BLOOD FREAK (1972)
Writer: Steve Hawks & Brad Grinter
Director: Steve Hawks & Brad Grinter
Steve Hawks as Herschel
And a bunch of other people
Synopsis: An upright young man named Herschel falls into the wild world of drugs and turkey testing. After a bad reaction to a combination of illicit substances and bioengineered turkey, Herschel transforms into a strange half man, half turkey abomination with a taste that can only be slaked by draining the blood from addicts.
I couldn't make this up if I tried.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And boy, have I got a turkey for everyone this time out. Ok, so it's a little past Thanksgiving. The movie took far longer than expected to get here, and I had to build myself up to sitting down and watching this thing. This is truly awful. I'm talking Manos: The Hands of Fate levels of bad here, people.
But I've been gone for so long, and it is still the holidays, so I decided to go ahead with Blood Freak, a 1972 anti-drug pro-Christian propoganda horror movie. With turkeymen. Let that just sink in and marinate for a bit in your heads.
While that's sinking in, I'll dive right in.
Speaking of diving, the movie kicks off with a dark, murky, bubbling crude. Is it water? Oil? Fat? Blood? I have no idea what it is, or what it is supposed to be. Personally, I'm going with oil to fry a turkey in.
Arguably one of the coolest things I've seen happens next. The credits begin to melt. It's a nifty effect on the lettering as they scroll up, and leave the dribbles behind going down. It's a great tone setter and...
Hey! The movie stopped! The credits were just getting started, and all of a sudden, I'm staring at some guy in a wood-panelled room that looks like my own home, smoking a cigarette, and talking right at me.
He's mumbling something about changes and catalysts, and what they are, and how they shape our lives. I could almost deal with this if he didn't keep looking down. I think he's trying to read his lines off the table in front of him. This is a sign of the professionalism involved in this movie, get used to it.
I've pieced together that the uh, narrator is actually the director Brad Grinter. I have no idea why they thought they needed to do scenes like this, instead of voiceovers. Most likely answer is that this is padding for the movie. Then again, nothing else makes sense about Blood Freak, why should this?
Once he's done pontificating, the credits resume. For real. We go from the recording studio out to a highway somewhere, and a guy is rolling down the road, and the credits pick right back up where they left off. So much so that the "Starring Steve Hawks" credit gets displayed twice; once before the interlude, and again right over Steve's hammy face.
Steve Hawks, we found him so nice, we credited him twice.
You know, the smoking man might jump back in at any moment, so I'm not quite ready to assume we're safely back in the movie yet.
It looks safe, so let's get back to this thing.
Herschel is checking out some fine dame in the car next to him, she's smiling back. She pulls off to the side of the road, and he...ugh...Oh god.
Someone get this production a steadicam, stat! The car and motorcycle have stopped. The characters are standing still. The cameraman, for Romero's sake! is standing still, and yet the camera is shaking like the guy has the DTs or there's a 6.4 on the Richter Scale hitting Florida. The Blair Witch Project had less shakycam than this one scene.
Where was I? Oh right, they both pulled off the road for some reason, I guess to help the girl with her car. She smiles right into the camera, and it lingers there for awhile. Did I mention the high level of professionalism we're dealing with here?
The credits continue as they drive away, but sadly they are no longer melting. Which is a shame, because those were very cool, and upped the movie an iota.
Allow me to pause and jot down the name of the cameramen in the movie as their credit rolls by. I wish to have words with them.
Apparently done with driving, the film jumps straight to a party filled with people getting high. Oh, the 70s. Is this a matter of acting out a scene, or documentary footage from the making of Blood Freak spliced in? You decide!
Finally someone besides the director speaks, and all I can hear is mumbling. I think they might be saying semi-important stuff, but I have no idea. Sound guys? You're on my list too!
It turns out this is a swingin' 70s drug party that the girl has brought Herschel to, and almost the first words out of her mouth, at least the ones I can understand, are urging him not to do any drugs. Boy, did you bring him to the wrong place. That's like bringing me to a redhead party and asking me to not talk to any of the girls.
Or taking an obese man trying to diet to a six course buffet, "Try not to eat anything, ok?"
We're introduced to the first girl's sister. And I so do not buy them as sisters for one second. There's bad casting, and then there's this. One is very fair skinned, with auburn hair, the other is darker skinned, with dark almost black hair. It's like an Irish woman and a Latina as sisters. Which isn't impossible, they could be adopted, or step-sisters or whatever, but boy does that strain credulity.
