Content warning: This article discusses the subject of Bloodwash’s gender-based violence.
Walking from my third floor apartment to the laundry room on the first floor is one of my least favorite things. A narrow concrete passage leads to a fragile wooden door with three locks hanging on it, because you never know who will try to enter. My partner would rather jump off the roof than go downstairs alone. Who wants to be murdered beside your own pile of underwear?
It is this mentality that Bloodwash, an independent horror game mainly set in a late-night laundromat, occasionally has a huge impact.Mainly inspired by Italian porn, A type of horror that was popular from the 60s to the 80s, usually accompanied by alienated women being violently chased by swordsmen and plagued by psychological or sexual trauma. If you can bear the metaphor that it is often exploited, Bloodwash treats itself Set it apart from other independent horror films. Wrapped in a visual style reminiscent of the PS1 era graphics, plus a fuzzy VHS tape filter, this is a game that successfully pays tribute to the past.
You play a young woman named Sara, with a lazy drunk, on the road as a boyfriend and a baby.She needs clean clothes to attend the job interview tomorrow, but Someone She was too lazy to wash clothes when she was in school. So it fell on her. Of course, the road to the laundry room was a dilapidated concrete tunnel. As a result, the washing machine in this building broke down anyway.
It’s getting late. According to your only good neighbor, your last bet is a 24/7 laundromat on the edge of town. So you pack your things and try to catch the last train, completely disregarding the newspaper report about the “Ripper” serial killer, who has been targeting pregnant women. Yes, that’s the story.
I love every inch of the Bloodwash laundromat and the shopping malls around it, with a problematic pizzeria, an adult video store, and a closed electronics store run by a cigar-suffering barbarian. You can almost smell the wooden walls and the slimy tile floor, the CRT TV in the corner emits soft fluff, playing old horror movies and brotherhood family comedies. This is a former phone, so we can only kill time by wandering around. I found a few comic books to read, a complete three-volume story about a pair of resurrected women and some sharp-looking guys fighting against demons. This is exactly the kind of trash I found in my mother’s old salon.
I dug the first half of the Bloodwash because it was content to create a gentle but disturbing mood. I have to wait 10 minutes in the real world to finish the laundry, so my mind wandered and wondered, “Oh, damn, where did that person disappear?” Did he go to the bathroom? Smoking to rest? Or is he entangled like fleshy confetti?
I especially like the characters in Bloodwash. They feel part of it is giallo and the other part is Troma schlock. In this world, friendliness and universal courtesy are in short supply, mainly the type of men who will smell your hair and call you a slanderer, and they tell them to leave their business alone. A man only called “creep” asks to sit next to you, almost immediately announcing that you are going to die tonight. This does not mean that impolite or even really good people can meet, such as a late-night laundromat user, even though he is too embarrassed to be the person you are willing to go out with.
I will leave most of the real horror of Bloodwash to you to discover for yourself, but it is worth mentioning that the second half of the game belongs to some movie and video game tropes, which may polarize (or even repel) casual and hard Nuclear fans. Of course, the whereabouts of the mysterious “Ripper” comes back to play a role, and your laundromat trip becomes a nightmare to hell. What impressed me was how Bloodwash handled the subject of gender-based violence. Giallo is terrible in terms of graphic violence and over-sexualization of femininity—yes, welcome to the horror genre, I know—but Bloodwash is more dependent on power and domination, the madness of opponents, and physical mutilation than Dario. Theme Argento is full of colorful surrealism.
Bloodwash is somewhere between the respect of fashion and the playfulness of clichés. PS1-style graphics and VHS tape artifacts do add to the discomfort of just turning or witnessing scary scenes. It relieves some of its blood and violence, but if you can’t stand the pain and doom caused by these types of stories, then you’d better look elsewhere.
I hope the developers of Bloodwash can talk more about their giallo inspiration, because it’s obvious that they really appreciate what the movie does for horror. However, just like the horror genre, over time, we leave behind any meaningful cultural commentary, because the same jumping panic plagues the sequel and the inevitable parade of imitators.