Channel 83 Films, USA, 2019
Director: Joe Begos
Writer: Joe Begos
Cast: Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Rhys Wakefield, Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, Chris McKenna, Rachel Avery, Mark Beltzman, George Wendt, Abraham Benrubi, Jesse Merlin, Matt Mercer, Josh Ethier, Jackson Birnbaum, Susan Slaughter, Erin Braswell, Zoe Cooper, Simone Wasserman, Kevin Daigneault, Kristin Lorenz
Dezzy is a splatterpunk artist with a dried out inspiration. She hasn’t been able to paint for months and everyone and his mother is on her back. She’s got an art exhibition coming up and the gallery owner want the advantage she’s been paid back if Dezzy doesn’t deliver. The landlord threatens to kick her out if she doesn’t pay the rent, and all her boyfriend want is sex but at the same time he’s the worst fuck, and on top of all this her agent dumps her.
Dezzy’s been clean for thre months but goes to her old dealer and buys “Bliss”, a mix of cocaine and DMT. She passes out from the drugs but wakes up to a party. Everyone is drunk and high on drugs and she meets her friend Courtney and her boyfriend Ronnie who is some rock star. They drink more, do more drugs and end up having a threesome. When Dezzy gets home she starts painting.
Next night she’s out again drinking and snorting Bliss. She meets Courtney and they go to a rock club. After a while she feels sick and starts to puke blood. Courney feeds her more Bliss.
She wakes up at home and even though she doesn’t remember painting, the painting has come a long way. Dezzy has extreme withdrawal symptoms and suspects Courtney slipped her something. What ever it was she needs more to be able to finish her painting. At the same time she doesn’t really know what happened last night, she’s having flashbacks of blood and of Courtney killing someone.
When Dezzy can’t find Courtney she goes back to her drugdealer. He thinks it’s the Bliss doing this to her, but she starts to feel weird. She attacks him and his friends, bites chunks of fleash from them, drinks their blood and kills them. She gets home again and paints and realises it’s not the Bliss but the blood. When she finds Courtney she admits to have slipped her something. She shared her blood with Dezzy and thats what’s gotten her so high.
The painting is about to be finished at last, but what is real and what is a druginfused psychosis? Is she turning into a vampire unable to handle her cravings for flesh and blood, and is the pile of dead bodys in her appartment for real or just in her imagination?
First part of the movie is sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Dezzy is living a decadent lifestyle but is on the edge of loosing it. Second half is mental illness and mayhem. It’s not the first movie linking vampires need for blood to drug abuse, but I see a lot of similaritys between Bliss and Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Color Me Blood Red from 1965, and even from the film that inspired Lewis, Roger Corman’s A Bucket of Blood from 1959. Bliss is set against a background of clubs, music and art of a goth or deathpunk subculture mirroring the setting of A Bucket of Blood which is that of the beatnick subculture. Dezzy, like Adam Sorg in Color Me Blood Red is an struggeling artist who needs blood to succeed. Adam needs it for paint while Dezzy needs it to be able to paint. It’s interesting to see how long (or short) we’ve come from 1959 and A Bucket of Blood. Today sixty years later it’s the same old story only we’ve thrown in a couple of buckets more of blood.
My verdict: 6 out of 10.