Get used to that feeling.
The girl who brought Herschel is a bit of a bible-thumper, and it looks like she came all this way to preach to her sister about the evils of drugs, and how god doesn't want her to defile her body. Religious message #1.
Quickly followed up by Herschel being hit on by another girl at the party, and he somehow intuitively knows she has a boyfriend. We have been given no inkling of this, nor have we seen her before this very scene. Nice of them to clue us in on these little things before they're relevant. Anyways, Herschel tells her that she shouldn't be playing the field, and to be true to her man. Religious message #2.
She gets called a tramp and goes to sulk (The truth hurts, what can I say?) and whines at some guy. Oh, it's actually her boyfriend. Hello boyfriend everyone but me knew she was dating and I've just met, and coincidentally named Guy, making my previous statement all the more amusing. Maybe he was introduced in the pile of dialogue I can't understand because the crew forgot their microphones.
Guy's all set to go give the guy who dared to call his girl a tramp a good pounding, and then he sees Herschel. Behold, watching a man go from hero to coward in 1.2 seconds. Still, he has some dastardly plan for revenge.
We finally learn the first girl's name, Angel, and...I just thought of something. Why is this girl, a hardcore Christian, running around meddling in people's lives and telling them how to live right in the eyes of God...hanging out at a drug party? She's not there to pick her sister up, and has even changed her clothes and is lurking around the place. Granted, this could actually be her home, but then who is it throwing the party? Her sister? Why not just tell these godless heathens to get out? Augh!
She starts quoting scripture at Herschel as he asks her if adultery is a sin. Can I count the preaching here as religious lesson #3, or is it just a repeat of #2? And who doesn't know if adultery is bad? If you're smart enough to know there's a word for it, shouldn't you know that it's not good?
Angel's sister, it's either Amy or Ann. IMDB says it's Ann, so I'll go with that. But if I slip and call her Amy, don't get all huffy with me, I don't think the movie could decide.
Ann's finding Herschel to be a real drag, man, so goes to have a chat with Guy about getting him to lighten up. She also wants to have a little revenge since it looks like the H-Man is going to choose Angel over her. She tries to get Guy to guarantee that Herschel won't get hooked, and it's safe to take just a few. Guy doesn't give her any such assurances, which makes no sense, since he wants to get revenge on the guy for calling the other girl a tramp. Why not just say, "Sure! He can take three dozen and not be hooked! Load him up, wooo!"
Just when I thought it was safe, the director pops back up to philosophise at me again. The sound is so bad, and he's so rambling and dreary, these parts just yank me right the hell out of the movie. If you needed these little lessons, at least put them over scenes from the party, or something. Blade Runner didn't cut to Harrison Ford sitting in a lonely room somewhere.
Anyways, this time the director is rambling about how people influence us more, and how strange it is that the sisters are so different in character...OR ARE THEY?? YES! Yes they are! It's not so weird that they're different. YOU created them, Brad! It's called dramatic contrast, or something. But it's pretty normal to have one good sister and one bad sister. It's not like there's some cosmic mystery to how they ended up that way, they're fictional characters.
Anyways, back to Drug City, USA, and Herschel and Angel have wandered off to another room of, I'm presuming, Angel and Ann's house. They're chatting with some old guy, and he says he finds Herschel's ideas fascinating, and where can he pick up the pamphlet? The director also said stuff about Herschel being a great speaker and swaying people. It might have been nice to see this, rather than told. Even if it was filmed in Mumblevision.
The old man is so intrigued by Herschel, he offers Herschel a job at his poultry ranch until he can get on his feet. Let me get this straight; some old poultry rancher with a penchant for Christianity just happens to hang out at the swingin' drug party with all the kids, but does not appear to partake of their activities? What, was he just passing by and heard Herschel the mighty orator and stopped by to bask in his awesomeness?
This movie doesn't so much have plot holes, as holes that the plot disappeared down while trying to deliver exposition to my front door.
Time passes, and Herschel's out by the pool, doing some odd jobs around Ann's house. At least he's helping out. Ann comes out in a bikini, trying to seduce him, and ends up offering him a joint, presumably one of the special addictive ones from Guy. Herschel don't do no drugs, so he refuses. Until Ann calls him a coward, and he grabs that joint and starts smoking like there's no tomorrow. This guy could've learned a few things from Marty McFly.
