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Blood Hunt (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Blood Hunt (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: June 10th, 2022.
    Director: Javier Elorrieta
    Cast: Patxi Andión, Beatriz Elorrieta, Yolanda Ventura, J.R. Martinez, Aldo Sambrell
    Year: 1986
    Purchase From Severin Films

    Blood Hunt – Movie Review:

    Directed by Javier Elorrieta and released in 1986, Blood Hunt (also known as La Noche De La Ira in its native Spain and as Night Of Rage) takes place in a picturesque, remote village somewhere in Spain. It’s the type of place that won’t serve beer at the local tavern until after Mass. Here a bearded and bespectacled doctor named Alejandro Liema (Patxi Andión), who has just split up with his wife and drinks more than he should, arrives to set up shop and soon realizes that something is a bit off in the town. It isn’t too long before he’s hit it off with a teacher named Marta (Beatriz Elorrieta, who is the director’s sister), and things don’t seem so bad. Marta teaches him of some strange local traditions, like taking pictures of dead relatives to mass where the priest preaches against retaliation and violence.

    When he comes across a clinic setup to help drug addicts get off the junk, he starts to dig around a bit only to realize that the clinic isn't a clinic at all but in fact a prison where addicts from the big city are held against their will by Fabián (Aramis Ney). He talks to Fabián and questions his methods and the armed guards on patrol only to be told that the armed guards aren’t to protect anyone from the patients, but from wolves.

    As Alejandro starts digging into the town's history, he realizes that drug addicts have been a problem in the best and that villagers were killed because of this. Since then, the locals have been keeping addicts prisoner and then, once every year, using them prey in a Most Dangerous Game styled competition led by a complete bastard named Don Gonzalo Cruz (Agustín González) and his cronies who insist that what they are doing is “rooting out evil.”

    Featuring some really impressive scenes of Peckinpah-esque slow motion gun play (at times it feels like Straw Dogs might have been an influence here) and some really solid tension in its second half, Blood Hunt doesn’t always feel like the most original picture ever made as the influence of The Most Dangerous Game is all over the film, but it is well-made and entertaining. The first major hunting scene is shot with a handheld camera and really brings you into the situation, while the rest of the picture is nicely composed and quite slick looking. The score suits the tone of the movie quite appropriately as well, and overall the production values here are good. This wasn't made with a massive budget but Elorrieta and company where obviously able to get what they needed in order to tell their story with proper impact.

    Some of the dialogue is a little odd – at one point a prostitute in the bar tells Alejandro that she can tell by his eyebrows that he’s the type of man who minds his own business – but the performances are, overall, rock solid. Patxi Andión makes for a pretty decent hero, he comes across as likeable and intelligent enough that we have no trouble buying him in the role. Aramis Ney is appropriately weird as the man who runs the clinic, we know something is up with him right from the start and he’s fun to watch in his part. Beatriz Elorrieta also does good work in her supporting part. It is, however, Agustín González, who looks like a cross between Eli Wallach and Ted Cruz, who steals the show as the film’s primary heavy. Watching him throw his weight around and chew a bit of scenery is a treat and he winds up stealing most of the scenes that he’s involved with.

    Blood Hunt – Blu-ray Review:

    Severin's AVC encoded 1080p high definition reissue of Blood Hunt, which is framed at 1.66.1 widescreen and uses up 30.4GBs of space on the 50GB disc, looks really good. There are some small white specks here and there throughout most of the movie but overall the picture is pretty clean. Colors are reproduced really nicely, they are nice and bright without looking boosted. Black levels are also pretty strong. Skin tones also look good. The image appears free of any excessive noise reduction or edge enhancement problems and compression artifacts aren’t ever an issue. All in all, this looks quite strong.

    The 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono audio, presented in Spanish with optional English subtitles, sounds just fine. There aren’t any issues with any hiss or distortion and the levels are properly balanced. Gun shots pack a nice punch and the score sounds very good.

    The main extra on the disc is a featurette called Night Of Rage, which is an twenty minute interview with director Javier Elorrieta who talks about making this, his second film, based on a story he wrote. He talks about getting the project moving, having his story turned into a proper script, a novel he's making based on the same story, whether or not he was influenced by any specific films, the locations used for the movie, financing the film, getting the film distributed by Izaro Films, how the film was received, how the movie serves as an argument against violence, how his work in the advertising industry helped him make the movie, the editing style employed, working with the different cast members, the influence of his father on his career, the effects work, making movies for an international market and the music used in the film.

    Outside of that, we get a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options.

    Blood Hunt – The Final Word:

    Blood Hunt is good stuff, a tense and well-made thriller absolutely worth checking out thanks to strong direction and some very good performances. Severin’s Blu-ray release offers up this lesser seen Spanish genre picture in nice shape and with an interesting interview with its director as the main extra on the disc.


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