“Bludgeon” comes from Indie director Shawn Burkett and tells the story of a rash of murders that end suddenly in 1992. Then twenty years later more deaths rock the small community just as before. The story is inspired by true events. At least the murders that occurred originally are actual events, I am not sure if the second set of murders are actual events or creative licensing of the story. Either way the story is disturbing to say the least. Burkett’s story is a somewhat dark, cold view into the nightmarish tale and stars Haley Madison, Erin R. Ryan, Scott Gillespie, Jadie Goodpasture, Liz Wazenegger, Missy Stout, Corey Thrush, Ashley Rice.
First I have to say that the movie is truly surprising as I went in expecting one type of story but was quickly given a different tale all together. The story begins with a very classic montage of dark silent scenes of of young women falling meeting a fatal end as eerie folk music plays out. It sets the atmosphere and somber aspects of what is happening on screen perfectly and right away I am eager to see this film. The start is very reminiscent of 70’s grindhouse or classic gore flicks that I enjoyed growing up. However this is not your classic gore induced slasher fest happening. The film gracefully transforms into an arthouse indie character driven melodrama as the tale picks up twenty years later. The switch almost causes a revolt in my mind about the loss of the gore teasing slasher beginning but soon I found myself focusing once more on the story that unfolds in “Bludgeon”. It becomes more of an emotional story that builds on an abstract sense of chilling dark atmosphere.
I did enjoy the the contrast of of stories as the original gore inspired tale begins showing the brutal events that are obviously the true events that took place in the small town against the more cinema verite influenced story that unfolds in the larger portion of the movie. Both where shot beautifully and create a very sinister atmosphere of suspense. I did feel the film was lacking somewhat in actual story material which provides the arch between the two very different story lines of past and present. It was enough to make me feel conflicted about the overall movie but not enough to make me not enjoy the film or its off-beat aspects. There is not a whole lot of gore in the film but there is a lot of emotion played out here and I have to say that this is one of the first times I have ever felt more sympathetic to the psychopath than I should have for a homicidal maniac.