He doesn't do too good of a job of it though, and Ann tries to teach Herschel how to smoke. They keep running different angles of the same...WHOA! What? Seriously the director just said, "Action!" on film. Bad enough the editing jumped from one take to the next, but to leave that in the film? Oh my gods, that is the most hilarious thing I've seen on film. Have I mentioned how unprofessional this film is?
Anyways, after a few tokes, Herschel starts cackling maniacally, and almost immediately has sex with the less pious sister. I feel like I just started watching Reefer Madness.
The director pops back up and tries to excuse Herschel, saying not many men could have resisted Ann's temptations. Thanks for stopping by, I guess.
Talk about your mixed messages. This is a supposedly pro-Christian propoganda movie, but to interupt the film to excuse your character's bad behaviour? Shouldn't you be shunning it? Sigh. Whatever. Back to the movie.
The next day comes, and it happens to be the day that Herschel was to do his job interview at the poultry farm, and all the drugs and sex made him sleep in. Yes, the evil of drugs! They'll make you late for your job!
Herschel pretty much gets the job instantly, which consists of doing more odd jobs around the ranch, and in the lab.
Yes, the lab. For some random reason, this ranch has a turkey testing lab, where two complete non-scientists in a lab that looks less sophisticated than my high school shop class, are trying to build a better turkey.
Since when do turkey farms have labs? I'll admit, this may be a gap in my knowledge and please refute it, but I don't recall seeing too many labs on any farm I've been to. Sure, there's probably somewhere out there like this, but damn that's a huge coincidence.
The two scientists look way more like dimwitted farmhands, even if one of them is wearing glasses. They offer Herschel a little extra cash, and some extra drugs on the side, if he'll be their guinea pig. Yeah, there's no way this can end well.
The scientists can barely even act. Their lines are slow, halting, and stuttering. I wouldn't trust these guys to experiment on a doll, let alone a turkey. Let alone a turkey I'm going to eat!
Herschel agrees to the money and drugs, without any moral qualms being shown. Oh, how low you have fallen, Herschel.
He heads home after his first day, and is holding his head, stumbling about. Damned if I know why. Too much sunlight? Watching this movie? Did a turkey bite him? Did his logic centers kick in and he's realising those two guys were in no way scientists? There's no way a single drag or two from a single cigarette would mess anyone up this badly, unless it is truly some special weed they slipped Herschel. Behold the magical superpot.
They call Doctor Guy, whom I believe has more of a degree than the other schlubs at the turkey farm, and he has some *ahem* medicinal marijuana to pass on to the Herschman. Guy tries to give our man the shakedown, and says he'll be able to keep him in drugs, but it'll cost him. Herschel's having none of that shit, and tosses Guy around a bit and convicnes him that yes, he will supply Herschel with drugs, but there will be no cost, since this is all Guy's fault for giving him bad stuff.
I gotta say, go Herschel. Make the weasel pay for the practical joke he played, and got you hopelessly addicted to whatever it was. Serves him right. I can't argue with the logic.
I can't believe I just said that about this movie. I feel dirty.
Doctor McDonald had one less turkey, because he cooked it up for Herschel's first taste test. They sit him down in front of a whole, large roast turkey. I wished he'd just pick it up with his bare hands and start chowing down, but they gave him utensils. Oh well.
In one of the most bizarre juxtapositions of this movie, Herschel has his turkey while apparently sitting across from the real turkeys as they watch and gobble. That's sick, dude.
Our man finished his meal, and stumbles away. I guess he just can't handle his wild turkey. He stumbles off into the fields, and falls over, where he begins to shake violently. He's just shivering and bouncing like a crazed man being electrocuted. Truly a wonder to behold.
One of the scientists is just wandering blindly, checking his notes. I hope he's disappointed to discover that his turkey makes the test subject disappear. He comes across the convlusing Herschel, and makes one of the goofiest looks of shock I've ever seen.
The non-scientists are later being chastised by the farm owner, who is most unhappy that they've just gone and dumped the body somewhere. Herschel wasn't even dead, and they tossed him in some ditch somewhere, the bastards.
While Ann is home worried about the missing Herschel, we cut back to him, who is STILL flopping away like a fish somewhere, or doing the hokey pokey. Ann says he never came home last night, and here we are with Herschel, and it's dark again. The poor guy has been bouncing on the ground for over a day. That's got to be a record.
