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|Index||23 reviews in total|
The film centres around Jack, a photographer who lost his faith three
years ago when his wife went mad and disappeared, without her his
talent for art has gone too and he makes a living taking naked pictures
of women for a website called 2ndcumming ( a play on words as we
discover later). Jack finds himself in possession of the holy grail,
which it is believed that any who look upon it will die, however he
appears to be immune to it's powers, but nothing is what it seems in
this excellent horror/thriller.
The movie is very slow, and is all the better for it, do not expect fast paced action and buckets of blood in this one! The start of the movie reminded me of a Lynch film as the dialogue and actions of the characters is slow and methodical, the whole film has a Lynch like feel to it and moves along as if we are getting nowhere, even the climax of the film is no Hollywood wham bam explosive type ending. The characters in the film all pretty much have something to do with the plot, there are very few incidental characters and the acting whilst a little wooden at times, keeps well in time with the pace of the movie, especially good as it is a cast of unknowns. Clearly influenced by some of the more creepy Japanese horrors that have come out in recent years, this relies heavily on chills and fear to give it it's edge, I was honestly shocked to see such a film coming from America. Throughout the film I was genuinely spooked and on edge, no particular jump out of your seat moments but the atmosphere of the movie keeps you unnerved throughout.
I highly recommend this if you don't mind your films slow and steady, do not expect the pace to pick up to Hollywood action speed at any point, this is a movie about atmosphere and emotion. A good American film for those who prefer the chills of Japanese horror movies and are looking for something a little more then blood and guts.
Jack Fender is an ex-erotica photographer and current porn
photographer. He is chosen by God to be the protector of the Holy
Grail. He is a man who had lost his will to make erotic art photographs
and his faith in God years ago due to the death of his wife, Tina. He
must regain his faith in God and also protect the Holy Grail from evil
people who want it.
This movie was slow burn horror that gets pretty brutal and nasty towards the end. I thought it was well made for such a limited budget ($450,000). The slow build nature of this film makes it extremely interesting and does a great job building tension. This was a movie that had me sucked in from the start. The ending was a little weak, but it did a good job in tying everything together. This was a good gore, pretty cool looking living dead, and a little nudity thrown in for good measure.
Overall, it was a nice little direct-to-video flick that could be a sleeper to watch. It is my second favorite direct-to-video title of the year behind Dead Meat.
I was lucky enough to attend the Chicago premiere of this spooky epic
and it really delivered the goods. Director/Writer Lance Catania has
rewoven the elements of the horror genre into a commentary on modern
society and the power/creepiness of religion. Plus it has some saucy
gore and sex!
Pornographer Jack Fender (Daniel Patrick Sullivan) has accidentally(?) come into possession of a religious icon. Within his wacky, underground world he must come to understand why he must, by any means, protect the icon. Looking to separate him from his holy possession are a strange group of brutally surreal characters. Jack, while trying to figure out why he was chosen, also is in the unenviable position of not being able to trust anyone.
Catania has a way with an intriguing story, plus he displays a love for the "money shots" of the blood, guts and flesh. Playing like a tragi-comic opera, the broad scope of Fender's predicament also allows for the occasional (and sometimes nervous) laughter. As a director/writer of this original story (shot on location in Chicago), Catania displays a passion for the subject in every frame. But even through the exploration of his interesting and complex themes, he never forgets the reason why horror films have their wild appeal (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
Satan, may I have the next dance?
Rating ***1/2 stars
The lonely artist Jack Fender (Daniel Patrick Sullivan) still grieves
the death of his beloved lover Tina (Allie Smith) three years ago. He
lost his inspiration and his faith on God and presently he is taking
pornographic pictures for the mobster Sparky (Roger Anderson) and his
partner Limpy (Laurence Skorniak) for a pornographic site managed by
Nibbles (Circus-Szalewski) and Scooter (Quiana Whittler) under the
protest of his agent and friend Alex (Lance Mulvaney). When Jack
witnesses a car accident in his neighborhood, the wounded passenger
gives a box to Jack, asking him to protect and never open it, and he
discovers that he is protecting the Holy Graal. From this moment on,
weird things happen to Jack, having visions, nightmares and the
permanent sensation that strangers are watching him. While swimming
late night in a club, Jack meets the sexy Iona (Janina Gavankar) and
his inspiration returns but he finds also the hidden reality.
