Curdled [retro review]


Summary Capsule: 1996 R, directed by Reb Braddock and starring Angela Jones, William Baldwin, and Daisy Fuentes

Tagline This serial killer is about to meet his match.

Summary Capsule A happy death-freak tracks a serial killer through her post-homicide clean-up job.

Kym’s Rating: Four out of four long, sharp butcher knifes.

Kym’s Review: This is the story of Gabriela who, as a small girl growing up in Columbia, becomes obsessed with death. After moving to Miami, she becomes extremely interested in the “Blue Blood Killer”, played by William Baldwin in an exceptionally creepy role, who murders well-to-do ladies and then proceeds to hack off their heads. Gabriela then gets a job with a post-forensic clean-up crew who goes around cleaning up the blood and what-not after the bodies have been removed from the crime scene. She then, with a little finagling, gets assigned to clean-up one of the “Blue Blood” crime scenes.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of it for you, but sufficient to say, the ending is very fast paced and it will not disappoint. This was such an interesting movie to watch. It was executive produed by Quentin Tarantino (and has an excellent From Dusk Til Dawn reference), so you if you’re a fan of his, then this movie will be right up your alley.

The movie also has a subplot, which is Gabriela’s burgeoning romance with Eduardo, a guy she once worked with. It was so cute the way that she explained her interest in death to him and I loved the part when he brought her a clipping for her scrapbook of murders as a present. I thouroghly enjoyed this film. It belongs to the family of movies that isn’t quite for everybody, but if you’re anything like me and don’t mind a little (or in this case, a lot, of gore), you’ll love it. It’s witty and never dull with just the perfect ending. I found myself laughing out loud in many parts and I’m sure you’ll do the same.

Justin’s Rating: 456 out of 603 (anyone remember SpaceQuest?)

Justin’s Review: If we’re to be truly honest with each other on Mutant Reviewers From Hell, than it’s gotta be said: even the best of us can be downright morbid sometimes. Heck, I have my funeral planned out — I’ll be cremated, and everyone who comes to the wake will get a small vial of my ashes to wear around their neck, so everyone can go home with a piece of Justin! And I figure that if I have advance knowledge that I’m about to die, I’ll try to position my body in a really scary position, such as leaning against the closet door, so whoever finds me will flip. So, okay, we’re morbid. It’s why we peel off the wings of flies as kids and maybe take one too many doubletakes at roadkill. It’s human nature to be somewhat sickly fascinated with death, and that takes us to the character of our feature film, Curdled.

Gabriela is a woman perhaps more morbid than most. As a kid she witnessed a guy falling to his death (and got a peak at the gory details). Ever since, she’s kept a journal of death-worthy news events (what few there are, heh) and even applies at an agency that specializes in cleaning up the bloody aftermath of crime sprees. The title of the film comes from the observation that blood curdles after sitting too long. Yummy yum yum. This might all be a setup for some serious goth angst, except that Gabriela is so incredibly upbeat and unabashed about her fascination for death stuff. Plus, she has this peppy latino soundtrack on her side.

Irony is served — so conveniently as is often done in the movies — when Gabriela brushes up against a serial killer linked to one of the crime scenes she cleans. The so-called Blue Blood Killer (one of the worse serial killer names in the history of cinema) decapitates the heads of rich women in Miami. For a movie about blood and murder, the actual gore is pretty light (for those of you who didn’t order the iron stomachs). The third act of the film pits innocent (or is she?) Gabriela against the killer with a battle of words and wits. With wide-eyed interest, Gabriela quizzes the killer about his methods and reenacts the killing herself.

Curdled was one of the first movies we ever reviewed at MRFH, and yet remains one of our stranger titles. It’s hard to put it into any categories or even recommend it with a straight face. You just try explaining the plot to YOUR mother, mister! She’ll start in on this “We put you through college and two degrees and you review MOVIES about spoiled BLOOD?” rant, and then Christmas just gets awkward.

But really, the one main compelling reason to see Curdled is for its afterlife afficianado lead, who still makes me grin to see her bouncing around in this role. She’s blowing bubbles with gum as she steps into her first crime scene, for gosh’s sake! I love to see someone so not afraid of death, and it’s just plain cheeky to watch her reenact the crime as she figures out the pieces. P.S. — Don’t let the Quentin Tarantino affiliation on the video box scare you… his company just helped to have this movie made, he has nothing directly to do with it. Thank God for small favors.

The Dance of Happy Death!


  • The Gecko brothers from From Dusk Till Dawn are depicted as fugitives on a crime TV show spotlighting the “Blue Blood Killer”.
  • This was based on the director’s short film, also entitled “Curdled”, also starring Angela Jones. It was made in 1991, then seen by Quentin Taraninto, who wanted it fleshed out to a full-length feature.
  • Is It Worth Staying Through End Credits? Yes — Gabriella gets a brief moment to cap things off right at the end!

Groovy Quotes

Paul: Gabrielllllaaaaa…

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