Damnit, this movie is almost halfway done, where is my damn... YAY! TURKEYMAN! The main event begins!
Not that we really see anything, since the movie has switched over to the time honoured tradition of movies filmed in Darkovision.
He returns home, finds Amy, and she naturally screams and passes out. I would too if my boyfriend returned home as a turkey.
Er, or my girlfriend. That's what I meant.
It would be nice if anything in this scene could be seen. Like her, or him, or ANYthing besides the leopard print blanket. Classy! Herschel wakes Ann up, gives her a note presumably explaining what happened, since she figures it out. How the heck does Herschel know what happened? Did he take a class on mixing drugs and turkeys and their side effects? Could the audience see this note, so as to explain the plot to us?
I love that this scene is played entirely on Ann in the dark. We can barely see anything. It almost plays as one take for almost five minutes. There's a jump where there was a sloppy cut, but otherwise it's all just one scene on Ann the entire time, as she rambles on like the director. And damnit, I wanna see Turkeyman!
Ann takes all of this almost in stride. She must be stoned out of her freakin' gourd. Her biggest reaction after that initial scream is an almost dreamy, "Gosh, Herschel. You sure are ugly." And he gobbles out a reply! Gobbles! I shit you not! I almost bust out laughing when I heard that.
It's either insane, brilliant, or awesome. I really can't decide.
The scene continues to drone on and on, as Anne delivers another rambling soliloquy. She wonders what if Herschel is stuck like this, wondering about the prospects of marriage...Lady, he's a freaking turkeyman. I don't think marriage is in the cards. This may actually qualift as an abomination in God's eyes. She also worries about what their kids will be like, which means she is actually contemplating sex with him.
Herschel moves in front of the camera, crawling over her, and making what little light we had go away. She wants to know what he's doing, starts moaning, and in the single most hilarious thing ever, Herschel gobbles. Gobbles!!
Sex gobbles! Baahahaha. This is endlessly amusing to me. I almost regret them not showing or letting us hear more. I can only imagine.
But no, instead of wanton turkey sex, the director decides to interupt again. Now really. How much more awesome would this have been if, instead of going to his wood-panelled little room, the director delivered his comments while the turkey and his chick had sex, punctuated with the occasional gobble? This movie would be even more legendary than it already is.
Sigh, but no. We have to watch this guy smoke. This time out, he decides to tell us how when things are looking rough, you just have to turn to God. Dude, the man was turned into a TURKEY MAN! I think we are way beyond the realm of God at this stage of the game.
Ann calls some of her druggy friends over to tell them about how her lover is now half-turkey. How does she expect this conversation to go? She doesn't even bother with any build up, just says something weird "like out of Star Trek" happened, and Herschel walks out.
And the bastards cut away and don't show us the reactions of their friends. I call foul. Instead we cut immediately to the fields, and Herschel wandering around.
Herschel hits the town, slinking through backyards, and becomes a peeping tom the turkey.
He spies a girl doing drugs with her boyfriend, waits for her to leave, and scoops her right up in his arms. She makes some attempts at flailing, and I think he may have covered up her mouth, but there's no indication of her even attempting to scream. Which one might expect something when a girl is grabbed by a guy. Let alone one with a TURKEY MASK FOR A HEAD!
Meanwhile back in some semblence of reality, Guy has disappeared, and Ann and the guys are wondering what to do about it, since Herschel needs his fix. These guys have to be high, like everyone else, since they're taking the new turkeyed Herschel with ease.
For a supposedly anti-drug movie, they sure do show most of the potheads as being mighty helpful!
Herschel's still wandering the town, grabbing girls, and killing them. Not that they tell us why. He just needs to drink their blood, it seems. I didn't know turkeys were carnivorous. Another girl stumbles upon Herschel's murder spree, and she stands there and screams for a few minutes. Her scream is just an endless loop of the same scream over and over again.
Ann's sobered up some, and has gone from picking out a wedding dress to deciding that something needs to be done about Herschel. Her friends are just as amiable as before, and they'll take care of it.
Would they jump off a cliff if Ann was ok with that too?
Herschel continues his murderous ways and finds victim #3, just as she's shooting up. First up, this town has a LOT of drug addicts that Herschel is stumbling acrross. Second of all, I can only imagine what a shambling turkeyman looks like to someone who's high.
