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Blood Freak

Blood Freak

1971, Dirs. Steve Hawkes, Brad F. Grinter

Steve Hawkes, Heather Hughes


So now you're probably wondering, just what exactly do those two pictures have to do with each other. Well, gentle reader, you are about to find out. 1971's "Blood Freak" is the worst goddamn movie I've ever seen. Part Christian Morality play about the evils of drugs, part horror, all crap. Never before have I seen such poor acting combined with awful dialogue and the most ridiculous monster ever. I've had bar tabs that were more expensive than this movie's budget. The tag line read; "A Dracula on drugs!", but it should've read; "A Dracula with a big stupid tu ... never mind, we'll get to it sooner or later.

First we meet the chain smoking narrator, sort of a b - movie Spalding Grey who sits at a desk and makes no attempt to hide the fact that he's reading his lines. He shows up repeatedly throughout the movie to inform us of the deeper meaning behind what's going on because the actors are too shitty to show us through their performances. First we meet Herschel, a musclebound biker type who looks like a jacked up Quentin from Dark Shadows crossed with a young Johnny Cash. He meets a Bible thumping girl named Angel (natch), and goes back to her house where her slutty sister Ann is having a drug party. The party scenes are Ann and her friends smoking pot, spliced with home movies apparently from a family gathering, because none of the older people in those shots are ever seen again. When Herschel refuses the advances of some drugged out trollop, he is referred to as "a dumb bastard who doesn't know where it's at". Anyway, Ann falls for Herschel, and is determined to get him high. She scores drugs from sleazy drug dealer Guy, and sets to work.

Herschel scores a job at a turkey farm run by Ann's dad. Then by the pool, Ann gets Herschel to smoke by calling him a coward. He does, and since this is a cautionary tale about pot, begins laughing uncontrollably. Ann then seduces him. The next day he goes to work and pets some turkeys. The directors really wanted to emphasize turkeys, because we are treated to about 5 minutes worth of shots of just turkeys, hanging around, doing turkey things. He meets with the scientists who work at the ranch doing experiments on the turkeys. They ask if he'd like to be a guinea pig and eat some of the experimental turkey to see if it has any effects on humans. In a cast that doesn't exactly shine, these scientists are particularly dull. When he gets home from work, since this is a cautionary tale about pot, he begins pot withdrawal. He thrashes about, writhes, and claws at furniture until Ann provides him a few more puffs.

The next day he goes back to work, and a scientist brings him a cooked turkey. Once again, since this is a cautionary tale about pot, Herschel has a serious case of munchies and eats the whole goddamn thing. He stumbles off behind some shrubbery, collapses, and begins doing the Curly Shuffle . Of course, the directors mean this to imply that there was something wrong with the turkey, but the guy just ate an entire bird! Of course he's gonna be sick! Anyway, after convulsing and twitching, Herchel rises as ... THE GIANT TURKEY VAMPIRE!!!! As if that concept wasn't enough, it's just a paper mache turkey mask. And Herschel can no longer speak, he gobbles. First, he reveals himself to Ann. This scene is shot in near darkness, maybe to create suspense, but mostly to hide how badly the turkey mask sucks. Anyway, they have sex (I think) and Ann wonders what their kids will look like. She also stresses that it's her fault that Herschel became this monster, despite the fact it's fairly obvious that Herschel's problem has more to do with turkey. She decides that he can stay in the drug den and she and her friends (one of which bears a striking resemblance to Duane Allman ) will care for him until he's back to normal. After a while her friends tire of this because Herschel is still smoking more pot that they have money for.

Unbeknownst to them, Herschel is such a junkie that he is killing drug users and drinking their blood. Actually, he just catches it in his hands and kinda rubs it on the beak of the mask. He also kills a man who makes unwanted advances on Ann by sawing his leg off. Anyway, Herschel is eventually tracked down and killed, and here's where the movie gets really weird. Someone (I forget who, I don't care, it doesn't matter, I'm not going back to check) swings an ax at Herschel's head, and we cut to a clip of an actual turkey being beheaded. Then, the Giant Turkey Vampire mask, umm, I mean head, sits next to a cooked turkey as several pairs of hands tear it to shreds. So now that the Giant Turkey Vampire Menace is over, Herschel wakes up! It was all a dream!! The scientists apologize for the error of their ways and all is well! As it turns out, Herschel is a veteran who was previously addicted to pot and had managed to quit, and the combination of pot and the chemicals in the turkey caused him to hallucinate. The narrator says something stupid, has a fit of coughing, happy ending, lalalalalalala. Thank Christ.

IN CLOSING: Piss poor. Poor everything. Poor me for watching the goddamn thing. I've seen better production values in Sunday School educational films.

A review by someone who knows what they're doing: THE UNKNOWN MOVIES PAGE