Written & Directed by: #MattiSoikkeli
Short Film Review by #ChrisBuick
Sick and tired of taking all the risk for little reward, two neo-nazi gangsters (Laasko and Rajakangas) decide to hijack the deal of another drug dealer (Soikkeli) in order to make a quick and easy cash grab. After making off with the merchandise, they hide out back at base to enjoy some of the spoils before selling it on, unaware however that their victim is hot on their heels for revenge.
The well of films in the gangster genre isn’t exactly running dry. Thirty seconds on any of the streaming platforms trawling through some of the egregiously violent titles on offer will confirm that. But with some fresh ideas, captivating characters, eye-catching action and a great deal of passion, it is still a genre capable of producing some true gems in a sea of mediocrity.
Blood for Blood unfortunately, is not quite one such gem.
Running at just over ten minutes, Blood for Blood admittedly has a lot to try and do in such a short space of time, never mind also dealing with obvious budget restrictions on top of that. Unlike some of the aforementioned and inexcusable catalogue fillers blessed with more time and deeper pockets, this #shortfilm could have arguably been granted some leniency when highlighting its shortcomings if it weren’t so frustrating in how much it blatantly and unapologetically wastes what little time it does have.
The film seems to have completely misjudged where its point of focus should be. Granted the attempt at creating a decent sense of backstory for him is feeble at best, but Soikkeli’s dealer, a man apparently running drugs in order to support his wife and baby and very close to walking away from that life for good, makes for a far more intriguing story than what we actually get, which is far too much time suffering in the company of our two neo-nazi delinquents whose inane dialogue is not in the least bit interesting. There is also the matter of the one big elephant in the room, which is why these two are established as supremacists in the first place? The film never actually establishes any context or justification for this and if the thinking was simply to make sure we know these are bad guys, you don’t need to throw around swastikas and racial slurs to do it.
One might have hoped the film could somewhat redeem itself with a good old-fashioned bloodbath right at the end but sadly it's just a set up for further disappointment. Flipping from black and white to full colour for the final showdown is clearly a Kill Bill-esque attempt at making the bloody violence all the more spectacular and gruesome, but it’s so many, many miles from that. All it does instead is create a showcase of horrendously awkward fight choreography and the performances which were already choppy seem to go into another realm of hammy ridiculousness, breezing past laughable and so bad they’re good, straight on to just what the f***?
A poor story culminating in a very underwhelming finale, Blood for Blood should be just another film you scroll past on your way to something better.