Monday, September 12, 2016

Day 13: Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014) 2h 3m

What happened?  Where was I?  I watched this film while I was home sick from work and it sent me into an over-analytical spiral where I tried to really understand certain scenes in this movie.  That's partially true.  The other part is I had a lazy/busy period where if I wasn't doing something I wasn't going to do something.  Sorry, shit happens... or doesn't.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus isn't a horror film.  It was under the list of horror films in Netflix which is how I ended up rolling it, but this movie is much more of a drama with a supernatural element.  Written and directed by Spike Lee, and based off of the 1973 film Ganja & Hess, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus follows Hess, a researcher of African cultures, studying a ritual blade of the Ashanti people.  After his assistant has a psychotic episode and stabs him with an artifact, Hess comes back from the dead and has a need for blood as his primary sustenance.  Hess isn't quite a vampire in the traditional sense, but represents more of an evolution or mutation of man based on the esoteric practices of the Ashanti (as stated early in the film).

There are some plot points that I found really well done in this film.  For one, if blood has been tainted by alcohol or disease then it can't be ingested.  When Hess does one of his first kills it is with a woman he picked up in a club.  After he vomits from her blood he finds HIV medication in her purse.  Panic sets in and the next set of scenes is Hess at a clinic getting a tested.  Aside from the blood drinking, the rest of the scene felt very real.  This is part of my over analyzing of this film, but I wonder if this was meant to almost be a warning of the very real threat of HIV/STD's.  The scene ends with the nurse telling Hess to wear a condom, to which he says he will, but as the screen goes black we just hear the nurse say something to the extent of "yeah, they always say that."

My only criticism is there were a few scenes I wasn't quite sure what the purpose was.  A lengthy lesbian seduction and sex scene happens and it felt out of place.  That's my only real complaint.

Since this wasn't really a horror movie, I don't feel like I can give it a regular rating on here.  If I were going to give it one the I would give it a two out of five overall.

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