Friday, May 23, 2008

Blood Feast

Blood Feast (1963)

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Written by: A. Louise Downe
Starring: Mal Arnold, Thomas Wood, Connie Mason, Lyn Bolton, Scott H. Hall and others

I'd heard a lot about Herschell Gordon Lewis in the past (just looking down the list of titles on his IMDb page is amusing), but I hadn't actually seen one of his films until now...

About an Egyptian caterer who chops up scantily clad young women in order to revive this ancient goddess, Or something. The movie's not really heavy on plot - it's mostly just an excuse to pack in as much blood, guts and babes as possible.

The film is almost painful to watch. The acting (particularly from Mal Arnold, who looking like he was reading the script) is very nearly unbearable, not that the actors had all that much to go on.

It kind of reminded me a little bit of an Ed Wood film (although I've only actually seen one Ed Wood film in it's entirety, and I nearly fell asleep watching it), the difference being that the Ed Wood film goes from one really boring scene to some other really boring scene but Blood Feast at least cuts to some horrible sadistic violence.

Such as a partially naked woman chained to a wall being whipped for no apparent reason. Delightful.

Anyway, perhaps this films only merit is that it really piles on the gore. There's way more gore than is probably necessary and it looked really bad, but it sort of made up for everything else in the movie.

This one has a lot more in common with the modern slasher film than, say, Psycho - it's paced about the same way (ten minutes of dialogue followed by a really sexy lady getting killed in some really nasty way, then ten more minutes of dialogue and so on) and... well, the acting calibre is a little lower but not that much.

Actually, though it seems I am trashing this film, I really enjoyed it. It was probably one of the worst movies I've seen, moving along at an incredibly slow pace, occasionally interspersed with unpleasant things being done to women, but... well, it was kind of bad enough to be good.

There's just so much ridiculous, potential in joke material. The newspaper headline reading 'LEGS CUT OFF!' in big block letters tickled me to no end. Or the line "Have you ever had... an EGYPTIAN FEAST?!". So much more dramatic than it needs to be.

Ah, it just reminded me of what a person can do with $25,000, 15 pages of script and two weeks of spare time... next to nothing, but at least they made me laugh a little while.


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