Celluloid Red!

by Tom Baker about a year ago in pop culture

The worst movies have the bloodiest titles.

Celluloid Red!

Some of the worst cinematic dogs (er, turkeys is probably more appropriate here, if rather trite) have, it seems, the word "blood" in the title: Bloodsucking Freaks, Blood Feast,I Drink Your Blood, My Bloody Mama, My Bloody Valentine... You get the picture. In order to exploit the natural human's propensity to see his/her fellow man/woman suffer bloody highway accidents, mutilations, mishaps, and suchlike, the purveyors of such cinematic turdblossoms occasionally give a big, loud unsubtle-as-fuck "soo-eeey" to their hustling, bustling hordes of teenaged future thrill-killers and sleazoid porno-store lovin' social misfits, reprobates, and dope fiends. Or, at least they did until Western Civilization and American culture went completely south of Heaven, sometime around the same time we all got high-speed internet.

Let's take a pleasant (or unpleasant, depending on your perspective) walk through the celluloid "Barnyard of Blood"; let's refresh our minds and memories of yesteryear's exploitative trash with a "stroll down Sanguinary Lane." (Hey, sounds like a title I could work with!)

Here are some movies with "blood" in their titles that suck—BLOODSUCKING... movies, methinks.

'Blood Freak: A Dracula on Drugs' (1972)

Undoubtedly cinematic buffalo chips, wafting a stench not unlike that of the local Greyhound station restroom at low tide,Blood Freak, a freaky movie about freaky people who smoke weed, orgy, and love Jesus is, quite literally, an anti-drug, pro-hippie, pro-Christian mutant filmgoer's odyssey. It's all about a biker who smokes experimental weed and then imagines himself turning into a turkey monster (with a turkey head), who saws some chick's leg off before having his noggin scarfed down by his cannabis-abusing buddies who all got a bad case of the munchies, I take it. Afterwards, he finds the Lord and gets the girl. It really is quite an epic. Alongside Citizen Kane, I give it two-and-a-half pints for making "cold turkey" seem like more than a trite phrase.

Unbelivably, wretched Z-movie 'Bloodfreak' staring turkey-man and Jesus People biker "Herschel" (Steve Hawks)

'Bloodsucking Freaks' (1976)

One of the most odious pieces of cinematic sewage ever conceived in the addlepated brain of a human being (one both infamous and legendary for ALL the wrong reasons), is Joel M. Reed's... ah, shall we say, "inspirational" adaptation of H.G. Lewis's earlier film Wizard of Gore. Despite having far faker effects, Bloodsuckingis far more sickening than the earlier Wizard, in so much that it hates women, minorities, theater critics, football players, bad cops, and probably America and puppy dogs, too.

Sardu (the murdered actor Seamus O'Brien. No foolin': He was killed, apparently stabbed to death by a burglar in his own home. How's that for creepy "life imitating art" irony?) runs a theater where the seats are metal folding chairs and bad 70s porn actresses are tortured and killed as part of the "show." A critic named Creasy Silo (Alan Dellay) chaps his ass informing him that he sucks. Sardu, a real-life sadistic white slaver, proceeds to kidnap and torture Silo as well as a dancer named Natasha. (Viju Krem, a model that died a few years later in a "hunting accident." No foolin': Chalk up another victim of theBloodsuckingcurse.)

In between, we are treated to scenes of mutilation and S/M, a lot of naked flesh, and zombie women in a dungeon... all in a claustrophobic and intensely unsavory atmosphere. This film will NOT make your skin crawl. It will make you itch, unbearably, as if it is a source of infestation.

A rancid, corrupt cop, Tucci (Dan Fauci), and a square-jawed, handsome football star (that looks as if he stepped from the cover of a bad romance paperback from fifty years ago) attempt a rescue but are both killed and devoured by naked, subhuman zombie slave-women. By the way, this movie isn't "family friendly."

One final note: Actor Louis de Jesus, who plays the afro-wearing sadomasochistic dwarf sidekick of Sardu, Ralphus (a rather unforgettable supporting role), ALSO died tragically of a heart attack in 1984. His initial rise to fame was as the star of some popular porno loops that played in triple-x theaters in New York's Times Square. His last credited role was as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi. According to his female co-stars (in porn), he was endowed with a sexual prowess not betokened by his diminutive stature, if you know what I mean.

Chew on that.

