Blood Gnome (2004)

Directed By: John Lechago
Written By: John Lechago
Starring: Vinnie Bilancio
  Melissa Pursley
  Ri Walton
Blood Gnome

Blood Gnome is shockingly appalling, but in that fun ‘grab some friends, sink some beers and laugh at all the horrendousness’ kind of a way. It has everything a good horror movie needs; surprisingly decent gore, loads of nakedness and a tonne of puppets. Oh, and bondage.

The storyline is actually pretty darn original. Daniel is a crime scene photographer who has noticed a disturbing trend; several of the recent victims of an unknown killer were heavily into sado-masochism. Being a topic that he knows nothing about, he meets and becomes involved with a bondage queen named Divinity who educates him on the subject, rather literally. Meanwhile, Elandra, who is also into the BDSM scene (that’s bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism for the lay person) and has a rather unusual drugs racket on the side appears to have an affiliation to the brutal slayings. However, she doesn’t commit the crimes herself, she sends her minions, in the form of heinously ugly, knee-high ‘blood gnomes’ to do her dirty work instead and the drugs she sells are a by-product of the critters’ Mother whom she keeps in a cage. Sounds insane, right? It is. With a heavy dose of ‘bat-shit mental’ on top.

Blood Gnome’s budget is almost non-existent and in some respects, it’s glaringly obvious. The gore effects however, are actually fairly credible for the most part and unexpectedly wince-inducing in parts which is nothing short of amazing considering what sort of financing, or lack of, that the crew had to work with. The ‘blood gnomes’ themselves are rubbery little bastards who recall the titular hellions from the Ghoulies and Critters films and somehow manage to be creepy as hell and inadvertently hilarious at the same time.

Although the acting sometimes verges on unwatchable, it’s completely consistent and all the actors are on a par so after a few minutes its easy to become accustomed to it as they are all equally amateur. That sounds like a complaint but it’s not, the fact that everyone speaks and reacts in the same exaggerated ways actually works and manages to make their theatrical shortcomings much less apparent as it all seems perfectly normal within the Blood Gnome world.

There is a huge amount of gratuitous nudity in Blood Gnome and at times, it seems a little like a not-so-subliminal advertisement for the S & M scene but almost every instance is completely un-sexy and lacks any potential titillation value. The people involved are a largely unattractive bunch, besides the leading lady, and so most of the nudity is unwelcome but does make for a more gruesome time of it when the murderous little pests appear and get kill-happy.

Blood Gnome is nowhere near as bad as the premise makes it sound. It’s a surprisingly watchable, massively confusing and utterly mad piece of super low budget cinema. Quite frankly, I was astounded to learn that Charles Band had nothing to do with this movie. If you’ve seen any of his recent Blue Moon titles (Doll Graveyard, Gingerdead Man, Evil Bong, etc…) then you’ll know exactly what to expect from Blood Gnome as it ticks all of the same boxes and is from the exact same school of filmmaking. It’s amusing, low-brow, barmy and completely cack. Watch it drunk and enjoy.

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

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