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September 4, 2021

Hollywood’s New Blood (1989) Movie Review

What seems to be happening to me more and more lately is that I’ll come across a flick that I think, at first, will just be a small fluffy piece of crappy entertainment. I’ll watch it; I’ll hate myself for watching; eventually, I’ll move on. Perhaps I might even turn it off because it’s boring beyond belief.

But sometimes these flicks make me pause. I hold my thumb over that “off” button for a long time before I realize I’ve put the remote down and have become fully immersed in the shit show unfolding before me. The only time I pick that fucker back up is to pause said garbage parade when I can’t stop laughing and I’m afraid I’ll miss more terribleness that might keep me entertained.

Hollywood’s New Blood is just such a movie.


Picture it: 1989, a small troupe of up-and-coming thespians attending an acting seminar out in the woods. A woods that comes with its own tragic backstory – of the Glouster family clan (yes, the entire clan) that was accidentally blown to smithereens on a movie set. Legend says the locals can still see the figures of three Glouster brothers as they roam the woods, looking for the body parts of their clansmen.

Or something like that.

One of the young performers, Bret, grew up nearby. He heard all the stories; he spent his summers on this very lake. And he piecemeals these gory little tidbits over the course of the seminar to his fellow actor wanna-bes and their teacher. Too bad absolutely NO ONE cares because if they did, they might have been able to save themselves from terrible fates at the hands of the vengeful Glouster family ghosts as they exact their revenge.

Sounds good on paper, right? Maybe not that new or exciting but a reasonably entertaining dive into the ghost/revenge/horror trope, right?

If they’d stuck with the ghosts out for revenge idea, that would have been fine. But halfway through the film, Bret tells us oh yeah, three of the brothers – Jeb, Luke, and Neil -  were never found but let’s just count them as dead, okay? Even before that, when we see the three Glousters, they’re hobbled and scarred and still wrapped in bandages. Okay, yes, Jacob Marley looked like that, too, but Charles Dickens this is not.

Pretty much all of the characters are fodder. They aren’t developed enough for us to care about. The viewer wants them to die so they can just STOP BEING TERRIBLE ACTORS. I will give Joe Balogh, who plays Mitch, some props because he was the best actor in the bunch, and his character was the biggest smart ass. That doesn’t mean I was sad to see him die; he just did a decent job with his character before the Glouster boys got him.

The whole movie is filmed on two locations – the cabin and the woods. So there was a lot of repeated usage of the same stills, shadowy action shots, killer cam moving through the woods. I’m sure that was a budgetary choice but it also felt like padding the run time. And I’d wager they REALLY padded the film with the extended grappling scenes between killers and victims, stalking scenarios, and shambling though the woods to their intended destinations.

What if C-A-T really does spell dog?

The sound isn’t the worst I’ve come across. There’s not a huge range of decibels between dialogue and sound effects. But the sound effects themselves…any time we got the killer cam as he moved through the woods, the sound effects were jungle noises. And I’m talking howler monkeys and shit. That was the first time I paused the video. I thought I was hearing it wrong. Noooope. Honest to gods: howler monkeys.

The second time I paused the movie was during the scene where each actor had to find an object in the woods, bring it back to the cabin, and make up a story about it. And Mitch finds some bones and a skull. A mother fucking skull. Fortunately for us, Bret is there to tell us that it’s not an animal. It’s human!

Whoever didn’t already know that is probably too young to be watching this. But thanks for clearing up any confusion none of us were having.

The third time I paused the film was during the climactic fight scene between the last Glouster brother and Bret. At a point earlier in the film, Bret instructs Liz to break up the skull and bones and sharpen them so she can have a weapon. Later, as Bret wrestler with Neil Glouster for FAR TOO LONG, Bret grabs the skull and slams it into Neil’s face, whereby it sticks as Neil screams bloody murder.

I honestly hurt myself laughing so hard at the point, though I will admit that the jawless skull stuck on Neil’s face as he screamed looked pretty fucking creepy.

Resting Bitch Face a Deux

The last bits I’ll harp on come at the end. Once the story is done, we get cut scenes of each character that probably last about 15-20 seconds each. You’d think the filmmakers would use this as a chance to put up titles such as “Bobby Johnston as Bret” or “Lynn Pirtle as Joely”. Nope, just snippets of film while the most terrible, awful, no good, very bad, unbelievably dreadful theme song plays. FOR SEVEN MINUTES AND FIVE SECONDS before we get the ending credits.

Who was in charge here? I demand to see the manager!

Look, I try not to steer people toward unmitigated crap if I can help it. There’s nothing worse than spending 90 minutes watching something that makes you want to question all your life choices leading up to this point in time. However…Hollywood’s New Blood is 77 minutes of accidental hilarity. Yes, at times it’s painful. You may even feel personally attacked. But why not pour a hefty drink, maybe have a little edible (hey – it’s legal here, shut up), and tune into Hollywood’s New Blood? Chances are you’ll hate yourself in the morning but you’ll enjoy the ride before the sun comes up.

Extra: best line of the film come from the character, Donna. “How can I feel scared? There’s nothing dangerous around here.”

You got that right, sweet cheeks. You got that right.

1.5 hatchet (out of 5)

(SORRY - I could not find a trailer posted anywhere for this one) 


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