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Friday, 4 January 2013

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1970)

I've been looking forward to this. I saw the trailer on a volume of the GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS series of DVDs and was instantly hooked on getting hold of a copy. After losing out on several gorgeous vintage VHS copies (look at that artwork - how the hell could I not want it?), I finally found it as a superb Region 1 import DVD under our Christmas tree courtesy of my brother in law.

A gang of devil-worshipping, LSD-hooked Hippies cause havoc in a small town, and as an act of revenge a local boy drains blood from a rabid dog and injects it into meat pies, which the hippies then eat. Yeah, how brilliant is that set-up? I love it! The cult, of course, turn into rabid, marauding zombies and go mental, rampaging through the town on an insane killing spree.

It takes a while for the film to pickup momentum, but once it hits its stride around 40 minutes in, the payoff is superb. The set-up for the gory shenanigans of the second half of the flick do help you feel some pathos towards the town's inhabitants, but not much, as the characters which get the most development (if you can call it development in a bloodthirsty 1970s sleazetastic exploitation movie) are the trippy Satanic cult themselves.

That said, my favourite character has to be the young boy who gives them rabies - he's cool, despite the hopelessly wooden performance. In fact, there isn't a decent actor in the film really, but this is Grindhouse stuff and thus nobody really cares. I know I don't. I'm into this film for entertainment value, in which it's rich.

When the symphony of chaos begins, bathed in weird synthesizer effects and lashings of fake blood, it's hard not to get caught up in the grime and filth of the era which spawned it. The plot is ridiculous, but there are enough scenes of bloodshed and weird hippy crap that it holds the attention, well, it does if you can stand films like this, and I'd hope so if you're reading this.

The version I have is totally uncut, including some material even I find unpleasant, like the giant kebab of butchered rats, but the gore has that fake quality which makes it hard to take seriously. The final act of the film is total, wonderful mayhem, splattered with blood and severed limbs and screams which distort the lo-fi mono audio.

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD certainly lived up to my expectations. David Durston's direction is snappy and professional, despite the rumours of carnal mayhem and substance abuse on set. It's cheap and very nasty, but you can't go wrong with a film in which someone is chased with the wet end of a severed leg.


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