Blood Shot is another example of a completely wasted opportunity. A vampire working as a hired assassin for a shady government agency? That idea has a lot of potential. Yet what we get is an immature film full of plot holes.
The film is apparently based on a 2002 short film by the same name (also written and directed by Dietrich Johnston and also starring Michael Bailey Smith in the lead role). It seems that Dietrich Johnston wanted to turn his promising short into a feature length film, but was struggling to enrich the plot accordingly. The end result is a film that feels experimental and in which the original premise and plot are stretched over three times the length of the original short.
Many of the connections between the characters do not make sense. We do not get an origin story for any of the characters, and are instead thrown right into the middle of the action. Which is a legitimate way to start a film, but only if you deliver the necessary information afterwards. In this case, not only are we lacking the necessary background information, the film also loses a lot of potential for excitement and suspense by revealing everything else in the first two minutes.
The film has something resembling an arc of suspense, something which many films of this sort lack, but it is not much to write home about.
The dialogue is uneven, and the funny lines that have been shoehorned in are often not funny at all and would have needed further punch-ups. In this film there is also a lot of blatant casual racism that one hopes is ironic but fears is not. And building humour on that foundation is doomed to fail.
Michael Bailey Smith’s acting is actually good, and the make-up they gave him is good as well. Brennan Elliott plays the quintessential loner cop with the broken marriage in a role so clichéd it hurts. Lance Henriksen is perfectly cast as the agency head and does an excellent job. Christopher Lambert’s president, on the other hand, is so atrocious that one can only hope for his sake that he thought he was being ironic. All the terrorists look like they come out of a particularly bad episode of a US TV police drama. There is a very thin line between funny stereotyping and racist stereotyping, and this film frequently treads on the wrong side.
Redeeming qualities? Lots of unrealistic shoot-out scenes, if you like that sort of thing, the occasional funny one-liner, and some decent score music for the closing credits. Apart from that, the only sensation you get from this film is the overwhelming feeling that a great opportunity for creating a stupid fun film has been missed.
You know how you sometimes see these films that look as if someone who is not Tarantino is trying to make a Tarantino film? This is exactly what this film feels like.
Imdb’s current rating for Blood Shot is 3.3, and it would indeed be difficult to justify any rating over 3.5 out of 10.