Blood Feast

1963, Movie, NR, 70 mins

Review

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Heralded as the original splatter film, BLOOD FEAST has become the temple at which gorehounds pay homage. Unfortunately, while it certainly broke new ground in terms of explicit gore, it isn't a very good film. The preposterous plot details the activities of an insane caterer, Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold), who, in his spare time, has authored the book Ancient Weird Religious Rites. Seeking to resurrect the arcane spirit of the Egyptian princess Ishtar, Ramses prowls about hacking--in bloody close-ups--at the limbs, tongues, and brains of his female victims for use in a "Blood Feast" in Ishtar's honor. Meanwhile, Mrs. Fremont (Lyn Bolton) hires Ramses to cater the party she's throwing for her lovely daughter, Suzette (Connie Mason, the June 1963 Playboy playmate). Just as Ramses is about to vivisect Suzette as his final ingredient, her policeman boy friend, Pete Thornton (Fair), arrives and chases the gore-crazed caterer into the blades of a garbage truck compactor. Much, too much really, has been written about BLOOD FEAST, and Herschell Gordon Lewis must be one of the most interviewed directors in film history. Yes, the film has realistically staged gore in the best tradition of the Grand Guignol, photographed lovingly in living color, but the rest of the movie is simply bad. The script is laughable, the acting is atrocious, and if it weren't so short it would be a total bore! Luckily, it is also extremely funny (unintentionally, it would seem) and the gore is truly unsettling even to this day. Lewis went on to make several more bloody epics, most notably TWO THOUSAND MANIACS; THE GORE GORE GIRLS; and THE WIZARD OF GORE, and, although long retired from moviemaking, he remains the guru of gorehounds. leave a comment

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