Bliss (2019) Movie Review
If you like your vampires more Near Dark and less like Twilight, then Joe Begos’ (The Mind’s Eye, Almost Human) new indie vampire movie Bliss may just be up your alley like drugs go up the nostrils of our main character. If, however, you’re looking for a coherent story line, characters you fall in like with, and lines (as in dialogue, not snorted) spoken with some degree of clarity, then you would do well to avoid Bliss.
I’m not saying everyone should skip it. 2 and only 2 of your hipster friends will swear by it and post its praises in every form of social media. Then you’ll see it eventually, think it sucks, and then realize it’s your friends ______ and ______ . They just like the worst movies.
Dezzy (Dora Madison, looking like Aubrey Plaza, screaming her lines like Nicolas Cage), is having a bad week, month, and year. She’s a talented painter with a loser boyfriend Clive (Jeremy Gardner). She hasn’t produced a decent piece in months and her agent is a sentence away from dropping her.
Dezzy’s D-bag agent David (Chris McKenna) calls her in for a meeting and tells her he will no longer represent her. Dezzy stands to forfeit her 5-figure advance if she doesn’t produce something for a show. As in soon.
Her landlord is also demanding the rent.
So what’s a starving artist to do when her back’s against the wall? Go to her dealer Hadrian (Graham Skipper) because all the answers can be found between those little white lines.
Now is the time during the review where I must warn you kids not to do drugs. Just because fictional character Dezzy does them doesn’t mean you should.
You’re throwing away your future. Say no to drugs. Say yes to life.
Well put. Now back to the review.
Stay in school. Read a book.
Okay. There’s a review that needs to finish.
Never be alone with a priest if you’re a child.
That’s actually excellent advice.
Today Dezzy doesn’t want the regular stuff. She wants to top shelf medication that you get from the top shelf. Hadrian pulls out the good stuff from a metal cabinet labeled “Vacation Brochures”. In it there’s something called Bliss.
Dezzy doesn’t care. She buys some as well as takes a free sample that Hadrian is kind enough to offer her.
Hadrian is the kind of caring dealer that you don’t often see in such a cutthroat business.
Dezzy does Bliss and is taken into a state of euphoria that I’m pretty sure has a name but I can’t quite think of what it is right now.
Did I mention that George Wendt is playing cards at the Hadrian’s house for no other reason than for the viewer to say “Hey, that’s Norm from Cheers!?”. Also, what kind of name is Hadrian?
Dezzy is so high right now. She’s almost forgotten she’s broke and jobless. What else could make this day go better? How about some group sex with her frenemy Courtney (Tru Collins, looking like late aughties Lady Gaga) and her very pale boyfriend (Brad Albino- not his real name, just the name I just gave him).
After the Bliss-fueled romp Dezzy finds that her painting has improved. Might as well do it again.
The next day, Dezzy does more Bliss and has more sex. Only this time Courtney decides to spice things up by biting the neck of a random guy and drinking his blood.
Dezzy wakes up the next morning with a really bad headache. Her memory of the previous night is blacked out. The bad news is that there’s blood all over her floor and around her mouth.
The good news is that more of her painting is done and it’s starting to look very good, if a bit on the morbid side.
Dezzy tries to call Courtney to find out what happened, because she’s starting to get sensitive to the daylight—
I think she’s becoming a vampire.
I was trying to subtly lead into that.
The daylight is making Dezzy dizzy. She needs Bliss. She’ll soon find out that she’ll need blood to bring her even more bliss.
At least the painting is going well.
What Works With Bliss
- After 2 acts in which nothing of any consequence happens, the 3rd one is where you kind of get your money’s worth. Gore hounds will more than likely be satisfied, even if the story remains pretty thin.
What Doesn't Work With Bliss
- 80 minutes that feels twice that long. Your previously mentioned hipster friends will say that the 1st pointless hour is trippy and “hypnotic”, but that just means you’ll see a drug-taking montage, and phone-talking montage, and a swirling-camera threesome montage. They go on 4 times longer than they should, or at least longer than any good movie would. Most of the movie is an empty exercise in style with little to no substance.
- Dezzy as a character’s most dominant trait is that she’s abrasive and mostly unlikeable. It’s not a necessity that you have to like or agree with the main character, but at no time during the movie do you care what happens to her. She could live or die. Anything to end the movie quicker.
- Are those Cheers residuals not coming in, George Wendt?
- As you watch it, you realize nothing scary is actually happening. Unless you’ve never seen a vampire movie before.
Miss Bliss and you won’t be missing much.