but in Busey’s case it seems fitting. Surprisingly, this film is not the most demeaning thing Busey has appeared in recently, I would take Mansion of Blood over a commercial in which I yell at my Amazon TV Fire Stick any day of the week. Picardo is a different story. He works quite regularly making guest spots on major TV shows. I cannot understand what he is doing in the film, in a starring role no less. His performance in the film is at least professional. It is obvious he is not an amateur like so much of the cast.

    Mansion of Blood is a really bad film. To say it is poorly made is an affront to other poorly made films. At 98 minutes it is excruciatingly long. It needed to be trimmed by at least 20 minutes. This would not have been hard to do as there was so little cohesion between the various storylines.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Our friends at MVD Visual has brought Mansion of Blood to DVD with a 1.78:1 image. It looks fine. The film is of obviously low budget and the DVD’s image bears this out. The picture is not overly dark and artifact free. While this disc is not demo quality it is perfectly passable for a film of this nature.

    The audio is 2.0 stereo and it, like the video, is fine. The audio is mixed well. Dialogue is always audible and the music and special effects are noticeable but never over bearing. The disc lacks subtitles, but that is not much a problem.

    The DVD release of Mansion of Blood comes equipped with a trailer that emphasizes the film’s horror and sex content while downplaying any comedy.

    The Final World:

    I do not recommend watching Mansion of Blood. Life is too short to waste it on junk. There are better ways to spend 90+ minutes: take a walk, learn how to cook something new, talk to an old friend, read a short story. Almost anything would be better than watching Mansion of Blood