"Cup of My Blood" is a weird and atmospheric horror movie, developed in low pace and building mystery and tension with great potential wasted with an illogical and frustrating ending, where no one and nothing are like seem to be. The Protector, who defines himself as a pornographer, murderer and saint, is completely incoherent for his holy mission. The truth about the characters does not make clear which side each one is (good or evil?), and the last scene seventy-seven years later is unnecessary and quite non-sense. Anyway this movie has an original story disclosed in an intriguing screenplay and deserves to be watched at least once. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Taça de Sangue" ("Glass of Blood")
This movie will offend many Christians. However, I do not think that is
the reason it was made, though I am sure Lance Catania knew it was
inevitable. Here we have a new approach to the Holy Grail myth. This
one is not so pure as those of the past, such as 'Indian Jones, The
Last Crusade.' This movie mixes religious icons and chosen protectors
of the Grail, with sex and murder. Many Christians, especially
fundamentalists, will be deeply offended and denounce that as a Satanic
I am a pretty conservative Christian myself, but not only am I not offended, but this movie made me think about the nature of good and evil. Jack, the chosen protector of the Grail, does not believe he is worthy. Well, he is right about that, but that is not why he is chosen. He is a capable man, a man who can withstand trial and tribulation. He is also capable of doing things that good Christians could not, mainly murder. Therefore, he is chosen. The grail must be protected by someone who is mighty in this world, not the next.
Here is my theological conclusion, and I think this is what the writer was going for. God has given us free will, and most of us use it to serve ourselves. Therefore, the world is full of sexual sin, murder, theft, and all manner of iniquity. Of course God could change that, but God will not violate free will. Therefore, God's servants on earth, to accomplish there goals, must be willing to do worldly things. If we all live perfect, righteous lifestyles, we will be helpless in this world. That is fine, because Heaven awaits. However, we have things to accomplish here. I guess what I am saying is, the message of this movie is not one of blasphemy, but one of realism. The world is what it is.
I don't know if I am right or not, but certainly this movie was written to challenge the norms of contemporary Christian beliefs and make us think. It certainly did that for me.
Now, as a horror movie (here comes the sleaze), this movie was good but not great. It had its bloody scenes, but nothing shocking. It had the beautiful seductress, Iona, (She's hot) but its been done. I think Angelique in 'Hellraiser, Bloodlines' was a better seductress. This has more to do with the script than the actress, however. I gave the movie an 8 out of 10. This movie isn't bloody enough to impress those who like blood and sex simultaneously. As a horror movie, it is mediocre and I would not recommend this as a first choice. But, if you've seen all the other latest horror films, than you may as well watch this one too.
The entire story was so confusing and illogical that at one time in the
film I just decided to stop trying to understand it. Enough said, there
is a Holy Grail, a special breed of people that can see the Grail and
not die called Protectors, some weirdos that want to help the
Protectors (let's call them the Geeks) and some other weirdos that want
the Grail for some unholy business. They all kind of shoot each other,
full of Faith and all.
The beginning is pretty well done, with tensionate soundtrack and graphical to gory moments. But it just continues like that. There is no sense of anything after a while. After really dumb dialogues and scenes, where even the girls that come to pose for porn sites look bad, the whole thing degenerates into a mindless bloodbath. Lots of fake blood and then, the end. A final scene that shows what is going on after 77 years. Why 77? What was the purpose of the movie? No answer, really.
Conclusion: almost bad and totally boring.
When Jack Fender (Daniel Patrick Sullivan) - former photographer turned
pornographer - witnesses a car accident, the dying passenger charges
him with a task: take care of the box she's carrying. Don't look at
what's within and keep it safe. Jack takes the box and is soon haunted
by strange dreams, weird visions and a feeling of acute paranoia. And
rightly so, as the box contains the Holy Grail and there are forces who
will go to great lengths to get their hands upon it...
