“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…” That, of course, is the opening to the Eagles' hit, Hotel California. Re-written to fit Blood Ranch, that line would be “On an amply lit stretch of desert road, four buddies, a war vet and a strange chick F up and wind up on the way to a creepy joint where people get cut to bits”.
The four partiers could be called the redneck couple, the philosophy boy and his stoner blonde girlfriend. The other two would be the British badass and the scared chick. Once they take some bad advice from a gas station attendant, the road to partying is quickly detoured.
Just as quickly as the characters are introduced and made likable and relative to the audience, the film drops in the un-scary kid meant to creep out the audience. The motley crue, who meets the strange girl, Megan, via the front bumper, soon falls prey to a lunatic in the van formerly owned by the A-Team. They instantly pair up, with the wrong partners, which is cool, since they were going to Burning Man anyway.
Soon the hostages…damn, I mean, the poor wayward strangers…meet up with Spider and Mute on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. They're justifiably freaked out, since they just met guys named MUTE AND SPIDER IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Well, hell, that's what they get for trying to take more than two people in a Saturn and outrun anybody.
Megan, quickly resembling Ronnie Spector in her prime, tells Redneck boy about the crazy ranch down the road. The warning comes way too late for his friends, or the 82 minute movie could be cut short by about 62 minutes. Instead, this revelation is placed well after the quartet walks literally into the Spider's Web.
When all else fails, writer Antonio Hernandez throws in a midget whore as the world's weirdest sobriety check.
The first four characters have to fight, claw and sneak their way back out of the Blood Ranch, while hoping the other two can save their asses. The cookbook version of the film reads as follows:
1 heaping tablespoon Texas Chainsaw Massacre
1 teaspoon House of 1,000 Corpses
A pinch of Luciano Pavarotti
1 dash of Black Dog
½ cup of WCW Monday Nitro
Equal portion of re-runs of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
(five shots of Knob Creek boubon – that was just for me, but anyone else who wants to take that advice is welcome to it)
Just after rebuilding the buzz from the midget whore killing it, viewers are delighted to the mentally-deficient freak in the cat mask, who may actually be even creepier.
With enough quick cuts and bizarre dialogue, viewers can ride right along for the first hour trying to figure out what's on screen and how it will all end. However, before viewers can develop and predict a decent wrap-up, the movie is over, victim to a sub-par and completely unsatisfying ending.
Spider comes off as the hybrid of Ted Nugent and Otis Driftwood from Devil's Rejects, with a pinch of Black Label Society's Zakk Wylde thrown in for flavor. Mute is, well, guess. The other killers are just as backwater; going by the names Floyd and Shotgun. Floyd comes off as the sound guy at 90% of the biker bars I've ever played. Shotgun looks a lot like Chuck Norris if he fell asleep with a cigarette in his mouth and burned his fucking house down.
A lot of credit can be given to the piano-rich soundtrack of the film for its ability to assist in tension-building. Frederick Weidmann works the different emotions of the film well, playing up the fear and resolution of the chaotic situations. The end credits are overlaid with the heavy track “Pain” by 40 Cycle Hum.
Previews include the tongue-in-cheek killer flick Headhunter, Billy Zane-driven Vlad about everyone's favorite vampire, and Reality Kills, about a reality TV show that goes horribly wrong when everyone starts dying.