It’s nothing new for atrocious acts of murder to be blamed on violence in film. The correlation between fake blood on screen and real-life bloodshed has been studied and analyzed for years with disturbed individuals crediting films such as Natural Born Killers (1994) and Scream (1996) for their actions.
If we’re going to be honest, the national murder rate would be astronomically higher if violent films turned moviegoers into murderous psychopaths. Regardless, do filmmakers have a social responsibility to uphold in a world that can, at times, be chaotic? Canadian filmmakers Rob Grant and Mike Kovac explore this question in their latest mockumentary indie film titled Fake Blood.
Upon receiving a fan made video response to their latest indie feature, Mon Ami, struggling filmmaker duo Rob Grant and Mike Kovac begin to question if their films inspire real life murder. This spawns the idea to begin filming a documentary that could put them on the film industry map. Interviewing people who are more experienced in self defense and real life gun handling, Rob and Mike slowly learn the difference between fiction and reality. However, this barely scratches the surface of what they are trying to reach with very few people they meet having been involved in actual, life-threatening situations. This all changes when the documentarians pursue a lead taking them into a dark underbelly of crime.
With realistic interviews backed by gritty reenactment scenes, Fake Blood feels like a first person version of true crimes shows such as Making a Murderer and The Killer Speaks with elements of Patrick Brice’s Creep and Creep 2. Showcasing great performances by Rob (Yesterday) and Mike (Supernatural series), who play themselves, as well as Jacqueline Breakwell, Chelsey Reist (Dark Harvest, The 100 series) and Len Harvey (Yesterday), everything seems to flow so naturally that it is difficult to tell how much of this this mockumentary is based on truth. The realism behind Fake Blood is what adds a level of creepiness not soon forgotten.
Aside from the believability that drives this mockumentary, Fake Blood concludes with a surprisingly dark twist that I personally feel could have been taken further. However, Rob and Mike’s latest feature never loses focus as it comes full circle, offering up several thoughtful opinions on the social responsibility of film. As subjective as this topic is, this direction was well thought out and executed in a way that allows the audience to decide for themselves.