[box cover]

New Blood

Watching Michael Hurst's New Blood is almost like overdosing on Murphy's Law: things not only go wrong for our protagonists, they go wrong with such intensity — flair, almost — that what started out as a simple job disintegrates into a smorgasbord of death, violence, and remorse. Nick Moran (of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame) stars as Danny White, the leader of a group of young losers who dream of breaking into the glamorous world of organized crime. Hired to kidnap a local businessman, the group rapidly proves its collective incompetence by accidentally killing the poor fellow instead, a fact that doesn't exactly endear them to the local Mafia. Although not promoted as a comedy, there are shades of noir humor sprinkled throughout the story, transforming what might otherwise have been a hum-drum thriller into a fascinating character-study on gross ineptitude. The film's hip dialogue and sense of "coolness" are clearly inspired by Hurst's affection for Quentin Tarantino movies (Reservoir Dogs in particular), although much of New Blood's sense of the absurd (along with its innovative visual style) are just as plainly inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock oeuvre. New Blood is presented in a handsome anamorphic widescreen transfer (with the peculiar aspect-ratio of 1.78:1). The disc includes the film's theatrical trailer, a "making-of" featurette, and a spirited commentary track from Hurst, the 24-year-old wunderkid writer/director. Keep case.
—Joe Barlow

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