Bloody Wednesday : Release Year - 1987

Overall Rating : 3/10

Directed By : Mark G. Gilhuis

Raymond Elmendorf
Pamela Baker
Navarre Perry
Teresa Mae Allen

Supplied By : Film Chest Media Group

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : April. 24, 2016


On July 18, 1984, an out-of-work security guard, 41-year-old James Huberty, said goodbye to his wife and two daughters and calmly walked out of his San Diego, Calif., home saying he was “going hunting humans.” Moments later, with a small arsenal of weapons, he walked into an area McDonald’s and killed 21 people before being fatally shot by a police sharpshooter. The San Ysidro Massacre, as it became known, was the deadliest mass shooting that had ever taken place on U.S. soil … and remains one of our country’s most-violent episodes perpetrated by a single person. In Bloody Wednesday, Harry Curtis (Raymond Elmendorf) begins an inexplicable descent into madness. Haunted by ghosts and harassed by neighborhood thugs, his reality becomes increasingly distorted and his behavior ever more odd. Isolated by mental illness, he feels abandoned by humanity, his only friend a talking teddy bear … and when he loses his job, his dark and evil descent accelerates …
The film, BLOODY WEDNESDAY, begins by displaying a murder scene. A massacre at a local coffee shop. It is the aftermath. The film then goes back to show us how it all began. Harry Curtis, was a seemingly normal man, who worked as an auto mechanic. He was good at it - until the day he cracked. Now divorced from his wife, he finds himself struggling mentally. He feels that he no longer fits in with the world. His mental state has prevented him from now doing his job efficiently. It is at this point, that his brother, Dan, gets him placed into a psychiatric facility, where he is overseen by a Dr, Johnson. Johnson can clearly see that Harry is fragile, but not to the point where his care is considered mandatory over time. So, because of overcrowding, Johnson has no choice but to release him. She puts Harry on a probation, and requires that he report to her every week, for the next 3 months. From there, to keep a closer eye on him, Dan, puts his brother up in an old, abandoned hotel. It is here where he stays, but soon Harry begins to take note that he isn't alone. He has a run in with a bunch of hoodlums, as well as encounters, nightly talks with a bellhop. He also hears cries for help, as well as comes face to face with a couple of the hotel's previous tenants, who just so happened to have committed suicide many years prior. He even seems to somehow get closer to his Doctor, with whom he believes to have develop a relationship. However, Harry's downward spiral continues, when it is murder, which sends him off the deep end, as he drifts further and further into madness.

The short story for BLOODY WEDNESDAY is that it is loosely based on a real life tragedy, which occurred in 1984. In the real life case, James Huberty walked into a local McDonald's and brutally killed 21 people. His actions were never explained, and the tragedy was subsequently called "Bloody Wednesday by the media. This film from 1987, bases itself on the aforementioned event, in order to tell it's fictitious story. Though the massacre location has been changed to a coffee shop for(obvious reasons), its main concern is the decent into madness, in which the suspect faces. What could have happened to the real life, James Huberty to make him commit such an act? Here, in the film titled BLOODY WEDNESDAY, James Huberty is represented by a character named "Harry Curtis". The results are strange, some times oddly fascinating, but all-the-time, weird.

This is a film that has just now received its first DVD release in the states via FILM CHEST MEDIA GROUP. It is also a film that I unknowingly requested after I had already seen the film a few months back on VINEGAR SYNDROME'S EXPLOITATION TV channel. At that time, I must admit that, though I had the film streaming in the background, I really didn't pay attention to it. Honestly, I found it slow. However, this time, I gave it more attention. And still, I believe it is somewhat slow. But I must admit that its purpose is clear. Most of what goes on in the film is a literal representation of what is going on in the character of Harry Curtis' head. He talks to a stuffed teddy bear, and sees dead people. In fact, many of the prople that we see him interact with on screen, are not really there. Unfortunately though, what truly is real, is the murder a carnage that all of these things cause Harry to commence in the end.

BLOODY WEDNESDAY's routinely plotted trip to madness was obviously inspired in plot by heavyweight Horror film, THE SHINING, as here, Harry experiences similar things as Jack Torrance did in that film. But needless to say, although BLOODY WEDNESDAY thinks big, it pretty much lacks in every department. The script, as well as the accompanying directing is scatterbrained, with no real sense of direction. And the acting itself is over-the-top. Together, it creates a campy feel that surrounds the film as a whole. Its intentions are real, but the whole vibe is just weird. In tone, it feels a lot like the film, CHRISTMAS EVIL. Which is an odd film in itself. Overall, BLOODY WEDNESDAY is not a good film. But there is just something about the bizarre nature of it, that somewhat grabs your attention for a few moments. It probably won't be a favorite, and probably won't be too memorable, but if you desire, see it at least once.

3/10 Not a lot of gore, but there is a decent amount of bloodshed during the massacre scene, in which Harry shoots down a number of victims.
4/10 Some old school synth scoring provides the film with an atmospheric tone.
As I said, FILM CHEST MEDIA GROUP releases this film for the first time state side here, with no sort of restoration of any kind. It is simply the film, "as is". The film is presented in full frame(4:3), and seems to have been sourced from a very old print. The picture quality is fuzzy, with a clouded soft appearance throughout. Honestly, I would not pay top dollar for this DVD new. But if you can find it used abd cheaper, go for ir. Not a good film, not awful. Just a bit strange.

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