Imagine if David Lynch was Japanese and he'd directed The Ninth Gate.
That's probably the best way to describe "Cup of My Blood," a creepy, atmospheric supernatural thriller that delivers some very well-timed shocks, has a great sense of dread, features some nice "in-camera" SFX (ala Jacob's Ladder) and some very well executed (no pun intended) gore scenes, which, although not hugely visceral, are enough to keep schlock fans happy without offending the more sensitive horror fan.
One other point to raise is the superb use of sound in this movie. Atmospheric rumbles, almost bordering on the subsonic haunt the movie's soundtrack, creating a very disturbing, eerie atmosphere of dread.
Sadly, performances are a mixed bag, with some stilted acting and - to be brutally honest - dialogue that's at best, okay and at worst, bad. Despite its faults, though, it manages to retain a great sense of dread and an interesting - if at times confusingly overplayed - plot.
Whilst the movie's basic plot is straightforward enough (providing you stick with it - just roll with the "flashbacks/intercuts," as they're explained later), but some extra backstory on a couple of characters and a clearer explanation on exactly WHY the Grail is so important (being Christ's cup aside) would have helped.
As it is, "Cup of My Blood" falls short of being a great movie. With a stronger cast, a little tightening around the edges and a little more exposition it could have been superb. As it stands, it's a solid, entertaining enough movie that I doubt will make anybody's Top Ten, but kudos to Lance Catania and crew for producing a chilling, different and interesting movie. I look forward to seeing his future work.
Lots of things going with this for Horror Buffs. Won't be on any top ten lists but in this day of Horror Drought "Flesh for the Beast" is much welcome. Plot has been outlined already (and is much more fine than some reviews suggest), there are no loose ends if one is paying attention and not locked into the elementary tale-telling of beginning, middle, end. We got your gore, we got your nudity and we got your in-your-face things. It caught the 70's feel the crew was after (check extras for that)and 70's horror is not a bad thing to aspire to. In today's glut of Not-Horror trying to pass for Horror, "Flesh for the Beast" is friendly.
Not a good "wow," regrettably. Jack is a porn photographer now, after
the death of his girl a few years back when he tossed his lucrative
photography career aside. He witnesses a car crash where he's given a
box, told to keep it safe, and to deliver it from evil; he'll know to
whom to deliver it when the time is right.
108 minutes later, salvation is yours. We're first treated to a few bits and pieces of religious history, touch on the rapture (if you want more on that, try Left Behind from 2000), some dark commentary on the direction of modern society from a guy who wires together batteries to keep The System up -- though when the power flickers, the lights and computers go dark for several seconds, then those precious batteries bring everything back up like nothing happened (no login screens, flying Windows windows or happy Mac sounds, nothing).
If you're a big fan of oodles of blood, a bit of demons and the undead tossed in for good measure, and a grail everyone wants to get their hands on (and unlike Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail, this one isn't just a beacon over the Castle Anthrax), dive in. Otherwise, there's plenty of other fish in to the sea -- toss this one back.
There's uneven and then there's this movie. The premise that the last
person you'd think should look after the Holy Grail is the one chosen
to do it...well, I've see it before.
In the first half hour, the only person I wanted to see (Tina) was dead already. The hero was like a post car-wreck Bill Pullman. The porno king kept reminding us he was acting. Limpy has a good look but not compelling enough to wait hour and eighteen minute for. And the writing was atrocious with needless amounts of exposition AFTER you know what going on. Or some heavy hand line like "I got degrees in Philosophy, Religion and Art." Hm. And this picture as RELIGIOUS themes? You must be very important to the plot. I'm sure some trailer park trash found stuff like this "real inneresting" but it made me laugh. And not in a good/bad way.
Still, the final nail in the cross...er...coffin were the innumerable audio stings faking you out. It's a valid technique but it gets dull watching and actor on the screen constantly flinching. I can almost picture the audition - "Now, there's a lot of flinching in this movie. Let's see you flinch."
Go watch God Told Me To, instead. At least that's an ambitious mess.
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