Horror

‘Bloody Bridget’ Review – A Delightfully Campy DIY Horror Film from Richard Elfman

As horror becomes more and more popular, venturing well into mainstream spaces, it’s easy to forget the genre’s underground network of films. They are far less polished, they feature no household name actors and, for the most part, they are deemed too unsavory for the general public. If that description hasn’t scared you off yet, then behold Bloody Bridget, Richard Elfman’s newest film.

Bloody Bridget concerns an ambitious but down-on-her-luck performance artist (Anastasia Elfman) who gets back at her abusers and then some. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity entails Bridget becoming a heart-eating and mythologically-brewed vampire after she meets Baron Samedi (Jean Charles), an lwa of Haitian Vodou from another realm. It’s not long before Bridget gets to take her new powers out for a test drive.

Along with the audience, Bridget finds immediate pleasure in hurting the usual suspects in her life. The chronically unfaithful boyfriend (Christian Prentice), the all-around problematic boss (Tom Ayers) and the sexual predator (Adam J. Smith) who almost got off scot-free — in each gruesome encounter with these low-lifes, Bridget gives new meaning to the phrase “rip your heart out.” It’s not all personal for Bridget, though, as she quickly becomes a patron saint for others in peril, including best friend Pepe (Marcos Mateo Ochoa) and other defenseless citizens in Van Nuys.

Bloody Bridget

Writer and director Richard Elfman “shot the film with a guerilla army of friends and fans.” This includes brother and composer Danny Elfman, whose distinct music score only maximizes the outlandish atmosphere. Bridget’s demonic exploits do run the risk of monotony after a certain point, but SOTA/FX’s practical effects enliven every gory set piece. And most importantly, something that can’t be bought is a sense of fun. Bloody Bridget maintains its levity heedless of some occasionally serious topics.

A cast can make or break a self-assembled film like this, but luckily Bloody Bridget’s actors are as committed as they are talented. Anastasia Elfman pours her entire charismatic self into Bridget, never showing signs of fatigue or unease even in intense scenes. She’s a natural at playing the underdog-turned-vampire whose disarming sense of wittiness is later enhanced by fangs and claws. Anastasia turns in an admirable performance for her demanding role. While the other actors are also driven, Daniel Dershowitz Sr. and son Daniel Dershowitz Jr. stand out in particular. They easily match the lead’s energy as a pair of joke-a-minute lawyers whose repartee swiftly endears them to the audience.

For viewers more accustomed to glossy and well-budgeted horror, Bloody Bridget will be an eye-opening experience. It has zero pretensions and delivers exactly what is promised. This highly unorthodox film has the good fortune of not being picked apart and watered down by a studio, and it never negotiates its own humor, as thorny as that may be. This is a glowing example of do-it-yourself and truly independent filmmaking where the cast and crew’s passion can be felt in every square inch. Fans of Richard Elfman’s work will have a hell of a time with the campy Bloody Bridget, however that doesn’t mean others can’t get in on the fun as well.

Bloody Bridget

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