Again Herschel makes with the killing, hanging her up, slicing her throat, and making her scream. And once again, it is the same endless looped scream from before. I guess it was all they could afford.
There simply must be a better way to get your blood than dangling your victims all slaughterhouse style, slashing their throats, trying to catch the blood in your hands, and drinking it up with your beak. Use a straw, man!
I am way past the point of trying to find or inject any sort of logic into this movie.
An old man comes out and spies Herschel's wicked ways, and Herschel takes care of him too. So much for having some moral stance and just killing drug addicts. At least this guy had a different scream, although that would've been hilarious of they used that same loop from the girls.
Another guy comes out, and sees the old guy, and gets pretty broken up about it. I have zero clue who these people are supposed to be, so I'm going to assume he was the old guy's son. The fat bastard actually chases down the turkeyman. He even manages to stab Herschel in his mask's eye. Strange, he stopped gobbling and screamed like a human. Is that what turkeys scream like?
Sadly, Fatty McStabby doesn't last much longer. Oh well. I guess. Wait, aren't I supposed to be rooting for Herschel? He's been our main character up to this point. I don't know what to be feeling now.
Guy decides to return to the movie. Bad move, dude. You were free, free I say! He's trying to make the moves on Ann, and tries to tell her he saw Herschel last night with some other chick. Their word, not mine. I have to wonder if anyone writing or reading the script pointed out the pun to them. He's clearly lying, and Ann knows it, since Guy wouldn't have recognised the Herschkey, and if he did, he might have mentioned the fact the guy has a TURKEY HEAD!
Guy heads back to his place and *shudders* takes off his shirt. I got nothing about shirtless guys. But this shirtless Guy? Not a pleasant sight.
Guy calls up his supplier, trying to get more drugs, and since he's been giving freebies to Herschel for who knows how long, he's a little short on the green. You know how this goes. Cutting to the chase, Guy offers up a sweet piece to the dealer, in the form of Ann.
Yeah, I can see where this is going. Herschel the vengeful turkey god is going to find out and, yep. He shows up and lurks outside the window. Ann screams when she realises that it isn't her Herschel fondling her, and the drug dealer turns and catches sight of the thing outside the window, in one of the worst displays of geography I've seen.
Herschel is outside, surrounded only by grass. The only landmark is a tree. The other two are inside rolling around on Ann's bed. There's no indication of a window, except for the one behind them, in the opposite direction from where the dealer looks. We don't see anyone actually look through the window, to better place this scene. All these looks are going straight at us, or the fourth wall. If you wanted to do that, you could at least have put the camera outside the window looking in, or the reverse. Instead it's two disjointed shots that don't mesh at all. I suspect that Herschel wasn't anywhere near a window when he was shot.
In a brief flash of intelligence, the dealer runs. He doesn't get very far though, as he ducks into a nearby garage/shop class. He almost immediately begins hearing gobbles. Never before did I think that noise could be terrifying. I still don't. I'm sure the drug dealer thinks otherwise, but it still makes me giggle.
They naturally come to blows, and end up next to a table saw. Herschel grabs the lecherous bastard, and you actually see his hand shake and hesitate before turning on the blades. I'll give 'em credit, that's a nice touch. Since Herschel can't speak (Except to gobble!), it's an effective way to show he's still human in there somewhere.
The dealer gets a leg hacked off, and the lack of any skills continues to shine through. The scene cuts awkwardly from the saw about to hit the leg, to already past it and cut through. The blood doesn't splatter, it appears on the table. One second it's clean, and the next the table is soaked in red. Not exactly subtle.
You know, since the drug dealer showed up, the movie hasn't been much more than blood and screams, and it's getting really annoying at this point. The scriptwriter must have given up.
Herschel goes back to wandering the fields, in the exact same spot he was before (Hello, reused footage!), and he's making the most sorrowful turkey noises a man can muster.
He's reached his lowest point, and falls to his knees, clasping his hands and raising his gaze skyward, praying to God for forgiveness for everything he's done.
Ann's friends come upon this scene, and it's too late for Herschel's repentence. They waste no time in coming up behind him and slashing his throat with a machete. From there, the movie cuts straight to a turkey...