'Blood Feast' (1963)

"Fuad Ramses" (Mal Arnold) planning his next murder as a sacrifice for the "Feast of Ishtar" in Blood Feast (1963)

Blood Feast (1963) is much like the other films in the H.G. Lewis oeuvre... actually, it's like every film in the Lew-man's abominable canon: weird psycho-dude goes around offing Camelot-era beach bunnies, ostensibly for some "divine mission" or purpose. Then, he is put down by the loyal forces of the Establishment: crew-cut cops and flatfoots patrolling the sleaze of the nation, making sure those pleasant suburban lawns stay clipped and go-go girls can go about their go-going and get!

Here "Fuad Ramses," an Egyptian caterer, agrees to cater a party of up-and-coming social climbers and young hula-hoop cuties, or something, except he kills such cuties in grisly, horrifying ways to prepare the "Feast of Ishtar," a Babylonian death goddess. Lots of fake gore and blood are put on display, but the film manages to still have some sort of weird, undeniable... power. Maybe it's actor Mal Arnold, who is as weird as Renfield playing an Egyptian cutting up 60s teens to sacrifice to a Babylonian death goddess... Also, there's a soundtrack that sounds like two kettle drums beat over and over again with a little mournful cello and some de rigueur spook organ numbers thrown over it—a personal favorite, to be sure.

'Blood Diner' (1987)

"First they greet you, then they eat you!" The classic video store (remember those?) poster for the straight-to-video atrocity called Blood Diner (1987)

Director Jackie Kong dumped this straight-to-video fecal baseball onto an unsuspecting planet in the pre-dystopian year of 1987, before we knew we'd really be spending the rest of our natural lives in a degenerating Hell on Earth. I well remember being eleven and having the babysitter and her friends (who must have all been babysitters, too) pass around a joint, chug brew, and watch this ghastly wretchedness unspool on magnetic videotape on an old-time VHS machine. I remember the mohawk-wearing Nazis in the movie; I really do.

The Tuttman's (actors Rick Burks as "Carl" and Carl Crew as "George") run a diner. They are vegetarians. Ohm Namo Padme Hum.

They kill and butcher people based on orders of "Uncle Anwar," who is a brain floating in a jar with eyes attached. They do this so they can reconstruct the body of "Shitar," which is like some demonic goddess. Between the beginning and the merciful end of this exercise in bad taste (and worse art), we have some gory killings, a whore's head turned into a giant hush puppy, a morbidly obese man puking vegetable soup in a titanic spray, and a topless aerobics class massacred in the way that actually happens in contemporary America; avant-garde and thought-provoking it ain't.

Gutter auteur, the late H.G. Lewis, strikes here again with a movie, predictably, about a psycho who goes on a special, mad mission—this time to improve his artwork by butchering beauties and PAINTING IN THEIR BLOOD. (One of his portraits looks like a fish head with a bright red splash, but we guess that's par for the course as far as modern "art.") The rest is pretty predictable stuff for an early splatter film. The end is the beginning, with a museum curator bringing out one of Adam Sorge's (Gordon Oas-Heim) paintings, dousing it in lighter fluid, and burning it. Whereupon, it dutifully... bleeds!

Honorary Mentions should perhaps go to such films as Silent Night, Bloody Night(1972), a somewhat confusing piece of balderdash starring Mary Woronov and John Carradine, in a "killer in a house" story with a haunting opener. (Note: Not to be confused with the "Santa Claus as Slasher" biopic Silent Night, Deadly Night.); Bloody Pit of Horror (1967), which boasts it is "based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade", although I doubt Sade ever wrote a novella about a muscle-bound Mexican wrestler trapped in an Iron Maiden for centuries, coming back to life to torture and off Euro-sleaze sex kittens in an old castle. But, I haven't read the entire canon; A Taste of Blood, (1967)which is more bloody H.G. Lewis madness, and I haven't seen anything but the first few minutes of this film in which someone delivers a mysterious package. What could be in that package? Could it be... BLOOD?

Christopher Lee takes a turn in the wonderfully-tiled Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), but, a viewer need take special care that he (alternately she) does not confuse this with the film Blood of the Vampire (1958). Finally, we were certain that there was a film called Blood and Donuts(1995), and we were correct. Having to do with a comedic romance of a vampire falling for a woman at a donut shop, we've never seen this damn movie, know almost nothing about it, thus cannot recommend it and include it here only to pad this little article out.

But, now, we're bloody tired, so... here's blood in your eye! Ha! Until next time, drain a glass of what Gentle Jack (the Ripper) called, "The proper red stuff," and... whet your whistle or your appetite. We're off to sanguinary slumber... just like a certain thirsty count. Salud!

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Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis , Indiana Ghost Folklore, Scary Urban Legends, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest : tombakerbooks.weebly.com. 

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