Director - Mark G. Gilhuis
Starring - Raymond Elmendorf (Project X, The A Team), Pamela Baker (Through Naked Eyes, I Want to Live), Navarre Perry (Silk Stalkings, Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills)
Release Date - 1987
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "You'll pray for Thursday"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
I've seen a lot of horror movies in my life but the ones that usually have the most impact on me are the real crime based horror and thrillers. Something about a tragic incident that really happened just jars my nerves and leaves me feeling unsettled. That is why I have a fascination with serial killers. The point of horror is to feel that rush of feeling scared and real crime is where I feel that rush. In 1984 the San Ysidro McDonalds was the site of a massive mass shooting that would be the biggest mass shooting at the time. In 1987 Mark Gilhuis would release the film Bloody Wednesday which would be based on that infamous shooting. The film is one I had never heard of before but when I received the press release for the film I had to see it. I request a review copy and threw it in the stack until I could get around to it. Thanks for sending it my way.
The film follows Harry (Elmendorf) who was recently fired for having a mental breakdown at work. He then goes to church naked before he is evaluated as unstable and is handed over to his brother who puts him in his abandoned hotel to stay. While he is in there the lines between reality start to become frail and he finds himself talking to former guests of the hotel that have long been dead. He tries to build a relationship with his female doctor but when she finally breaks it to him that they are doctor/patient only he goes mad, gets a gun, and shoots up a restaurant before suffering a fatal gunshot wound from a police officer.
People often attack my reviews saying that I'm giving favorable reviews because the company or director let me see their film. This is the furthest from the fact. I am always honest in my reviews and I have pissed off many filmmakers and distribution companies with my reviews in the past. If I don't like something I'm going to say I don't like it. The reason I say this is because a lot of people did not like Bloody Wednesday. However, I actually enjoyed it. The acting in this one is solid. Far from perfect but they still deliver some entertaining performances. Raymond Elmendorf gives a chilling performance as the unhinged and unpredictable Harry. When his mind first starts to slip the viewer can't help but feel sorry for him. He really draws the emotion out of the viewer but once we totally descends into madness you really start to see the killer in his eyes. The remainder of the cast is decent but we do not create a bond with them like we do with Raymond and his character. The story for this one is well written and blends psychological thriller, horror, and drama into a textbook example of what people love about the VHS era of cinema. The film does get slow at points but the story slowly becomes engaging and pulls the viewer in. The story is constantly throwing something new at the viewer to catch them off guard. With that being said, the film does have several elements that should have been left out. The whole Shinning angle could have been left out. It felt out of place and takes the realness out of the film. Finally, those of you looking for gore will not find any. The film has no on screen kills or blood but does have a story that deserves your attention. Overall, Bloody Wednesday is a fun watch. It took me back to the days of renting VHS when I was younger. Nostalgia factor is high with this one but it still entertains. If you are looking for something different then you should check this one out.