Blood Song (1982)

BLOOD SONG (1982)
Article 3836 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-4-2012
Posting Date: 2-14-2012
Directed by Alan J. Levi
Featuring Donna Wilkes, Richard Jaeckel, Antoinette Bower
Country: USA
What it is: Psycho-killer movie

A teenage girl, recovering from a leg injury, begins having visions of a psycho having escaped from a mental institution and engaging in a series of murders. Unfortunately, everyone believes she’s just stressed out… but she’s destined to discover that these aren’t just dreams…

Given the year of this movie, I was expecting something more along the lines of a conventional slasher, and, yes, I do think there is a difference between psycho killer movies and slasher movies. For one thing, characters are usually better developed in psycho killer movies, and this one goes quite a ways in developing the heroine, so much so that you really become attached to her. There’s also an interesting love/hate relationship between her and her father (well played by Richard Jaeckel), and though it does seem extraneous at first, it sets up one of the most interesting scenes in the movie when he encounters the escaped psycho. Unfortunately, the script fumbles the character development of the psycho; he’s given a quirk (he likes to play the flute) and is given lots of psycho things to do, but he never feels like a real character and remains a hodgepodge of psychoses. Frankie Avalon does as well as he can with the character, but I’m afraid it required more acting chops than he had at his disposal. There are other touches I like in the movie; in particular, I like the way the movie sneaks in the explanation for the girl’s dreams without ever spelling it out. Unfortunately, the ending is one of those that tips the movie in the negative direction for me, because…
SPOILER
… I also believe there’s a difference between being artistically nihilistic and being just cruel and mean-spirited, and I’m afraid this one falls on the wrong side of the line.

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