Kelly and I were about seven hours into XLRatr Media’s new film Blood Money (on their “Turbo” vanity marque, no less) when I picked up the box and realized the film was only 108 minutes long. I suffered through all 108 of them and I still couldn’t tell you anything about the plot or much of anything that occurred of any substance. A hazy mess of cheap After Effects compositions, gun fights, and genuinely ugly and unlikable protagonists, Blood Money is exactly where your money doesn’t need to go.
It seems fitting that Blood Money has the same structure as a bowl of soup (the bowl being the fact that it comes on a disc and eventually ends) because it spends so much time passing over expensive yachts owned by drug lords sailing between various ports of call. In the first ten minutes, we’re shown a strip club, a private room in which big burly men with guns do business, namely with drugs, and we wind up in a gun fight. The next ten minutes are the same way. As are the following ten and the ten after that. Rapper Pitbull is even in the film for a time early on, but as soon as we leave Miami to ping pong between Sydney and Hong Kong. Nothing in this movie makes any sense. Meanwhile, Zhou, our Chinese protagonist, has family involved with these syndicates and shows up to kill a bunch of people early on with CGI metal pins. He shows up again halfway through the film to kill more people and then have sex with his boss’s sister? I don’t know. He tries to sound grim in a Batman way, but it’s nothing short of bizarre coming through his heavily-accented English.
The photography is pretty, though. I posed to Kelly that the director of a Pitbull music video was probably recruited to film an entire movie with Pitbull in it, which would make sense if Pitbull were in it after the first ten minutes. Every time the film cuts, we’re granted animated title cards that both display and erase the current location. A club scene early on depicts ‘CLUB DOUCHEBAG, MIAMI, FLORIDA’, then as the film stops to begin the “drug negotiation”, proceeds to inform us that we are now at “CLUB DOUCHE BAG, MIAMI, FLORIDA, 7 HOURS LATER’ because we needed to know. This sounds laborious and pedantic early on, but in the half hour the film forgets to put up those title cards is when we are truly lost in what’s going on. We also get a few scenes where we’re treated to Heavy Rain-style sunglasses, which remind me how awesome Google Glasses will be, but hopefully won’t include as much flashy unnecessary garbage as we see here. Also: every ‘crash through glass scene’ looks exactly like the bad CGI you’d get in an original PlayStation game.
Speaking of hand-to-hand combat, it looks like a rehearsal that someone decided to roll camera on. None of the impacts look real and all the reactions look terrible. That’s probably why they shoot so many people in this movie. On top of that, there’s weird audio issues. Zhou walks around a club and it’s almost silent. What little music plays reminds us that the whole sequence was shot without music while a boombox plays in the background. I bet if you listened even closer, you could hear the director leading the actors. “Okay, dance more! Yes, do that cocaine! Yes, be more violent about it!”
And then there’s something about Colombians having the best coke and Zhou doing drugs and stopping a rape and…
Look, just don’t watch this movie.