Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blood Freak (1972)

It’s time for me to now pay homage to what I truly believe to be the greatest “B” movie that I have ever considered myself privileged to witness. You’ve seen “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” “Eegah,” “Manos, the Hands of Fate,” perhaps even “Ishtar,” and you think that you can now die a happy, fulfilled individual because you believe that you have thoroughly plunged the depths of human incompetence and inadequacy. But you are sadly wrong. For there is one film that beats them all; one film that, in this shrew’s opinion, is the true holy grail of bad movies. One film that glowers at all the other “B” movies and shakes its wang at them, saying, “Bow down and prostrate yourselves before the supreme ineptitude that is ‘Blood Freak!’”

If you have never heard of this movie (let alone have never seen it), the back of the DVD package sums up nicely what it’s about: “The world’s only turkey-monster, anti-drug, pro-Jesus, gore film!” And that’s putting it lightly. Here’s the story in a nutshell. Herschell (played by Steve Hawkes, who has an accent as thick as Arnold’s but none of his charisma) is a lone biker who one day meets and befriends two sisters. One is Jesus-lovin’ Angel, who continuously tries to convert him to the ways of the Lord, while the other is bad-girl, Ann, who always tries to covert him to the ways of drugs, sex and generally having a good time. Herschell, of course, takes the path of least resistance and hooks up with Ann and her party loving friends and, as a result, soon becomes a drug addict. He also meets the girls’ father, a turkey farmer who offers him work doing odd jobs around the farm which drifter Herschell accepts. Upon arriving at his new job, he meets up with other employees at the turkey farm: two lab scientists who perform experiments to improve the quality of the turkey meat. They quickly convince Herschell to become a guinea pig for them and eat some chemically enhanced, highly experimental turkey meat to see if there are any side effects. But the combination of the drugs and tainted turkey meat eating are too much for Herschell’s system and he quickly mutates into a turkey headed monster which must kill and drink the blood of drug addicts to keep it satiated. And from there the movie gets even goofier.

What causes this film to suck on such a supreme level, and go beyond (and below) what the typical bad movie can only dream of becoming, is that it not only sucks in its execution, its terribly annoying music, its festering acting, its god-awful script-writing, and its horrendous make up effects (the turkey head is basically a papier-mâché mask), it also sucks at the very core of its story idea. Most bad films, if you look at them close enough, have at their core at least the germ of a good idea that, if polished and honed in the hands of a competent producer and director, might produce a semi-decent flick. ‘Blood Freak,’ however, doesn’t even have that going for it. Its story and premise are so appallingly ridiculous that no director, no matter how competent, could make anything good of it.

Here are a few moments worth noting (** Spoilers, shmoilers! Keep reading! **):

  • Peppering this atrocity are frequent interludes with the director, chain-smoking Brad Grinter, who sits in what looks to be a cheap trailer (complete with warped fake-wood paneling), wearing pseudo-silk pajamas and sucking down cigarettes like someone was going to snatch them from him at any moment. During these sections of the film, Brad gibbers on about the largely incomprehensible philosophy that is supposedly the “meaning” of this film.

  • The acting in this film is repulsive through and through, but the cream of the crop has to be the two lab-scientists that the turkey farmer employs. No amount of written description can properly convey how badly these two doorknobs act.

  • Probably the most jaw-dropping scene in the entire film is when the now drug-mutated, turkey-headed Herschell goes to his girlfriend, Ann, and she has a one-sided conversation with him (he can only gobble back in reply) in which she ponders how their relationship will continue and what their children will look like. What then ensues in an implied amorous encounter (with Ann saying “Oh, Hershell” and him simply gobbling).

  • One of the Blood Freak’s victims is a local drug dealer (played by a Clint Howard look-alike). The monster knocks the dealer out, places him on a buzz-saw table, and then proceeds to saw his leg off. The victim then proceeds to scream endlessly while the camera focuses on his bloody stump. By the way, the actor playing the victim is obviously an amputee and the filmmaker obviously just had the monster cut away the fake part of his leg.

  • The cherry on the top of this vomit sundae comes at the very end when the cigarettes finally get the best our beloved narrator/philosopher and he goes into a hilarious coughing fit. As the picture fades, he then smiles weakly to the camera as if to say, “What the fuck. We don’t have enough money to re-shoot that.”

Well, I think I’ll stop now, largely because I can’t think of any more synonyms for “inept,” “bad” or “horrid.” This film will take you down roads of such pure, rank cheese that, while in the midst of it, you feel that you could never stomach watching it again. But when it’s over, and you walk out into the sunshine of a new day, you suddenly feel yourself aching inside, yearning to see more of it. Such incompetence has rarely been seen on such a grand, almost epic scale. So do yourself a favor. Do not just rent this film from Netflix or Blockbuster or whatever. Run out and purchase it. And if your local bookstore or video store doesn’t currently carry it, pound on the checkout counter and say in a bold, yawping voice so that all may hear, “By the power of the gods and all that is holy, I demand ‘Blood Freak!’” (or, as an alternative, you can simply order it from By purchasing this DVD, you are casting your vote and telling your world that you are a lover of horrible, be-sodden films of only the utmost rankness and that nothing better will satisfy you.

Check out the trailer to this "turkey" here:

No comments:

Post a Comment