6.5/10
282
10 user 6 critic

Bad Blood (1981)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 1982 (New Zealand)
During World War 2, a farmer in New Zealand murders seven people, and the police, along with local Maori trackers, hunt him in the bush country.

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

Andrew Brown (screenplay), Howard Willis (based on 'Manhunt'-the Story of Stanley Graham)
Reviews
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Thompson ... Stanley Graham
Carol Burns Carol Burns ... Dorothy Graham
Denis Lill Denis Lill ... Ted Best
Donna Akersten Donna Akersten ... Doreen Bond
Martyn Sanderson Martyn Sanderson ... Les North
Marshall Napier ... Trev Bond
Cliff Wood Cliff Wood ... Henry Growcott
David Copeland David Copeland ... George Lindsay
Ken Blackburn Ken Blackburn ... Tommo Robson
John Bach ... Bert Cropp
John Banas John Banas ... Macko Hager
John Black John Black ... Greg Hutchison
Karl Bradley Karl Bradley ... Maxi Coulson
Greg Naughton Greg Naughton ... Anker Madsen
Alan Jervis Wilks ... Ralph Frederic (as Alan Jervis)
Learn more

More Like This 

Soursweet (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Just married Hong Kong couple Chen & Lily emigrate to England, soon to become parents to a little baby boy and generally struggle through life. Chen works long days in a restaurant, while ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Sylvia Chang, Danny Dun, Jodi Long
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Bill (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is a man who's very bitter about his divorce and losing custody of his son. So, when one of his friends is being sued for divorce by his wife, so that she can ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter
The Awakening (1980)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An archeologist discovers his daughter is possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian queen. To save mankind he must destroy her.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A little league player named Chuck refuses to ever pitch again until nuclear weapons are disarmed. Basketball star "Amazing Grace" Smith follows the boy's example, and starts a trend.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Gregory Peck, Dean Alexander
Into the West (1992)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Four English women, after World War I, who are unhappy with their lives, and their time away on vacation in a beautiful Italian villa.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Alfred Molina, Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Set right after World War II, a naive teenage girl joins a shabby theatre troupe in Liverpool. During a winter production of Peter Pan, the play quickly turns into a dark metaphor for youth... See full summary »

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Georgina Cates
Pushing Tin (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A feud develops between two air traffic controllers: one cocky and determined while the other is restrained and laidback, which inevitably affects their lives.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett
Birth of a Nation (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A new teacher at a highly problematic comprehensive school feels that corporal punishment may just be inflaming the problems, and so begins to campaign against it.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Robert Stephens, Bruce Myers
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: John Mills, Joan Greenwood, Edward Chapman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Mike Newell

Photos

Edit

Storyline

During World War 2, a farmer in New Zealand murders seven people, and the police, along with local Maori trackers, hunt him in the bush country.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They could try to take his guns ... from his cold dead hands! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in the Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi Valley, where Stanley Graham and his family did actually live and where all the events occurred (shootings, manhunt). There is a memorial to the victims of Stan Graham at the location of his house. The house has been demolished. See more »

Connections

Featured in Jack Thompson Discusses 'Bad Blood' (2005) See more »

User Reviews

 
Won't Be Endorsed by the National Rifle Association
17 July 2005 | by Sturgeon54See all my reviews

Don't let the badly chosen B-movie-ish title fool you, this film is better than that. Set in rural New Zealand during the early stages of WWII in the 1940s, this film portrays the true story of Stanley Graham, a poor farmer with a wife and two kids. Unable to connect with the more well-bred surrounding community, and treated as outcasts (part of that being their own fault), he and his wife become increasingly paranoid about the bank and mortgage companies foreclosing on their small plot of land because of their ever-increasing debts. Making matters worse, the local police chief confiscates Graham's best firearm for use in the war, further enraging him and convincing him that the whole town is out to get him and his family. When the police finally do come to confiscate his land, he cracks up - killing the officers, fleeing, and becoming a fugitive in what became the biggest manhunt in New Zealand history.

The best thing about this film is its topicality, which extends far beyond the specific time and place portrayed here. There are parallels here to the cases of David Koresh and Randy Weaver here in the U.S. - two other crazed rural isolationists obsessed with firearms and perpetuators of violence when confronted by government officials. In fact, director Newell does a fine job of setting up in the beginning just how central a role firearms play in the daily life of this isolated community - they seem to be everywhere in the first few scenes, and even children play with toy guns intensely. A film like this pokes holes in the rhetoric of the NRA which says defiantly, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Well, yes, Graham is slightly nuts from the beginning, but how likely would the massacre he creates have been had he not had such easy access to the rifles, which play such a central part in his psychology? Also, it is interesting to note that Graham seems to be the kind of competent professional with a firearm that the NRA so often endorses as its core consituency, yet we don't seem him using it for any legitimate hunting purposes at all - only to kill other human beings.

Australian veteran actor Jack Thompson, as always, turns in a fine performance as Graham - totally immersing himself in the role of a cloistered-up nutcase with the us-versus-them mentality which would lead to an inevitable standoff with the outside world. Not surprisingly, he is much more adept at using his rifles than his pursuers, killing and wounding just about everyone he fires at, and creating an intense hatred in the posse organized to catch him.

Newell has done an excellent job of creating the small period details of the setting, from showing the organized women's war production to the local dance and rationing for the war in this community. Additionally, Gary Hansen's cinematography and camera-work has an exquisite feel for the New Zealand Landscape.

The major flaw is that here is a film which has traces of further ambitions beyond itself, but unfortunately did not capitalize upon them. The build-up of Graham and his wife's paranoia following real and imagined humiliations from the community in the first half is riveting. Unfortunately, the second half loses steam, as the organization of the posse and manhunt seems rather inconsequential and pedestrian. Graham supposedly became something of a folk hero to the country, but this is only hinted at by one or two lines from peripheral characters. Newell would have been wiser to expand this theme further: the pathology of Graham is definitely universal, and there are likely traces of it in any isolated rural community. That is much more interesting than an obligatory chase. However, these flaws owe more to the script than Newell's direction, which is very accomplished. Throughout the entire film, Newell's direction retains the conviction that we are witnessing important historical events unfolding. It is too bad that the script does not delve much deeper than the superficial storyline of a nutcase who kills several people and get chased by the police. Still worthwhile, though.


12 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

New Zealand | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1982 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Böses Blut See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed