Billed as a “crime drama”, the new film from Los Bastardz Productions, “Nightblade”, is like a giallo inspired episode of “Miami Vice”, so maybe “slasher drama” would be a more apt description.
Opening with fast rising indie horror starlet Nikki Strange being attacked in a graceyard. “Nightblade”, through a series of flashbacks, builds the story of three childhood friends, Andrew (Scott Tepperman) the disgraced cop, Jade (Betsy Rue) a classy MILF dancer, and Nicky (O’Rear) a degenerate gambler, all joining forces to run Nicky’s failing strip club. A mysterious black gloved killer soon is on the prowl and the bodies start stacking up as our three protagonists try to get to the bottom of their dead dancer problem, all while coming to grips with their individual demons.
In a bit of an low budget casting coup, veteran thespian Robert Lasardo shows up as Jade’s abusive boyfriend, and the last surviving “Dif’rent Strokes” alum, Todd Bridges, does a nice turn as a gravelly voiced detective working the case. But the real revelation here are the indie vets! Tepperman and Rue (in a benchmark emotional role, and she is also sexy as fuck by the way) both bring their A-Game and, quite frankly, this is the very best Jim O’Rear that this reviewer has seen thus far—he’s at his brilliant, smart assed, fast talking pinnacle! Filled to the brim with tension, comedic bits, inventive kills, boobs, and a surprising amount of gore, “Nightblade” is a glowing example of what happens when two guys like Tepperman and O’Rear not only write, produce and direct, but also act in, their own features—they have a vested interest in assuring that “Nightblade” doesn’t suck, and it doesn’t. The whole cast displays a chemistry and a dedication to the material that works on nearly every level. Fellow genre directors Tom Komisar and Cameron Scott also pop up in supporting roles, proving that, like Jim and Scott, they can work very well in front of the camera too.
Ably photographed, even sound, and a non-intrusive sound design make the film a pleasure to watch. Sure some of the dialogue gets a little clunky at times, a few scenes seem over written, and not everyone should quit their acting classes, but despite these minor flaws, “Nightblade” is a fun, engaging, entertaining little indie film. Watch it. Watch it often.
I could have done without seeing O’Rear’s ass (again) though.