Saturday, 28 April 2012

Blood Feast (1963)

In Blood Feast (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1963), this Egyptian caterer called Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) stalks nubile virgins to sacrifice to the goddess Ishtar (played as convincingly by a tacky prop statue as she could have been by any other actress in the film). You can guess how this one goes without too much effort. Virgins are slain viciously, hot Playboy Bunny rejects frolick in a swimming pool, one blonde chick is rescued in the nick of time, Ramses gets his inevitable comeuppance, there is a lot of blood (I will not reveal whether it was feasted upon. Watch the movie yourself).

"Ugh! I feasted on too much blood!"
I really dug Blood Feast. It was classic grindhouse that promised gratuitous cheesecake and violence and delivered. Also, is it just me, or was Herschell Gordon Lewis a much better musician than he was a director? The movie itself falls into the So-Bad-It's-Good canon, but the soundtrack (which H. G. L. composed)  is funky Sixties Egyptian-inspired stuff and pretty great.

I give this one a 3/5. It is not a great movie. It is not even a good movie. But it's enjoyable, which is largely what matters. Bonus points to the mom character who responds to the news that her daughter has almost been brutally murdered by a crazed serial killer with a flustered "oh dear". And to that actor who plays the boyfriend of one of the murdered girls, fake-sobbing his way into cinema infamy. And to the aptly named Thomas Wood as Detective Pete Thornton. He can't act but at least he's consistent.

Somehow I doubt she's reading "The Empty Space".
FINAL GIRL: Ex-Playboy playmate Connie Mason as Suzette the life-size Barbie doll. Mason's got long blonde hair, is soaked in self-tanner and wears fluorescent pink costumes for the entire movie. Apparently she learned to act a little bit in between Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs (1964), because she's atrocious in this one whereas in 2000 Maniacs she's just regular bad.

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