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Bloodshot Heart


Follow your heart to the depths.


A mild-mannered driving instructor living with his manipulative and jealous mother descends into obsession and psychosis when a tenant half his age moves in. As the lines between reality and fantasy twist and merge, he hatches a violent plan to win her love.


'Bloodshot Heart' is a journey into obsession, memory and delusion. In a world where the difference between reality and fantasy can be hard to discern, Hans, a middle-aged driving instructor, attempts to shake off the manipulative grasp of his Italian mother and pursue a younger woman, Matilda, a musician renting a room in their apartment. As jealousy and infatuation spill over into psychosis, Hans hatches a violent plan to win the heart of Matilda and free himself from his mother's clutches forever.

  • Parish Malfitano
    Addiction (2011), Through the Eyes of a Fox (2105), Peeling Back the Light (2016), Straniero (2017), Bloodshot Heart (2020)
  • Parish Malfitano
    Through the Eyes of a Fox (2015), Peeling Back the Light (2016), Straniero (2016), Bloodshot Heart (2020)
  • Martin Thorne
    Habirth (2002), The Seventh Wave (2009), House of Sticks (2011), Shelter (2011), Pocket Money (2013), Bedlam (2014), Factory Hands (2105), Hot Mess (2016), Bloodshot Heart (2020)
  • Richard James Allen
    Mistakes of Heaven (1991), Blue Cities (1993), What To Name Your Baby (1995), Sam in a Pram (1996), The Frightening of Angels (1997), The Hope Machine (1997), 13 Acts of Unfufilled Love (1997), The Hope Machine (1997), A Dancer Drops Out Of The Sky (2000), Rubberman Accepts The Nobel Prize (2001), No Surrender (2002), What I Did On My Nervous Breakdown (2002), Down Time Jaz (2003), Thursday's Fictions (2006), The Sun's Search for the Moon (2008), Entanglement Theory (2009), Monk: Reloaded (2011), ‘rite of spring’ (2013), Woman with an Editing Bench (2016), Digital Afterlives (2017), After the Facts (2018), Text Messages from the Universe (2019), Bloodshot Heart (2019), I want to make a film about women (2019), Bloodshot Heart (2020).
  • Parish Malfitano
    Addiction (2011), Through the Eyes of a Fox (2015), Peeling back the Light (2016), (Bloodshot Heart (2020)
  • Richard James Allen
    Key Cast
    Feature Films: The Script of Life, Text Messages from the Universe, The Casting Game, Thursday's Fictions; Television Programs: Deadly Women, The Almond Tree (TV Series Proof of Concept), Deadly Women, What is Video Dance?, Sam in a Pram, What To Name Your Baby, Blue Cities; Commercials: Australian Border Force - Border Watch: Flag It, BANJO Guardian Funerals - Flick Book, HSBC Home Loans - Set It Free; Short Films: I want to make a film about women, Pseudomonas, Tutable, Onscreen Draft: Remixing History, Strings, Decorum, What We Keep, Blood Orange , Digital Afterlives, The Memory Room, Spotlight, Danses Macabre, The Five to Nine, Woman with an Editing Bench, Draft, "...the dancer from the dance", The Guy Who Shot Paris Hilton, Monk: Reloaded, Entanglement Theory, The Lament of the Argentine Military, Down Time Jaz, What I Did On My Nervous Breakdown, Rubberman Accepts The Nobel Prize, Breathe, 13 Acts of Unfulfilled Love, The Dancer Drops Out Of The Sky, The Hope Machine, International Bestseller: Over 10 Million Copies Sold, White, Think Too Much, The Way Out At Last
  • Dina Panozzo
    Key Cast
    A Place to Call Home, Packed to the Rafters,Black & White & Sex, The Man with Wings, Bed of Roses,Carla Cametti PD, Love's Brother,White Collar Blue, Mother of an Attitude, Head Start, The Man Who Sued God, Water Rats, Let's Wait, Wildside, Fistful of Flies, Wedlocked, Just Desserts, Bedevil, G.P, Acropolis Now, Mission: Impossible, Richmond Hill, Special Squad, A Country Practice 
  • Emily David
    Key Cast
    Joyful, Jacky Wants A Fight, Portrait
  • Peter-William Jamieson
    Key Cast
    A Suburban Love Story, Plans, Drown, Looking for Heroes, Bridge View, , Last Words, Benny, Drown, ,
  • Matt Lausch
    Key Cast
    Snare, Suburban Wildlife, Soul Date
  • Natalia Ladyko
    Key Cast
    Me & My Left Brain, How to Know If You're Dating a Narcissist, Parked, Home and Away, Planet Party, The Secret Daughter, Memories of Michael, Brock, The Agent, Ready for This, Catching Milat, Deadly Women, Behind Mansion Walls
  • Byron Luckey
    Key Cast
    HIndsight, Alone, Winter
  • Hazel Annikki Savolainen
    Key Cast
    Straight, Let Them Eat Cake; Finger Painting; The Few, the Super
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Horror, Psychological Thriller
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    600,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Italian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 8mm film
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ATOM Awards - Finalist: Best Fiction Feature Film
    National Awards - not a screening.
    Finalist: Best Fiction Feature Film
  • Revelation Perth International Film Festival
    July 9, 2020
    World Premiere
  • Fantaspoa - International Fantastic Film Festival of Porto Alegre
    Porto Alegre
    International Premiere
  • Fantastic Film Festival Australia
    Sydney and Melbourne
    Sydney and Melbourne Premieres
  • Cinefantasy - International Fantastic Film Festival
    São Paulo
    São Paulo Premiere
  • Shanghai International Film Festival
    June 12, 2021
    China Premiere
  • Dances With Films
    Los Angeles
    United States
    September 6, 2021
Director Biography - Parish Malfitano


