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Terror of the Bloodhunters

Terror of the Bloodhunters

1962, Dir. Jerry Warren

Starring (figuratively speaking): Robert Clarke, Dorothy Haney



See hypnotic love create shocking bestial desire!

Now that got your attention, didn't it?

In the vast realm of horror cinema, there are films with legacies, films that have inspired other films. Night of the Living Dead, for example, inspired a slew of flesh munching zombie flicks. The Exorcist gave rise to scores of Satanic possesion movies. And we all know how long Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman and The Mummy have persevered.

Films such as Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust have jungles, jungle animals, and white people falling into the clutches of (you guessed it) cannibalistic natives. Well, so does Terror of the Bloodhunters, and it did come first.

But it's safe to say that it had nothing to do with any film that came after it.

Despite being completely abhorrent, the cannibal movies at least had shock, and they had that in spades. TOTBH doesn't even come close to shlock. Made in 1962 by crap meister Jerry Warren, TOTBH is absolutely the most boring, unsuspenseful exercise in tedium you'd ever want to endure. A little background check on Mr. Warren at the IMDb provides some insight into why this is so. With such films to his credit as The Wild World of Batwoman, Face of the Screaming Werewolf, and Space Invasion From Lapland, is has been said of Mr. Warren that; "... it is hard to think of any horror filmmaker who made movies that were as cheap and ridiculed as Jerry Warren's". Why no one asked how a space invasion can be from Lapland, I don't know.

But I'm drifting off the subject. TOTBH was in all likelihood shot in the woods behind Warren's backyard with the help of a few people who felt sorry for the poor delusional bastard. It centers around a prison complex on the island of St. Laurent, otherwise known as (of course) Devil's Island. Ignore the fact that the complex looks slightly like a trailer park. Two security guards are up late drinkin' moonshine and discussing their lot in life in order to set the scene for us. No one can make it off the island, bloodthirsty natives, voodoo, blah blah. We are treated to a flashback, as one of the guards tells of his experience stumbling upon an island ritual, where island girls danced to the drum solo from "In a Gadda da Vida".

The commandant of this outpost wants his daughter Marlene to marry the Warden of the outpost, the guy who had the previous flashback. She isn't feeling this guy though, and hatches a plot with Duval, an artist and writer who was imprisoned here for "his ideas". So, along with one other inmate, they escape. They steamboat down the river a ways, but end up in the jungle. The Warden, more concerned about his perfect record of no escapes than his betrothed, gives chase. What follows is the most futile attempt at suspense captured on celluloid. Warren must have had piles upon piles of nature show reels, because there's more stock footage of animals used in this film than in an entire season of Nova reruns. After stumbling over a ritual similar to the one previously described, the other guy gets killed by a panther. Finally, by accident almost, the Warden and his lackey are captured by the natives. The skull wearing a fright wig on a post indicates that the natives are cannibals. Duval, heroic to the last, saves them by setting the native village on fire. They run away and the lackey catches an arrow in the back. They escape, and Duval and the Warden reconcile. Then they set off through the jungle; Duval and Marlene are directed to a "friendly" village, and the Warden goes back to the compound. The End.

IN CLOSING: There are certain things you'll notice when watching TOTBH, should you ever decide on a slow, agonizing death. Firstly; that the tagline at the top of this page is highly misrepresentative of the film. No shocking love, no bestial desire. Secondly; the complete absence of Bloodhunters until the final ten minutes of the film. When the survivors trek back through the same woods, oops, I mean jungle, that are supposedly infested by Bloodhunters, one ignores the colossal stupidity of such an action because the natives apparently had something better to do for the duration of the film. Probably hiding from Jerry Warren, which is a very good course of action should you ever be confronted by one of his films.