Blood Symbol (1991)

Alright, I started this movie because I thought it was shot on video, only to learn that over the seven years it took to make (1984 to 1991), it went from 8mm to 16mm, giving it a distorted feeling as stock doesn’t always match. This actually took so long that there’s a BLOOD SYMBOL 1984-1991 REST IN PEACE credit at the end. The sound isn’t synched either, as it was shot without audio and the script changes were never tracked, so they had to guess what everyone was saying. It only adds to how strange this all appears, along with the fact that creative differences caused lead actress Micheline Richard to leave in the middle of filming, leaving all of her remaining scenes to be shot far away with a double whose face is never clear.

This Canadian microbudget film by co-directors and writers Maurice Devereaux and Tony Morello (who went on to makeĀ Slashers), this has a simple story: an undead monk named Olam (Richard Labelle) can remain immortal if he drinks the blood of college student Tracy Walker (Micheline Richard).

Where it gets beyond expectations is in the way it was shot: strobing moments, strong and confident handheld camera work, point of view stalking right out of Carpenter and incredible editing. It’s beyond a movie started in high school and sure, the plot is thin, but the work to make it happen is rich. There’s even a hint of giallo as Olam stalks his prey complete with black gloves, overcoat and fedora.

There’s also tons of footage of Tracy just doing things like going to class and playing softball, yet that “you are there” style of shooting makes this feel so much different than any other slasher. Sure, it’s creators were learning as they go, but they were definitely on to something.

You can watch this on YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Blood Symbol (1991)

  1. Hello, hope you are well, thank you for the kind words, but there is a misconception, there are no shots of lead actress Micheline Richard filmed with a double, she was actually there for the entire shoot. I would know, as I made it…:) Cheers, Maurice Devereaux


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