When you get an invitation to watch a film called Blood Covered Chocolate you do wonder what it might be about. First thought was a health and safety documentary about unsafe practices on the Cadbury production line. That proved to be wildly off target…quelle surprise! So what do we have then? Well, we start off with a romance, then slide into a crime drama, before another segue into the fantasy/horror genre.
Massimo (Michael Klug) and Tien (Christine Nguyen) are happy together. They are both recovering addicts supporting each other and are celebrating Massimo’s first year of sobriety. However a family meal with Massimo’s mother, Barbara (Debra Lamb), and his stepfather, Crate (Joe Altieri) breaks up the happy home. Crate suspects Tien’s motives and orders Massimo to split up from her. Oh, I forgot to mention that Crate is a local crime lord and is also Massimo’s boss.
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Before they can break up Massimo gets a visit from Sophia (Meghan Deanna Smith) who just so happens to be a shape shifting vampire. She bites him and he too turns into a vampire. Oh, as well as into a neurotic wreck. Now he has to balance his life as a low level criminal runner saddled with a handler, Gage (Mike Ferguson) and a trainee vampire; Sophie sets him up with a prostitute called Candy (Helene Udy) as his first kill.
Needless to say, things start to go wrong. Quite startlingly wrong for some of those involved! Massimo’s newly found vampiric abilities start to distort his influence within the criminal underworld. He also finds complications arising within the relationships between himself, his mother, Sophie, and Tien. Throw in various handlers, whores, and a Malay nocturnal, vampiric entity called a Penanggalan! Quite the party!
All in all, Blood Covered Chocolate was a highly entertaining way to spend a little over an hour and twenty minutes. The flyer that came with it described it as an homage to Nosferatu. Is that an overblown piece of hyperbole? Not really. Director Monte Light has made some knowing nods to German expressionist cinema; extreme camera tilting and high angles, deep shadows and chiaroscuro lighting, and the exaggerated, distorted mise en scene are all there to be found.
Where I’d take exception is in the comparison with Nosferatu. While there are occasional shots which are desperately reminiscent of that particular film. I would argue though, that the 1920’s German expressionist film that Blood Covered Chocolate leans more toward is The Cabinet of Dr Caligari especially with its use of the unreliable narrator. Still…if you have to be compared with some post war milestone films those two aren’t bad!
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!