• Deep Blood (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: April 27th, 2021.
    Director: Raffaele Donato, Joe D’Amato
    Cast: Frank Baroni, Cort McCown, Keith Kelsch, James Camp, Margareth Hanks, Tom Bernard
    Year: 1990
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    Deep Blood – Movie Review:

    Co-directed by Raffaele Donato (who may or may not have split before the production finished) and Joe D'Amato (who may or may not have come on board to finish the damn thing after Donato left) for D’Amato’s Filmirage production company and released in 1990, Deep Blood is set in an unnamed American coastal town (and actually shot on location in Florida). The introduces us to four boys who are just hanging out on the beach rocking some Beach Boys baseball caps and roasting hot dogs on an open fire. A Native American shaman of some sort arrives, spouts off some psychobabble, and the boys make a pledge to be there for one another or something like that. Then they bury their pocket knives in the sand with the shaman’s magic log.

    A few years later and those boys have grown into young men: Miki (Frank Baroni), Allan (Cort McCown credited as Allen Cort), Ben (Keith Kelsch) and Wayne (James Camp). In the time that has passed, a boy, saw his poofy-haired mother eaten by a shark with a black fin. Nothing really seems to have come of that, but it happened. Anyway, in the present day Allen is stoked to reconnect with pretty blonde Elizabeth (Margareth Hanks), which he does, but honestly nothing much comes of that either. When a shark shows up on the coast and eats very few people, the world’s sweatiest cop, Sheriff Cody (Chris Christie lookalike Tom Bernard), consults with an oceanographer who looks like Al from Home Improvements but after looking at some shark jaws and yapping a bit, nothing really comes of that.

    With seemingly no other options, some bad guys hang out near a Pizza Hut and our heroes team up with Ben’s dad to get the shark. Then a guy in a helicopter shows up and tells the dad through a megaphone that he should be ashamed of himself for some reason. Nothing much really comes of that, but the guys do at least come up with a really dumb plan to kill the shark.

    It’s odd how a movie can simultaneously be mind-numbingly dull and yet completely enthralling, but here we are. This a film that leaves you with a lot more questions than it does answers, but not in an attempt to make you think. No, this is just really shoddy writing through and through. It doesn’t help – and yet it totally does - that nobody involved in this film can act, with some of the leads (we’re looking at your Baroni) sleepwalking through the entire film and others (Kelsch, for example) chew more scenery than the sharks to swimmers. The pacing is wonky as fuck, but anytime you find yourself reaching for the fast forward button sweaty Tom Bernard will show up and wipe himself down with a rag and set everything right with the world again. Subplots are introduced that go nowhere inane dialogue is frequently spouted by people who don’t quite seem to understand what they’re saying. Stories are told about serving in Vietnam and we’re told a guy named Jimmy is dead, but we don’t know who Jimmy is or what happened to him. The movie is often quite distracted by angsty family drama and, well, nothing much comes of that, but somehow you wind up wanting to know how this is all going to play out.

    For a movie called Deep Blood, the film is, sadly, devoid of any actual deep blood. There are a couple of mildly gory shark attacks here, mostly involving frothy water and people flaying about, but the blood is almost a hot pink in color. Somehow this is fitting. It’s all set to a goofy but catchy synth score and the film is padded a goof ten to fifteen minutes by some admittedly decent underwater footage of the guys scuba diving in and around a shipwreck. It’s kind of relaxing, this footage. Shots of a shark are occasionally spliced in but we know that this shark is nowhere near the divers because the footage doesn’t match, so we don’t have to worry for their safety.

    Deep Blood – Blu-ray Review:

    Deep Blood arrives on region Blu-ray from Severin Films in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.33.1 on a 25GB disc with the feature taking up 23.4GBs of space taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative and it looks very good. Colors are nice and bright and bold, there’s plenty of garish fashions on display and the colors in those colors pop. Black levels are solid and detail is generally pretty nice, though when the action heads underwater things can understandably look a little murky. If you’ve ever been underwater you’ll understand.

    Audio options are provided in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono in your choice of English or Italian with optional subtitles provided that appear to translate the English track. Both tracks sound fine but for some reason the movie was more entertaining in English. Clarity is fine, no issues with any hiss or distortion and the levels are balanced well enough.

    Aside from menus and chapter selection, the only extra on the disc is a trailer for the feature.

    Deep Blood - The Final Word:

    Deep Blood – come for the shark, stay for the sweaty cop and sad dads. It’s an endurance test in a way, but somehow weirdly entertaining even when you realize it’s kind of dull. Thank you, Filmirage, for gifting us with this shitty Jaws rip-off, and thank you Severin Films for giving back to us in high definition on a Blu-ray disc light on extras but which provides a very nice presentation of the feature itself.

    Click on the images below for full sized Deep Blood Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Matt H.'s Avatar
      Matt H. -
      You summed this one up perfectly. It's incredible how uneventful, yet watchable, that it is.
      Like so many of D'Amato's wonderful films, it's hard to know just which audience this was made for - it's like a movie for kids that no kid would want to watch.