Fake Blood left me in an extreme place of uncertainty and disbelief causing me to question all I had just seen for some time well after the film finished. Typically, this form of disturbance casts a negative view towards a movie, however, I cannot remember a time where I’ve had more fun watching a documentary about violence.
Synopsis: Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a disturbing fan video inspired by their previous horror movie Mon Ami, motivating them to investigate the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying violence in movies. In their pursuit of the truth they are unwittingly introduced to the real world of violent criminals and their victims. (IMDB)
Starring: Rob Grant and Mike Kovac
Writers: Rob Grant and Mike Kovac
Director: Rob Grant
Rating: 18A (Canada)
For showtimes and more, check out Fake Blood on movietimes.com.
Mike Kovac and Rob Grant are filmmakers specializing in horror. They’ve had moderate success with some of their films on the festival circuit which leads them to receive a disturbing video from a couple of fans walking through a hardware store discussing how they would kill and dispose of a body. This leads the duo down a path of discovery of just how violence depicted in cinema truly affects those that view it. Their journey is filled with thin attempts to understand real-life violence, something the two have never experienced, by going to a gun range, fighting in a karate dojo, discussing violence with a former prisoner and also with a victim that has been affected by violence.
It is during these points that the line of what is real (or feels real) and what is fake begins to blur and is also where the film takes an entirely different turn and evolves into something more than two filmmakers could’ve anticipated. Both Kovac and Grant, equipped with their painfully blind ignorance, venture further down the rabbit hole in search for answers that culminates in a face to face conversation with a former convict that has been a part of violent crimes that gives them more stories than they had anticipated and leaves them in a state of shock. However, they still feel the need to push further which results in the pair seeking out the very person the former convict intended to harm.
As the Fake Blood progresses, it feels less and less like a documentary on violence and more like a depiction of what a documentary on violence went wrong could look like. In the beginning it seemed to be a true search for answers but as the documentary went on and eventually culminated in a confrontation between a victim and the filmmakers it felt less real and more manufactured, creating a state of uncertainty. On one hand, the idea of a faux-documentary that appears real on every level only to slowly careen off the rails and into a place of despair is an admirable one, however, there was a very real and pertinent question to Mike and Rob’s initial quest in attempting to answer if movie violence does, in fact, have something to do with real-life violence. Ultimately, I let the latter question go in order to be entertained which did not disappoint.
Fake Blood is a clever film that creates a very believable space by posing a very real question and then taking the answer to the extreme to the point where you are wondering just what was real and what wasn’t by the time the credits roll. Fake Blood is a good watch, albeit, a disturbing one at times. It leaves the viewer in a state of uncertainty but oddly enough you’re happy about it because on some level you don’t want this documentary to be true but Mike and Rob leave plenty of room for doubt. Whether real or not-so-real, every minute of Fake Blood was enjoyable to watch and is worth the recommendation it if you are able to see it.