Ryan Nicholson and his cohorts at Plotdigger Films have been churning out some hardcore horror and exploitation for a few years now. With each release, we’ve seen growth. We’ve also seen the boundaries of good taste pushed well beyond the limits of most people’s thresh hold (I mean that in a complimentary manner!). So, after the release of “Gutterballs” and what seemed to be his most vicious film “Hanger”, one could only wonder what would come next from Nicholson. Ladies and gentlemen, I present “Bleading Lady”.
Bleading Lady tells the story of Don, a chauffeur who’s love for his job is only matched by his love of film. Don (played by Nicholson regular and soon to be horror icon, Dan Ellis) gets the gig of a lifetime when he’s assigned to drive for a low budget horror film. The job is particularly enticing because Don will be driving for his favorite B-movie scream queen, Riversa Red. Don’s admiration/attraction is immediate to Riversa. After finding out she has a stalker, he steps into the role of playing personal bodyguard. This sends Don’s normal obsessive nature into overdrive as he quickly snaps on any and everyone who (he perceives) crosses his beloved. Co-stars, directors, producers, and everyone in between feed into Don’s paranoia that eventually sends him over the edge. His explosive temper gets him fired off of the film and consequently, makes everyone involved in the film his target. Don’s return is accompanied by a gun, a camera, and a volatile mental state that makes him capable of anything. Does Don’s directorial debut prove to be their last?
When taking in one of Mr. Nicholson’s films there are a few things to expect: Extreme/insane characters, truckloads of sex & gore, BLOOD!, and (lately) Dan Ellis. Taking all these elements into consideration, it’s no wonder that Plotdigger has become a cult favorite amongst horror fans. As expected, several of the aforementioned elements are in Bleading Lady, but it’s also a film that shows a different level of growth for Nicholson’s career. Where normally the story would be primarily driven by the goriest of gore shots, BL derives it’s fear by peeling back the multiple layers of it’s main character. Don may be the single most complex character in any of Nicholson’s movies. On the surface, he seems like a lonely psychopath with a hair trigger temper. But as the movie unfolds, we learn more about Don’s obsession with his favorite actress and film in general. Murder is an acceptable way of solving problems in his world. Even when it seems that he’s doing “the right thing” (protecting Riversa), his solution is still to take a life. This multi-faceted character can be attributed to Dan Ellis’s understanding of Ryan Nicholson’s work. He’s was the standout performer in both “Gutterballs” and “Hanger”. Bleading Lady gave Ellis a character to pour himself into and it showed. He was spot-on with the emotional range of the character and turned out a winning performance. If the world is a just one, the combination of Nicholson & Ellis will be the next Gordon & Combs.
Once again, I leave the viewing of a Plotdigger release impressed and wanting more. Ryan Nicholson is one of indie horror’s brightest spots. He’s not afraid to go all the way and cause his audience to turn their heads in disgust. Bleading Lady moves his career into a continuous forward motion by showcasing his ability to write meaningful characters while still shedding plenty of blood. This can be considered the first must-own new release of 2011. Bleading Lady is a well-crafted horror film for the “lifers” who can spot exactly where the in-jokes are coming from. Nicholson’s flicks are too graphic to make him the next slumber party movie maker, but he is a fan who’s transferred his love of sleaze cinema into a brilliant career. Make sure that March 29th finds you out purchasing the latest release from Mr. Nicholson, who’s well on his way to becoming a horror cult icon. Another solid release from a solid gentleman. For more info including pre-ordering the film, visit: