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Friday, May 7, 2010

I Drink Your Blood (1970) review


Bhaskar (Horace Bones), Rhonda Fultz (Molly), Riley Mills (Pete), Jadine Wong (Sue Lin), George Patterson (Rollo), John Damon (Roger), Lynn Lowry (Carrie)

Directed by David Durston (1921-2010)

***WARNING! This review contains images of nudity and violence***

A gang of satanic hippies raise hell in a small town. After beating up an old man and terrorizing his granddaughter, the young grandson gets revenge by injecting blood from a rabid dog into meat pies and passing them onto the traveling band of multi cultural devil worshippers. Consuming the contaminated pies causes the group to become rabid, raving maniacs who then run around killing and spreading the contagion to others. A small group of survivors hole up in a store while the crazies try to get inside.

The late David Durston (he has sadly passed away either today, or within the last few days; reported from Code Red DVD blog) directed this huge cult favorite whose legacy is better than the actual movie. That's not to say that this tale of rabies induced mayhem isn't worth a look. It's definitely worthy to be on any self respecting exploitation fans DVD shelf, just that over the years leading up to its eventual DVD release (first from Grindhouse Releasing, then Fangoria), the picture was hyped to high heaven. Seeing it now, it definitely has a high sleaze quotient, but isn't quite the nasty number it's been touted as over the years.

There's a lot of violence and gore, but it's all fairly amateurish, but in a very fun, amusing way. The plot is so outrageous, that the H.G. Lewis level gore effects lend it some special appeal. There's a bit of nudity on hand and a relatively disgusting scene where a pregnant woman stabs herself in the stomach with a sharp implement.

Lynn Lowry, an actress with popularity in cult film circles was also in George Romero's original THE CRAZIES (1973). Interestingly, Durston's movie is a warped, insane take on his own NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), but in color, lacking social commentary and possessing zero redeeming values of any kind. That's a recommendation, actually. There's definitely a lot of energy here, but again, it's one of those movies you've heard a lot about whose reputation is ultimately bigger and better than the movie itself.

The acting on hand is what's to be expected for a picture like this. Once the hippies become infected with rabies, several of the groups members decide to pull a Spinal Tap and crank up the ham to 11. Main villain, Bhaskar steals the show with his enthusiasm, though. But again, once he becomes rabid, his fun delivery is pretty much over as dialog is kept to a minimum and mayhem takes over. The musical score (if you can call it that) is very intrusive and ear piercing at times.

The wonderful DVD from Grindhouse Releasing is lovingly put together and still has some of the damn coolest animated menus I have ever seen. I don't know if the later Fangoria release retained them, or not, but you can do all kinds of cool things with the menus and there's a massive collage of features and some hidden, too. One of the best is some kind of a snake dance performed by Bhaskar some years ago. It's an awesome package for a movie that, up until it's restored DVD release back in 2002, was only available in a compromised bootleg edition with serious cuts.

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970) is a fun trash film and one that all lovers of sleazy cinematic shit stains should sit down and savor at least once in their life. Terribly overhyped, it nonetheless delivers the gore groceries and has one of the wildest, most out of control plotlines in exploitation history. You can see more of the film in SINS OF CELLULOID PART 1.

This review is representative of the Grindhouse Releasing DVD


Matt-suzaka said...

I saw the trailer for this film at a Fango convention sometime before they were going to release it, and the crowd went nuts! I've been dying to see it since then and hopefully will get a chance to at some point.


I had seen, I Drink Your Blood, and I Eat Your Skin when it first came out in the 70's at a drive-in.
It had went from a X rating to R .
Our neighbor took all us kids to see it ,I was 10 years old.
The guy selling the tickets warned our neighbor it wasn't for kids .
She said what the hell will keep the kids busy .
It was the most freaky hippie ass movie for it's time.
I watched it a few years ago when they released it on dvd , and it (to me anyways)still holds up.
Good post my friend , brings back memories,and the nightmares I had from watching it when I was a kid.

Rob Talbot said...

Always wanted to see this one...

Tower Farm said...

Oh, I'm really liking the look of this. I think it's right up our alley...anything with rabid hippies just can't fail. I'll be on the lookout...

venoms5 said...

@ Dolewhite: I think the first time I ever read anything about it was in the Creature Features Movie guide back in 1984. I then saw some ads for it in some old adverts for VHS companies like Video Mania and Mondo Video. Does anybody remember any of those? I'll have to do some scans of them.

Anyway, I was so hyped to see the film, when I finally did see it on the Grindhouse disc, I was a little bit disappointed. It's still worth owning, imo.

venoms5 said...

@ DIRTY SHORTS: I saw I EAT YOUR SKIN on a local channel back in the 80's. I liked the look of the zombies and they showed that one guy getting his head chopped off, too. From what I've read, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD suffered the same fate as LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT where the projectionists were cutting the film themselves.

Thank you for reading, DS!

venoms5 said...

@ Rob Talbot: If you like your 70's exploitation wild, outrageous and over the top, than this might be something you'd be interested in.

@ Tower Farm: How you guys been? Yeah, the plot of this one alone makes it worth at least one viewing. I imagine this movie would be even more enjoyable with a room full of people that can get into this sort of thing.


Oh trust me, I had seen the uncut version.
Here was the deal back in the early 70's . A X rating was given to movies with strong adult content,or what they considered it to be.
Movies like Midnight Cowboy, Airport(because it talked about abortion),and many more got the X .
Airport (when it was rated X) that later got a G rating ran with a considered hardcore porn called The Stewardesses at the drive- ins.
That was the start of the rating changes.
People didn't want porn playing at drive-ins . I remember being a kid, and my family ,and neighbors talking about porn being played at a drive-in.
We lived next to a drive-in ,and I remember seeing my first boobie shot just from us driving by the movie screen .
I remember telling my mom ...hey look !
I got smacked upside the head.
I survived !

venoms5 said...

When we moved here back in the late 70's there were two drive ins me and my parents frequented. At least one of them showed porn on occasion. I mainly remember going to see kung fu double and triple features and and an occasional horror movie when I was allowed.

I Like Horror Movies said...

I enjoy this one more and more with each viewing, but I made the mistake of buying the Cheezy Flicks copy which is torn to shreds. Will be picking up the amazing Grindhouse version someday.. Someday.. Another winning review V!

venoms5 said...

@ Carl: Not sure if the Grindhouse one is still around, but Fangoria picked it up not long after. I assume it's still in print. Hopefully, their release retain the excellent menus!

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