Ballad in Blood
Written by Ruggero Deodato, Jacopo Mazzuoli & Angelo Orlando
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
Watched on 25.09.2016
One of the best and sometimes also worst things of the /slash filmfestival are the occasional visits from filmmakers. Best because it’s always interesting to meet the people behind the project, who often also give some interesting background information concerning a certain film. Worst because sometimes, you think they are really nice and charming, but you end up not liking their movies all that much – which makes writing said reviews absolutely no fun at all.
I have no prior experience with Ruggero Deodato’s work (no, not even the infamous “Cannibal Holocaust”), and I’m sorry to say that “Ballad in Blood” didn’t really urge me to check out his previous work. Seemingly based on the Amanda Knox-case, which created a stir internationally a couple of years back, it’s the story of a Halloween-party going extremely wrong, with three people – Lenka, Arden and Leo – who were more or less acquainted with each other, suddenly discovering the corpse of Lenka’s close friend Elizabeth. What happened? Who is responsible? In “Hangover”-like fashion, no one seems to remember, at least at first. Which, given the later resolution of what actually happened, already felt incredibly implausible to me. I mean, come on. Who would ever forget that? I mean, if maybe one of them was that intoxicated, and doesn’t recall it, ok, I’d buy that. But not all three of them. What’s worse, I didn’t care for any of them. They all seemed like complete assholes, and I even didn’t care that much about the victim, given her latent racism. [SPOILERS]Please don’t get me wrong, it of course has to be up to each and only one of us, and only us, who we want to sleep with. So I’m not saying they were right in forcing her to do so. But if you flat out refuse to have sex with a black person, I’ll have a hard time sympathizing with you, sorry [/SPOILERS]. Thus, the whole movie just dragged along, without me being interested in either what happened in the apartment, nor the aftermath. I also don’t think that the actors and actresses involved were particularly good. I’ve seen worse, but especially Carlotta Morelle to me seemed to have been cast first and foremost for her looks, and not much else. There were a couple of interesting visuals (like the location of the party), and since I’m a (heterosexual) man, the amount of bare (female) skin definitely helped to reduce my level of boredom. Nevertheless, “Ballad in Blood” just went on for far too long (even though it only has a reasonable running time of just 90 minutes anyway), and given my disinterest if not flat-out dislike of the protagonists, it ended up to be rather tiresome. And even though I freely admit that the movie marathon that already lay behind me at that time probably didn’t help, I don’t think that I would have liked it any more when seen under less strenuous circumstances.