Indie neo-noir Blood Orange is a taut and quietly tense thriller with a scene-stealing turn from music legend and Godfather of Punk Iggy Pop in (remarkably) his first ever lead. Heading up a strong cast of only four, the movie is delivered in style by debut writer/director Toby Tobias.
Bill (Pop) is an ageing, half-blind, shotgun-wielding rock star who lives in a secluded Spanish villa with his promiscuous wife Isabelle (Kacey Clarke, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Green Street 3). Out of the blue, her bitter ex-flame Lucas (Ben Lamb, Divergent) shows up at the house, armed with blackmail material and seeking revenge for the family inheritance he believes was robbed from him when she married his ailing father. But when Lucas realises Isabelle is having a new fling with pool boy David (Antonio Magro, TV’sTitanic), he sees an opportunity to turn the tables but events spiral dangerously out of control, leading to a showdown and culmination of love, loyalty and obsession.
The movie starts as a slow burner but, with the patience to become absorbed in the mood and setting, it’s ultimately very satisfying. Boasting sharp, terse dialogue and subtle performances from its small ensemble cast, it hits many points of the emotional and character spectrum: Bill’s craggy world-weariness, Lucas’ brattiness, Isabelle’s chilled and carefree existence, David’s new found infatuation…
The cast is strong and believable, with Clarke and Lamb showing particular conflicts within their journey. However, this is undoubtedly Iggy’s show and he steals every scene he’s in, with many small nods and references mirroring Pop’s own life and career, no doubt appealing to the man himself. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Ig’s work and, despite small roles in the decades before, it’s great to see him sink his teeth into a quality lead and something new, pulling it off in style.
With slick cinematography – beautifully shot entirely in Ibiza, Spain – the sun-soaked scenery and quiet ambience plays well against the escalating drama, all backed by a haunting, melancholic soundtrack. Again, I loved this tone and greatly appreciated that it didn’t rush as it hurtles towards the grim final act.
For fans of moody neo-noir or die-hard followers of Iggy, Blood Orange offers something pretty fresh, unique and different to what we’ve seen before.
Blood Orange is released on 4th July from Metrodome Distribution.