Blood Brothers

Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!

It is indeed inevitable, but every once in while a piece of literature or a movie comes along that takes everything in society which we purposefully chose to ignore or secretly relish (but are too ashamed to admit it) and then metaphorically slaps us across the face with it. Whether it sex, violence, overindulgence, or any vice that we try so desperately to hide because the world will see us with more contempt than we might imagine. Today’s film for your consideration is the visual depiction of an end result of such an ‘overindulgence’. An idea that should’ve remained an idea to the film’s two main characters but ended up leading to a role reversal and eventual destruction of a bond and a shared idea between said brothers after sacrificing three ‘innocent’ lives plus a host of individuals that amounted to nothing more than cannon fodder.

The 2015 film ‘Blood Brothers’ (AKA The Divine Tragedies) is a dramatic horror film written and directed by Jose Prendes and is loosely based in the infamous Loeb/Leopold murder case. The film stars Jon Kondelik, Hannah Levien, Graham Denman, Ken Foree, and Barbara Crampton.

Charles Brubaker (Denman) and Thomas Lo Bianco (Kondelik) are brothers who believe that they are superior in intellect and cunning to other people. They fantasize about committing the perfect murder, to get away with it to not only prove their superiority but also unlock their full potential. After a thwarted attempt involving a ‘lady of the night’, Thomas formulates a theory that they must sacrifice someone ‘innocent’ that will inspire a sense of great loss not just for the victim’s family but to people in general. At their diner of choice, they meet the new waitress Genevieve (Levine). A single mom starting over in life. Thomas deduces that she would be the perfect ‘subject’ but Charles is reluctant to do so. Deducing that Charles has feelings for her, Thomas tails the pair on their first dates the movies. Like the predator he imagines himself to be, sizing up his victim and waiting for the right moment, he bumps into the pair outside the movies and under the guise of a meal between friends invites Genevieve back to their home where supposedly foreseen events take an expected turn and the brothers once united in their ultimate goal become disconnected by the takeover of what was once the less dominate personality over the other and the sheer desire for bloodlust surpasses any previous intent that either or both of the brothers may have had.

My first thought as the film ended was something similar to, “This is something that might have been conjured up during a poker game between Alfred Hitchcock, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bret Easton Ellis if they’d been partially medicated or otherwise impaired”. I don’t mean that as an insult by any means. The film seems to glamorize violence and sex (to a lesser degree than the other) and depicts the inherent dangers and worst case scenarios in partaking in them with the ultra-bizarre family connection thrown into the mix. There’s also a less subtle inference of the whole “Never mix your personal life and your professional life”.

The film is rated R for violence, nudity, and sexual inferences and clocks in at over 1 hour 30 minutes. Perhaps it’s the ‘numbing effect’ of so much heinous content in movies over the years but the shock value was less than what I anticipated. It’s certainly a movie worth seeing and the ‘blizzard but stereotypical curveballs play out in a carefully orchestrated fashion that is worthy of praise. There were certain special effects inserted in the second half of the movie just before the film’s climax that I found to be poorly executed and unnecessary. Praise should most definitely be given to Lavine, Denman, and Kondelik, for their characters. Lavine for her genuine portrayal of the innocent single mother rebuilding her life and Denman and Kondelik for their ‘Travolta/Cage Face Off’-like portrayal of the two murderous brothers.

I’ll give this one 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Most certainly NOT a film for younger audiences and should be viewed late at night in a dark art house theater.