"Silent Bloodnight ... there is no escape!" a rasping male voice breathlessly threatens in the amusingly sensational trailer for the film on this disc.

I say "threaten" because this is a film I'd never heard of until a few weeks back when Alan SGM brought it to our attention on the 'DVD News' boards - and quoted IMDb user 'murphmeister75''s hilarious observations that the film "looks like it was filmed by a horse, and edited with a potato masher" ...

Sounds like one I need to check out!

The film begins at night, with a disturbed teenage girl dancing through empty streets in her nightie, singing the "Mockingbird" nursery rhyme. With handheld camera and chiming, child-like music on the score, the introduction at least is not without promise.

The girl then stumbles across a group of teens - three boys and a girl - fresh from skinny-dipping in the local lake. While watching one of the lads fuck the naked hottie, the weird girl is accosted by the two other boys who pin against a tree and prepare to do the nasty ...

Their rape hi-jinks are curtailed by the arrival of a middle-aged psychopath in a Stetson, who proceeds to murder the youths in gory fashion. Survivors flee, and one screaming girl is witnessed by wannabe TV reporter Sabrina (Vanessa Vee), who's necking on with her fella in a nearby car.

From there, the film attempts a semblance of plot by introducing a local cop who takes on the duty of finding the missing Willy (Alexander E Fennon) at his son Jacob's (Robert Cleaner) request, and throws in a couple of near-incomprehensible flash-backs to help stretch this mess out to 83 minutes in length. Still, these do afford us the opportunity to see Vee looking fine in a skimpy bikini.

Sabrina and her unwilling hippy sidekick then hang around the sunny local creek to investigate further into the bloody killings. This allows us more opportunities to view Sabrina in next-to-nothing (yaay) and provides ample time for more dumb teen characters to join the story (boo).

But stick around, because more cast members means more people for Sabrina to stop on street corners and quiz incompetently with bafflingly stupid questions. In a terrible accent. And then, after what seems like an age, the killings begin again ... and Sabrina finds herself the murderer's latest target ...

Efficiently shot and (shock) edited, SILENT BLOODNIGHT is not inept on a technical level. It benefits from canny handheld shots and some impressively eerie POV takes. Chase sequences are handled with moderate success and set effectively to a metallic score, while the sparse lighting of many of the dark exterior shots beg comparison to Leif Jonker's superior DARKNESS.

But those merits are literally all the film has going for it.

SILENT BLOODNIGHT is all but killed by it's own clunky dialogue, hopeless acting (really, really hopeless: the cast is made up of Austrians speaking in poor broken English), an erratic pace and the usual schizophrenic tone that can be felt whenever a film is shot by more than one director - in this case, the twin attack of Stefan Peczelt and Elmar Weihsmann.

In-between boring shots of the weird cast talking oddly, we get the occasional bare breasts or absurdly bloody deaths in the hope of keeping us awake. They just about do the trick, although it has to be said that the murder scenes - while outlandishly gory - are very clumsily executed. The FX are as laughable as the accents.

The acting and FX are two obvious pointers towards the film's micro budget. As are the repetitive library score and overly dark look of the film at times, relying heavily on natural lighting. Oh, and the video titles that bookend the film. Urgh.

Still, SILENT BLOODNIGHT is absurdly entertaining in it's own way. It offers gore and gals, some stupefyingly dumb dialogue and some of the most amusing "acting" to hit the screen in aeons. Probably best viewed while drunk, it's rubbish ... but enjoyable rubbish. Look out for the co-directors in a tiny cameo at the end too as TV technicians.

Brain Damage's disc is economic and to the point.

From the static main menu page, the film can be accessed via a static scene-selection menu proffering just 4 chapters.

The film itself is presented in full-frame and looks fair. Filmed on what looks like 16mm, SILENT BLOODNIGHT has strong colours and reasonable detail, although the overall look is undeniably soft. Too dark at times and struggling on occasion with motion blur, it's not a perfect presentation - but it's perfectly watchable.

English 2.0 audio is loud and clear, offering a surprisingly consistent and rousing mix.

The only extras to be had are short trailers for other Brain Damage titles SERUM, DEATH OF A GHOST HUNTER, TORTURE ME NO MORE (misspelt on the disc as TOTURE ME NO MORE), PREY FOR THE BEAST and SECRETS OF THE CLOWN, along with the aforementioned trailer for SILENT BLOODNIGHT.

Previously broadcast on the Zone Horror channel, it may well be that some readers have already had the (ahem) pleasure of SILENT BLOODNIGHT. You have to see it - there is no escape from this film, after all, even if it was apparently filmed by a horse. With an entire cast who sound like Arnie, it's worth it for this freaky factor alone.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Brain Damage
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review