“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”
I’m sure filmmaker Jared Masters can understand that now. He wrote as well as directed BALLET OF BLOOD, aka BALLERINA MASSACRE, and I’m sure he envisioned something profound and deep and multi-layered that might win awards and acclaim, something akin to BLACK SWAN.
Alas, his reach exceeded his grasp, like a child desperate to sneak a copy of BIG JUGGS off the top shelf in the convenience store and stick it in his Spider-Man backpack.
What’s BALLET OF BLOOD about? It’s about ballet. Lots of ballet. You get lots of ballet music and scenes of ballet dancers dancing. It’s also about blood. Lots of blood. Well, what looks like strawberry syrup, anyway. A ballet school’s prima ballerina (Mindy Robinson) gets shot in the tit by fellow dancer Nisa (Sydney Raye), who escapes and is on the run. Nisa’s friend Ria (Jessica Knopf) is locked up, suspected of being a part of the shooting, a suspicion that eventually comes true when she breaks out, meets up again with Nisa and ends up assisting her in attacking the school again, this time with a samurai sword as well as an Uzi submachine gun.
Meanwhile, someone named Maren (Marla Martinez) is writing a novel based on these events, but somehow the writing of this is affecting reality as they’re seeing it. Or something like that; it was tough to follow with all the crap .
If that little synopsis above (which I snatched from IMDB and adapted because I’m feeling lazy) makes it sound more interesting than it was, I apologise. There’s scenes of nude women doing ballet and sitting in the bath together as well, but if that makes it sound more interesting than it is, I apologise for that, too.
Here’s the thing about this movie: there are bits in it that have promise, snippets of dialogue I picked up, themes such as body shaming and metanarratives, symbolism such as the marionettes, and shots of the dancing that actually show the glimmer of something that could have been watchable. But Jared Masters shoots himself in the foot by: a) having really shitty production values. Had this been some attempt to replicate the feel of a crappy 80s VHS tape, I’d have understood, but I didn’t get that impression. Dialogue drifted in and out worse than a conversation between Charlie Manson and Charlie Sheen.
And b) having really shitty actresses. If you’re gonna try at something highbrow, you don’t recruit women better equipped for THE COED AND THE ZOMBIE STONER or the detritus that Michelle Bauer spurts out. They’re at the level where they can read the lines, but damn you if you think they’re gonna emote.
It’s not their fault; if you stick a box of kittens in a piano, you can’t yell at them if they don’t play Beethoven. There are shots of girls who can actually dance, but they tend not to be those with speaking roles (the dancers also look like girls who would actually be at a dance school, as opposed to these silicone smugglers quickly approaching Last Day and their turn on Carousel).
And if you’re looking for gore and violence and such, forget it; there are shots of blood being poured over girls, and someone miming smacking someone over the head with a pole, and doing it with all the believability of Corey Feldman playing a street thug. Rarely has the trope of a movie not matching the promise of its poster ever been expressed than here.
BALLET OF BLOOD is sitting somewhere clogging up shelves and bandwidths. The trailer is below if you want a laugh.
Director: Jared Martin (also writer)
Plot: 1 out of 5 stars
Gore: 2 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Deggsy: worst thing in tights since Adam West…