Run time: 96 min
Genres: Horror | Thriller
Director: Eric Wostenberg
Writers: David Nahmod
Stars: Travis Van Winkle, Tricia Helfer, Stephen Bogaert
A couple of college students decide to sign up for pharmaceutical testing of a new allergy drug to make some extra cash for their spring break trip. They quickly discover their two week stay will not be as easy as they first believed and fight to save themselves from the grips of the facility. Written by Anonymous
Country: USA, Canada
Release Date: 10 May 2012 (Netherlands)
A bunch of people sign on for a clinical drug trial at a sealed facility. The test has some strange rules, and still stranger things happen as the test subjects begin to learn what the drug does.
The story relies fundamentally on what anyone who knows anything about anthropology will tell you is some pretty pretentious (ie. flawed) science, but this is only in your face for a short monologue towards the middle of the film.
I felt inclined to forgive that and other sub-par dramatic moments in favor of the quality sets, props, and cinematography, along with a multitude of nicely executed action/horror scenes sporting convincing gore and other effects that clearly were the focus of this endeavor (save for one decapitation scene that was very difficult to take seriously).
Eric Roberts just provides a prop cameo. Also note the IMDb cast list (as of this review) is missing some entries, notably Tamara Feldman.
Two incredibly stereotypical college buddies (one carefree party-animal and one responsible party-pooper) seek a method to earn fast & easy cash and stumble upon an ad for pharmaceutical guinea pigs. After carefully verifying that nobody will put any tubes up their rectums (because, apparently, that's the only unacceptable condition), they sign up for a two weeks stay at a medical facility and agree with the terms that they cannot have any contact with the outside world and swallow whatever medication Dr. Wilcox and her team prescribes them. Several indicators prove that the testing of Ravenix' new drug isn't kosher, like the decaying state of the hospital facility and the lack of medical staff involved, but the new drug appears to show off positive results immediately. The recovery ratio in case of illnesses and the healing processes in case of physical wounds increase at phenomenal speed and, after a few days, it even occurs that cutting wounds heal instantly. But, like usually the issue with new medicines, the side effects and shortcomings are quite extreme. Most notable is the fact that the human lab rabbits become completely inadvertent to all kind of emotions. And, of course, what to do in case of urgent surgery when the body can't be incised? I watched "Bloodwork" at the annual Brussels Festival of Fantastic Films, where it got promoted as a state-of-the-art and innovative thriller. This isn't quite correct, unfortunately, as far too often the film comes across as derivative and mundane, but it's nonetheless a very entertaining thriller with a handful of original aspects and occasional flashes of sheer suspense. Particularly the unfolding of the drug's side effects is adequately demonstrated. We initially witness how the group indifferently reacts to a rotting animal's carcass in the cafeteria and you actually wonder why they're not repulsed. A little while later, there's even a couple having sex in a cockroach-infested room and remain unbothered. Regretfully however, after a fairly solid and plausible middle-section, "Bloodwork" rapidly descends into a bad spiral of dull clichés and routines. Obviously the project supervisor will stop at nothing to continue the experiments and naturally the tests are all part of a secret government scheme led by one political big shot. None other than Eric Roberts civilized übervillain #1 makes a less than 2 minute cameo appearance for this part and presumably also received the largest paycheck. But still, if you manage to switch off your brain functions and look passed all these hopelessly annoying defaults, you'll find a worthwhile thriller perfectly suitable for a lazy Saturday evening in a comfortable couch. As said, the film contains a few admirable ideas and highlight sequences, the motivated acting performances from the ensemble cast are much better than the routine script deserves and supportive actress Mircea Monroe demonstrates that she has beautiful breasts.
Now how many horror films have had a basis as this, two friends think they will make a fast buck upon volunteering to become lab rats supposedly for some allergy drug and they will be living there for a two week period. Well we the viewer know that it's got nothing to do with allergies. The testing goes from good to bad to horribly wrong pretty fast for our main character's actually there is a point in the film where you really didn't know much about anything, the characters, the drugs, the anything, so damn cliché at every corner. Of coarse obviously this was all run by the government as every other genre film is. Also every time this extreme drug testing takes place it ends up turning everyone into *spoiler* in the end I'm sure you know what I mean, Well that's about all I can really say as far as giving the viewer an idea of what to expect, like bad acting,low budget etc. I was able to make it to the end just to see who lived or died or if everyone died. It is sort of interesting I wouldn't tell someone never to watch it, well it would depend on what time slot they were looking to fill I guess. I give it a 5
It's an interesting idea. Some people take part in a drug trial in a creepy industrial kind of building cum hospital. Of course the drug causes all manner of side effects which end up with people snout deep in gore. In the hands of a decent writer and a bunch of decent actors it might have actually worked. Sadly it has neither so it didn't.
Travis Van Winkle, who is probably a relative of Rip, provides some light relief as 'Greg' but the cast are pretty dull and boring. Even the one playing 'Johnny Depp' playing 'Captain Jack Sparrow' could not drag it above the level of DVD bargain bin '3 for £5' tripe. It does have the odd moment that could have ended up interesting but again didn't manage to capitalise on that.
The horror stuff was the usual zombie flesh eater type of thing minus the zombies or 'Walkers' as I believe zombies are now known in the USA.
Eric Roberts appears for no reason other than the DVD cover can claim to star Eric Roberts. Why? Probably because he had a gas bill to pay or something.
The ending was laughable as Eric and his 'less than' elite team come in to clean up the mess and fail miserably enabling the utterly terrifying possibility of a Bloodwork #2 likely starring Eric Roberts.
It is beyond me how these awful films even manage to make back their few thousand bucks budget but the DVD racks are full of this kind of useless waste of 90 minutes garbage. Maybe it's because the gullible film audience falls for it every time. I am embarrassed to admit I did once again.