Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Rated 2.0

Spike Lee partially funded his latest movie through Kickstarter, and the results are a mixed bag. While his film about a wealthy researcher (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becoming addicted to blood thanks to an ancient artifact contains some of his most startling imagery in many years, it's a bit long in the tooth. Given the artistic freedom of a Kickstarter project, Lee doesn't seem to check himself when it comes to pacing, resulting in a film that could benefit from 30 minutes or so being shaved off. Still, Williams is good as the secluded rich man who, after an associate (Elvis Nolasco) tries to kill him, finds himself resurrected and thirsting blood. He preys upon prostitutes, and eventually takes a wife (a strong Zaraah Abrahams) who soon joins him in blood lust. It's not a traditional vampire movie, although it is quite bloody, featuring scenes of Williams and Abrahams lapping up victim blood on the floor like dogs. Bruce Hornsby provides a solid score, as do many unsigned artists that Lee selected for the project. Shot in just 16 days, this is Lee's best work in years, even if it is still a bit of a failure. (Available for rent and purchase on iTunes, Amazon.com and Vimeo On Demand during its limited theatrical run.)