Sierra Schermerhorn, Larry Yazzie, Noah Gillett, Nathan Christopher, Janet Fogg, Dale R. Botten, Alison Anderson, Jamie Houk
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
There is much to enjoy about writer/director Wesley Ellenwood's slow burnin' crime drama No Blood of Mine, a rare female-led crime drama centering around Victoria (Sierra Schermerhorn), a smart and pretty girl from a poor neighborhood in Duluth, Minnesota who misguidedly accepts a loan from a North Dakota gangster in an effort to keep her Williston trucking firm afloat. When the company goes under anyway, Victoria opts to skip town and return to her home in the middle of the night, an effort met in not so friendly fashion by the aforementioned gangster who catches up to and kidnaps her. Victoria is forced to choose between joining forces with the gangster or facing the music involving incriminating evidence that links her to her wealthy father's death.
No Blood of Mine has already been on the indie film festival circuit for several months and picked up the prize for Best Narrative Feature at Saint Paul Frozen Film Festival in 2017. While contemporary cinema has had sporadic periods female leads in downright action pics, the truth is that Hollywood has never really devoted itself to the concept. It's a refreshing choice and one that's made better by the presence of Schermerhorn, a relative newcomer to the cinema scene who makes for a quietly compelling central figure.
As is often the case in low and modestly budgeted indie flicks, the ensemble in No Blood of Mine, with another solid turn offered by Larry Yazzie as a Native American detective, not too far removed from recent appearances by Gil Birmingham, who's working on the case.
Andy Chinn's lensing is rock solid throughout, both heightening the drama and emphasizing the tension that builds within the nearly two hour film. While No Blood of Mine runs a tad long and drags in places, the film has an overall impact that lingers in your psyche long past the closing credits. Kudos should also be given for Allie Franke's stark, resonant production design and an original score by Lee Sanders that is used sparingly yet effectively.
While No Blood of Mine is unlikely to be the best crime drama that you'll see this year, it's a solid example of the quality work that can be done within the framework of a modest budget. With a little tightening of action sequences and tweaking of dialogue, No Blood of Mine would likely downright sizzle but it's still a worthy ride and an involving film.
For more information on No Blood of Mine, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic