Plot: What’s it about?
Freya (Jane March) is the princess of a clan of Vikings, a beautiful woman who is coveted by countless men, but one more than others. Sven (William Gregory Lee) has wanted her affections for some time, but she has always brushed off his advances. But when her father King Thorsson (Greg Melville-Smith) puts himself in harm’s way, she takes desperate actions. Her father has decided to venture to an island known to be the home of a vicious beast, one he feels must be taken out. As he is old and not the warrior he once was, Freya is worried for her father and decides to make sure he returns in one piece. She tells Sven that if he is able to bring back Thorsson alive and well, she will be his bride. But the trek to the island takes some unexpected turns, mainly that Thorsson is taken prisoner by the beast, while Sven demands his marriage. When Freya ventures to the island, she faces unknown danger, but what else will she find?
The artwork for Blood of Beasts leads us to think this might be an “all new feature film” in the same vein as The Lord of the Rings. After all, the title font is about the same, as is the color scheme and the basic visual layout, but in the end, it is all slick promotion. Blood of Beasts is a 2003 movie also known as Beauty and the Beast, a title that should ring a bell or two. This is a retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, set in the time of the Vikings. The concept seems to hold some potential, but don’t think for a second Blood of Beasts is an epic that has been overlooked. There is a reason the movie has been shelved for two years and that reason is simple, this is a bad movie. Jane March leads an atrocious parade of performances, none of which are even passable and most of which are quite laughable. I can’t recommend Blood of Beasts in good faith, unless you’re just a sucker for the source tale, then a rental is suggested.
Video: How does it look?
Blood of Beasts is presented in full frame. I have no idea if this is the intended aspect ratio, but even if it is, the movie looks less than impressive. The image is decent, but has numerous flaws and just doesn’t measure up to what we’ve come to expect. I was surprised to see visuals that were soft and even fuzzy at times, given that this was produced only two years back. But the print shows more grain than I expected, which causes these woes and really disrupts the visual presence. This is just a lackluster visual treatment, as I’ve said time and again, even bad movies deserve to look good.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option provides a solid audio experience, but doesn’t pack as much punch as I anticipated. The film’s music makes good use of the surround channels, as do the somewhat sparse sound effects. A few scenes really light up the system, but there’s much less audio presence than you’d expect from this kind of material. I don’t fault this sound mix though, as the material just never pushes the action too much. The dialogue is sharp and crisp at all times as well, no problems to discuss here. This disc also includes subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s trailer.