Any of you folks ever have turkey and dressing when it wasn’t Thanksgiving or Christmas? I know there’s no hard, fast rule that you can’t have it any other time of year, but it’s always been kind of a tradition that you eat that stuff during the holidays. Still, it was always nice to have it outta the blue, the smells and flavors delicious any time of year, really, with the bonus effect of evoking those holiday memories…
…which is my way of leading you into my review of the non-classic Blood Freak, from those golden days of yesteryear. Now don’t take my preface to mean that this film would be comparable to a tasty meal (quite the contrary, actually), nor that it is holiday-themed; what it is, however, is something that has to be seen to be believed…
Vietnam veteran Herschell (one part Hercules, one part the Fonz, and one part Bullwinkle) is really just a nice guy trying to find himself; aimlessly tooling the highways of Florida on his chopper, he comes across a pretty girl with a flat tire, Angel. Giving her a ride home, the aptly named Angel asks him in for dinner and a visit, all the while teetering on (and occasionally stepping across) the brink of fanatical preachiness. It’s here that we meet the other side of Angel’s coin; her sister Ann, a pot-smoking, free-love hippie temptress (weren’t they all?). Seeing Herschell’s buff physique, Ann sets in motion her plans to have her a bit of that man. Her advances don’t take very long to hook the kinda slow-witted lummox; falling prey to her charms, he abandons the more chaste Angel and agrees to sit in with Ann and some of her friends (who resemble the Allman Brothers looking like they haven’t showered in a few days) for a little party.
It’s here that Herschell succumbs to peer pressure and smokes what has to be the most awesome yet dangerous cannabis in the history of hemp horticulture; he’s hopelessly addicted to it after just one smoke. Knowing he’s broke and homeless, he worries how he’s going to support this new, overpowering habit. Thankfully, Angel and Ann’s father is one hell of a guy; not only does he allow his daughters to do pretty much whatever the hell they want, he also has no issue offering this complete asshole-stranger leather-clad biker a job at his nearby poultry farm after just a short conversation; for shits and giggles, he lets him move into his home, too! The former is perhaps an ill-fated blessing, however; it’s at this job that things really go to hell for poor Herschell; y’see, the old man’s employees are experimenting with growing better turkeys through chemistry, and feed Herschell a whole turkey that’s infused with their latest batch of formula. This reacts with the high-powered super-weed that’s already in his system, and he transforms into a turkey-headed vampire monster who can only be sustained by the blood of pot addicts! The fun ensues as he tries to (I’m serious) maintain his relationships with this condition, but still find some way to satiate his burning thirst for the blood of potheads.
There is absolutely nothing at all about this movie that could be classified as “sensible”. From the narrator (also the film’s director) popping up from time to time, puffing cigarettes incessantly and rasping pseudo-biblical platitudes at us, to the ridiculous turkey-head that looks like a knob of bluish-gray turd with ping-pong ball eyes, your senses are assailed, beaten-down, and insulted, almost from the outset…but you can’t look away!! It’s like a horrible train wreck mixed in with political debate between Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian; no matter how insanely stupid or intelligence-insulting fucked up it gets, you can’t stop watching! If you’ve ever been to a seventh-grade school play, you’ve seen this level of acting; if those seventh graders happened to write the dialogue as well, you’ve heard this level of scripting! The gore reflects the production value of the film as a whole; there’s a couple of poorly-done throat slashings (the blood, looking suspiciously like cherry Kool-Aid, is quickly drank by our Turkey-Dude), but there is a reasonably impressive amputation using a table saw, an actual amputee, and a prosthetic leg. What really got me though, Fellow Fans, was the much-lauded love scene…yeah, you heard me: love scene. No, not with Herschell and Ann, but with Turkey-Head Herschell and Ann; a darkened room, some sweet talk, and….gobble gobble! I laugh my ass off every time I see it, and I’ve seen it more than a few times; I can’t help it.
I can’t let this go without saying something about the ending; of course, I’m not going to break tradition and spoil it…I’ll just say it literally involves “Holy Light” and leave it at that. 😉
I would never, ever disgrace myself by saying this is a good flick; however, I won’t lie to you and say that I don’t love it and watch it myself at least a couple times a year, either. I’m not the only one weird enough to do so, however; the film has quite the cult following.
With its completely insane premise (which is essentially a quasi-religious-anti-drug-gory-horror public service announcement), bumpy story, and acid-trip-bizarre visuals, this one goes beyond even the strangeness of (dare I say) normal 1970s exploitation/mondo films; next to this movie, even Night of the Bloody Apes makes some kind of sense.
I’ve said before that I like bad movies, folks; if you know in your hearts that you don’t, then by all means, pass this one by. If, however, you’re like me and dig the ones that are so bad that they transcend poor filmmaking and become something more, you should check it out.
You can’t make a movie this deliciously bad on purpose; it just has to happen.
Once again, I caution you animal lovers out there that some real turkeys lose their lives in this flick; as always, I don’t condone such actions on film, but I also remind that times and trends were different back then; not an excuse, just a fact. Consider yourself warned.
Latest posts by Andrew Thompson (see all)
- IN MEMORIAM — GEORGE ROMERO 1940 – 2017 - July 17, 2017
- Anticipated PITCHFORK Hits DVD / Blu-ray This Month - May 3, 2017
- Filmmakers Unleash Terrifying OWLMAN On Unsuspecting Urban Explorers - May 2, 2017