Prohibition era gangsters and bootleggers versus the cops, seen it before right? What if I told you these cops aren’t The Untouchables, in fact they’re corrupt as fuck, still familiar? Ok, what if the bootleggers are vampires, led by master vampire Ice-Motherfucking-T? Bet ya ain’t seen that before, and that is the basic plot of BLOODRUNNERS, the latest film from Dan Lantz (BLOODLUST ZOMBIES).
Jack Malone (Michael McFadden THE NETWORKER) is a corrupt cop making a good living off of prohibition, shaking down speakeasies and bootleggers as well as getting a piece of any other action including the local brothel, run by an old flame Rosie (Kerry McGann BANSHEE). However, the murder of a local girl is an omen for what’s to come when he and his partner attempt to shake down new gin joint Chesterfield’s and it’s owner Chesterfield (Ice-T LAW AND ORDER: SVU, LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD). As much as he and his crew like cold cash, they like warm blood even more. After an attack leaves much of the police force dead, Malone has to fight back with the help of mad priest Victor Renfield (Peter Patrikios SPLIT) and handyman Willie (Chris Boylan).
BLOODRUNNERS wants to be a gritty bad guys versus worse guys film and it does a great job of starting out that way, with both sides seeming equally nasty, only the vampirism aspect making the cops look less evil. After a shakedown attempt goes wrong and Chesterfield’s crew gets the upper hand the script tries to humanize Malone, making him more troubled than actually malicious and the film becomes a more traditional genre piece. It’s rather hard to pull this off after seeing him try to beat a confession out of an innocent man and spout off streams of racial and ethnic slurs. Having one of the vampires be responsible for a horrific event during World War 1 that helped make Malone the way he is was a nice, if somewhat far fetched, touch however.
The flashbacks to the war are done via some really weak CGI, though given the budget I suppose the film makers didn’t have much choice. If they had done more of the other effects with practical effects it would have looked a lot better. It’s not as bad as a lot of DTV films, but it’s enough to take some of the edge off.
As the villainous Chesterfield Ice-T gives a solid performance, showing considerable charisma despite his character’s nature. It would have been nice if they had used his past as a slave in his conflict with the racist cops, it could have blurred the good guy/bad guy lines even further and deepened the plot a bit more
When all is said and done BLOODRUNNERS is an easy way to kill some time. It moves at a nice clip and doesn’t get dull even, if it never reaches it’s full potential. BLOODRUNNERS will be available to rent or own globally on iTunes and Steam and across the US and Canada on iTunes, Steam, Google Play, Xbox, Playstation and various cable platforms, including Comcast, Dish, Rogers and Shaw. The DVD and Blu Ray are available for pre-order at www.bloodrunnersmovie.com