Pastoral Swedish Murder

Artsploitation Films has explored a wide range of underground horror from across the world, often highlighting clever filmmaking like the amazing Snowflake for North American audiences. The label takes genre risks, which don’t always work out. Blood Paradise is one of those gambles that doesn’t pay off. Packaged as an erotic thriller, it’s more tedious than sexy as a string of wacky Swedish characters populate the film.

Rough around the edges as director Patrick von Barkenberg’s first film, about the only reason to give it a chance is attractive Swedish actress Andréa Winter. She stars in the kooky, off-beat “thriller” with comedic undertones set on a bucolic Swedish farm. Co-writer and producer on Blood Paradise, her best assets are on full display in a credible lead performance. It is wasted in a movie that is less than the sum of its parts. It’s not the cast that fails, but a largely inept script and meandering suspense.

Best-selling novelist Robin Richards (Andréa Winter) has developed a case of writer’s block and looking for inspiration, when she is sent at her publisher’s suggestion to the Swedish countryside. Meeting a litany of oddball Swedish characters, beginning with a creepy fan named Hans (Christer Cavallius), Robin begins to realize something is off at this seemingly idyllic farm run by the older Rolf.

…a decidedly odd comedic atmosphere for what turns dark in the end

Blood Paradise is more quirky than intimidating and has a decidedly odd comedic atmosphere for what turns dark in the end. There are definite hints of giallo elements, if filtered through wry Swedish sensibilities. There are a couple scenes basically designed to get Robin nude. Blood Paradise isn’t shy in that regard. It opens with a kinky BDSM scene that doesn’t fit with what follows. Given the title, it’s not a hack-n-slash bloodfest. If you are looking for a hardcore slasher, this is not your movie.

Maybe the Swedish vibe threw me off and the sly humor flew over my head. Blood Paradise has tepid thrills and predictable plotting. The oddball characters are supposed to be fun but largely don’t do enough for the movie’s comedic undertone.

Video

Say what you will about Blood Paradise’s merits as entertainment, but its crisp 1080P video and scenic Swedish farm setting are made for high definition. Filmed in crystal-clear quality with Arri Alexa cameras, most every frame is dripping with pristine clarity. The bright, picture-perfect video has ample depth and outstanding detail. It’s a razor-sharp aesthetic that probably works against Blood Paradise’s atmosphere.

Artsploitation Films presents the 82-minute main feature in its native 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The sterile, clean imagery has a few scenes with the occasional presence of interlacing artifacts, indicating a lesser camera was employed. The AVC encode efficiently handles the movie without issue.

Audio

Artsploitation Films neglects to include lossless sound on Blood Paradise. It gets a perfunctory surround mix in 5.1 Dolby Digital and fairly similar-sounding 2.0 Dolby Digital. The English and Swedish dialogue are neatly delivered albeit low in the mix.

The backing music and particularly sound effects are mixed loudly by comparison. Rear action is largely intended as support for the score and music. It is a serviceable mix with a comparatively unpolished sound design.

Two sets of optional subtitles are included, one of which is a necessity if you don’t speak Swedish. The first set of English subs translate the Swedish dialogue, while a second set of English SDH subtitles handle the whole movie. They display in a yellow font, inside the scope presentation.

Extras

Artsploitation Films includes a few bizarre deleted scenes, the trailer, and two arthouse music videos by Baby Yaga for this Blu-ray edition of Blood Paradise. I almost got more entertainment from the strange Baby Yaga music videos than the movie itself. Apparently lead actress Winters is Baby Yaga. Admirers of Andrea Winter should probably check out the Blood Sex Dream deleted scene…

Blood Paradise Trailer (01:26 in HD)

Blood Sex Dream Deleted Scene (02:01 in HD)

Fly Deleted Scene (01:29 in HD)

Latex Dreams Deleted Scene (02:30 in HD)

Tractor and Sheep Deleted Scene (02:24 in HD)

Dreamer Music Video (04:20 in HD)

You & Me Music Video (03:51 in HD) – A heady arthouse vibe pervades this interesting video.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Blood Paradise
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

An off-beat “thriller” that attempts to mine comedy from its cast of oddball Swedish characters, it is neither particularly sexy or funny.

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 18 Blood Paradise screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 30,000+ already in our library), 75+ exclusive 4K UHD reviews, and more, support us on Patreon.