Friday, May 7, 2010
I Drink Your Blood (1970) review
I DRINK YOUR BLOOD
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