Fake Blood Review: Messed up, Meta, Mockumentary?
A cautionary tale, a mockumentary or an exploration of violence in film, all of these could easily describe Rob Grant’s and Mike Kovac’s film Fake Blood. There’s a Meta commentary here about the role of violence in the media, but mostly there’s an interesting play on the idea of what is real and what isn’t which makes this film a fun journey to go on.
After being sent a fan video based on a scene from their first film Mon Ami the filmmaking pair set off to investigate who is responsible for controlling violence on screen. There has always been an interest in the responsibility of media on the violence of the world with numerous films including Child’s Play, Scream and The Dark Knight being blamed for their contributions to terrible real life crimes.
Rob and Mike begin their journey by looking at how realistic violence on screen is by heading to a gun range and suiting up in protective gear to allow martial artists to kick them around a bit. It proves that often what is seen on screen is not accurate to its real world counterparts. Is there something to be said for films showing the ramifications, the real pain and bloodshed of violence, instead of making it seem lesser than what it is? Would this stop recreation if the true effects were clear for all to see?
As the pair explore this idea they come across a mysterious man known as John who advised a mutual friend on his films depiction of realistic murders. From the way he spoke it is assumed that John is more involved in real world crime and violence than he would like others to know and the two are determined to get an interview with him.
“It is best to immerse yourself into the ‘reality’ of this world and suspend your disbelief.”
The interview spirals Fake Blood into new territory. There are twists in this that reminded me of another documentary Catfish, it starts as one thing and evolves into something else with darker undertones by the end. The stories of violence told by John are punctuated with cut scene reenactments that look exactly like every crime drama you’ve seen on TV. They make sure we see them as actors at the end of the scene, a commentary upon itself.
The pair is interesting in their dynamics and you can feel their relationship crumbling throughout. Rob presents himself as the arrogant filmmaker who gets too wrapped up in the web of his own discovery. Whilst Mike Kovac is the human element, the fear and caution of what the consequences of their exploration could lead to. He is the viewer worrying they have gone too far.
To get the full enjoyment out of this film it is best to immerse yourself into the ‘reality’ of this world and suspend your disbelief. There are moments of utter horror mockumentary and some incredibly interesting debates that are dealt with in a visual and intriguing manner.
Fake Blood is currently available through Grimmfest TV and is definitely worth a watch for anyone interested in a horror and thriller documentary mash-up.