Parish Malfitano is an Italian Australian filmmaker who draws on his migrant heritage to create films about uncertainty, discomfort and delusion. His work stands out for its rich grasp of cinematic language to express subtle states of emotion in a fearlessness confrontation of the fragility of male identity. A 2018 graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Parish has created numerous short films as a writer/director and producer, predominantly through the genres of drama and horror. Parish was Assistant Editor on ‘Dead Hands Dig Deep,’ which was very successful on the festival circuit, most notably gaining acceptance into Slamdance 2016. In 2017, Parish interned at the production company, See Pictures, which was greatly advantageous to his growth as director and producer. He has recently completed his critically acclaimed debut feature film, ‘Bloodshot Heart’, about which Adrian Martin writes: “‘Bloodshot Heart’ offers a rich experience… perverse disrespectability... superb cinematography … evocative score… a sinister, dreamlike realm… a Freudian carnival of horrors… A modern-day version of an Italian giallo horror-thriller from the 1960s or ‘70s. It has all the right ingredients: erotic obsession, colliding personal fantasies, vivid hallucination sequences, sick and twisted family relationships” (screenhub’). Bill Mousoulis describes ‘Bloodshot Heart’ as: “A stylish-cum-lurid tapestry of trauma, memory and delusion… a kind of twisted psychodrama, reminiscent of colourful thrillers from the '70s and '80s from directors such as Cronenberg, De Palma, Lynch, or the more violent, lush vistas of more modern directors such as Noé or Von Trier” (PURE SHIT: Australian Cinema). Paul Kelman concludes: “‘Bloodshot Heart’ is a psychedelic, sensory delight and could be the next Aussie cult film classic” (‘Filmink’).

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Director Statement

BLOODSHOT HEART is a film about delusion and denial, in which the perception of the present is warped through the window of the past. Embracing its heightened palate and occasional macabre tone, BLOODSHOT HEART playfully finds comfort in its Shakespearean qualities, while pushing ahead through a contemporary lens. As an Italian/Australian, my intention was to find an equilibrium between Australian and European sensibilities, establishing a contemporary understanding of human identity through satire.

BLOODSHOT HEART seeks to tell a story about a man bound by his own encumbering sense of masculinity, an overbearing sense of responsibility to control, which is something that continues to be more relevant than ever. Although this story is set in the present, the world is represented through the lens of a nostalgic past encapsulating a ‘70s aesthetic. It is as if the characters are stuck within a time and place from which they cannot break, highlighting our shifting societal values through a distorted lens. BLOODSHOT HEART is about how our emotions take over from our intellect, to help us push through tragedy and deal with grief.

I like to think of BLOODSHOT HEART as the drunken Australian step-cousin of American and European cinema; it’s influences are unashamedly abundant, working as a way to facilitate an overarching thought bubble of our changing perspectives. An unabashed fan of the high art and B-grade films of the ‘70s, I drew on multiple influences as a way of establishing a stylised landscape that showcases Australia through the veneer of such filmmakers such as Brian DePalma and Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock’s and David Lynch.