A while back, I spent a whopping $5 on this 50-movie set, Sci-fi Invasion. That adds up to 10 cents per movie. In addition to its awesome title, Welcome to Blood City has famous to semi-famous movie stars in it, such as Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, and Samantha Eggar. What could go wrong?
Here’s what happens: A group of strangers wakes up in a desert, with no memory except the knowledge that they are all murderers. It appears they’ve been transported back in time to the Old West, to a frontier town called Blood City. Elsewhere, scientists in lab coats are watching these folks’ every move. So it’s kind of like Cabin in the Woods, except it’s completely awful.
Speculative spectacle: It’s eventually revealed that the killers of Blood City are playing out a game of sorts, as an experiment for their unseen high-tech masters. In Blood City, the only way to advance your social status is to be the best murderer, and kill your way to the top.
Sleaze factor: Nine minutes into the movie, and the only female character gets raped. The act happens off screen, but it sets an unpleasant tone for the rest of the movie.
Quantum quotables: Cowboy: “Let me buy you a drink.” Keir Dullea: “Guess that’s better than a kick in the ass.” (Authentic Western dialogue.)
“Sit down, I don’t like lookin’ up at a man when I’m talkin’ to him.” — Jack Palance, being a tough guy.
What the felgercarb? I don’t know if it’s the DVD or if the filmmaking is just that bad, but all throughout the movie, shots are misframed so tops of the actors’ heads are cut off at the top of the screen.
Microcosmic minutiae: A lot of folks are praising this movie for being the first to introduce the concept of virtual reality to the world, except that it never actually uses the words “virtual reality.”
Worth 10 cents? It’s a lot less Westworld and a lot more I Spit On Your Grave. Skip it.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.