Director: Joe Begos
Cast: Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Jeremy Gardner
Release Date: November 12, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Known for her dark and macabre artwork, painter Dezzy Donahue (Dora Madison) is in a professional rut. Unable to finish her newest commissioned work, Dezzy looks to reignite her creative juices by letting loose-as in, taking every drug in sight and tearing through raucous house parties and heavy metal bars. After a few nights spent with her debauchery-loving friends Courtney (Tru Collins) and Ronnie (Rhys Wakefield), though, Dezzy notices changes within herself. On the positive side, she’s finally painting again, but she’s also developing a strange desire for blood. As someone who has never been able to control her vices in the first place, Dezzy is quickly and violently consumed by this bloodlust.
‘Bliss’ tells the story of struggling painter Dezzy (Madison) who can’t seem to find a way out of her creative rut. Desperate to finish her latest piece before the deadline and pay her rent, she eventually turns to drugs for assistance. But as she puts more and more up her nose while struggling to find a sign of motivation and inspiration, she soon finds herself blacking out and then awakening surrounded by carnage. Certain that something terrible is happening to her, yet unable to ascertain precisely what that might be, Dezzy continues down this uncertain and blood drenched path in the hopes of at least finishing her painting which mysteriously sees more accomplishment following each subsequent blackout.
Written and directed by talented filmmaker Joe Begos (Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye) whose career I’ve made a point of following since being sent a copy of his debut feature length film ‘Almost Human’ in 2014 and he only continues to impress with each new effort. ‘Bliss’ easily marks his best film yet and is a true masterpiece in its own right that Begos does a fantastic job of guiding along with a perfectly hypnotic and wild style that works flawlessly. The film also benefits from the generally capable cast that includes Dora Madison (TV’s Dexter), Tru Collins (TV’s Awkward.), Rhys Wakefield (The Purge), Jeremy Gardner (The Battery), Graham Skipper (The Mind’s Eye), Chris McKenna (TV’s State of Affairs), George Wendt (TV’s Cheers) and more, the majority offering solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles, and Madison in particular delivering a fantastic portrayal of our troubled lead.
‘Bliss’ is a splendidly insane and blood-drenched horror masterpiece, not to mention one of the most noteworthy horror films in some time. Dragging the viewer along with our lead Dezzy for a tense, uncertain and mesmerizing journey soaked in blood that starts off moderately paced, then continually increases the levels of tension and bloodshed every step of the way. Quickly evolving into a full on chaos that’s nothing short of magnificent, and easily the best horror film of the year. Filmmaker Joe Begos continues to prove a true talent in the field of horror and he’s only managed to top his already impressive previous efforts with ‘Bliss’ which is nothing short of a horror masterpiece and one you won’t want to overlook, his work behind the camera only further complimented by the notable performance from star Dora Madison. I would strongly encourage all of you horror fans out there (and the gore hounds in particular) to make a real point of going out of your way to check out ‘Bliss’ at your earliest convenience. It’s a phenomenal and unflinchingly brutal ride into madness that genre fans won’t even want to consider missing out on. It should easily prove well worth the price of a rental and 80 minutes of your time at the absolute least and the odds are you’ll be thrilled that you decided to give it a shot.
Overall, ‘Bliss’ is a brilliantly crafted and wildly gory masterpiece of horror that only exceeds expectations. I can’t possibly recommend ‘Bliss’ highly enough to genre fans, along with anyone who doesn’t have a weak stomach and appreciates a unique and wickedly clever piece of filmmaking unlike the majority of Hollywood hits. It never holds back and manages to provide something remarkably special in the process, although it certainly doesn’t hesitate in delivering some truly gnarly gore along the way so those that can only handle so much bloodshed may find this one to be a bit much. The gore hounds and horror fans on the other hand should find their own bliss in the chaotic violence alone though, with a great deal more to offer on top of it. This latest gem from filmmaker Joe Begos is definitely not to be missed.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bliss’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a sharp, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that also captures all of the little tidbits of its source material; pops, grain and all. It holds up without issue even during the various darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments, never allowing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation that should more than satisfy fans and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack perfectly complements the onscreen chaos and delivers a crisp, clean and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the trance-inducing music, along with movement, blood, screams and more making their way throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a wonderful 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes some additional fun and tension to the overall viewing experience and sounds consistently great throughout.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bliss’ includes a couple noteworthy extras that fans should enjoy. Included on the release is a couple of commentary tracks, the first being an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Joe Begos and Star Dora Madison’, while the second option is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Joe Begos, Producer Josh Ethier, and the Russell FX Team’. The release also includes one ‘Deleted Scene’ from the movie (running approximately 2 minutes in length) and both the ‘Trailer’ (running approximately 2 minutes) and ‘Teaser’ (approximately 2 minutes) for the film.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Joe Begos’ ‘Bliss’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Channel 83 Films & Dark Sky Films