Oh my. It...the movie cuts to a turkey being slaughtered, and they're not shy about showing it. Instead of showing Herschel's death, they show in full detail a flopping turkey with it's head cut off and bleeding out, and ending with a lingering shot on a severed turkey head.
As if that's not bizarre enough, they next cut to Herschel's head sitting upon a dinner plate, next to a roast turkey, which is quickly consumed by a family whom we only see as hands grabbing at the cooked body and tearing it apart.
I really am at a loss at what to think of the last few scenes.
Are we supposed to think the family is eating Herschel? That's an awfully small body for them to be tearing up, if it's supposed to be a human. And isn't that cannibalism? Is he a man, or a turkey? Frankly, the movie wanted to raise questions, but I don't think they quite meant the moral quandaries posed by this scene to be the ones they wanted to raised.
I call foul on this movie again.
After that little venture into the truly messed up, the movie moves along to, I am not kidding, a normal looking, non-cooked, non-decapitated Herschel in the field, with the turkey farmer finding him.
Please don't tell me everything I just sat through...
DO NOT TELL ME!
"I've been hallucinating." Oh...oh go to hell movie! Go straight to hell! Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars!
The drugs, mixed with the tainted turkey, made him have a bad trip.
What I just sat through was above and beyond the definition of bad trip. What the hell? Go through all that, and they heap on an it was all a dream ending. I want to throw the DVD across the room, I really really do.
They call up Angel, who hasn't been seen since the drug party at the start of the film, who works at the local drug rehab center. Not surprising. With everyone hanging out at her sister's place getting high, they probably have a high turnover rate.
"I was afraid something like this might happen." Oh, where you now? You were afraid that your sister's boyfriend would do drugs, eat bad turkey, and have the mother of all dream sequences? I want to know what training she got to expect this monstrosity, because I sure wasn't.
Angel calls up her sister to let her know they found Herschel and he's ok, if a bit loopy and drugged. Ann's all relieved since he's been missing for a day or two, and she's all repentant and feels responsible for what happened to Herschel, since she gave him the drugs that started all this.
"If Herschel loves you, he'll understand." Why yes, I'd be most understanding if someone thought it would be quite a laugh to get me hooked on drugs, which send me on a bad trip where I think I'm a murderous turkeyman. I'm sorry, but I don't think love covers that. I'm dubious on it covering "I got him hooked on drugs," but I'm a bit of a jerk.
Religious lesson #...4? I lost count. But if you've lost all your faith, all you have to do is pray to God, and he'll provide more! Yeah, whatever. There's not enough prayer in the world to wipe this movie from existence.
And the director puts in one last appearance. Hi there! Haven't seen you in awhile. How ya been? He's turned up to reassure us that the preceeding movie was based partly on fact. Oh really? Which part? I'd really love to know.
Oh, oh wow. The movie finds a way to reach a new low, with more preaching, this time about the evils of drugs being used to make our food and drink better. First of all, I could pick that argument apart all day long. But more importantly, you can't argue that drugs in food and drink are evil and against god and nature, when you're choking down a cigarette right in front of me.
And when your example case on the evils of drug enhanced food is a movie about a man turning into a turkey, which turns out to not be real and just a nightmare, your stance falters all the more.
Even worse, the director starts coughing up a lung. It gets really overblown and obvious, and I have no idea what to make of it at this point. Are they poking fun? Is it supposed to be serious? I've just spent the last 75 minutes watching a drug trip transcribed to film, and I'm reeling a little with no idea what to think of anything at this point.
They may actually be trying to make a point about smoking too, but I stopped caring ages ago.
The movie finally, mercifully ends with a tacked on scene at a pier where Herschel is reunited with Ann, and they embrace lovingly. I guess love really will conquer all.
Which means it is time for...
Video: For a movie made in 1972, it's actually shockingly good. The colours are solid and bright, and when they don't dive straight into the darkness, everything is easy to see and make out. This is ignoring the bad photography.
Audio: Ah heh. Awful, flat out. I'm not going to nitpick too much, since the source material was probably the reasons it was awful and they did the best they could with it, but I just can't get by how half the movie was unintelligible. The other half was inaudible. Boom!
Special Features: It seems like there is a lot on this disc, but it ends up being pretty uninteresting. There's quite a few other propoganda pieces, including one with the director as a nudist. These aren't that interesting, and long and boring. I skipped most of them. There's also an older exploitation film with Steve Hawks having sex with a girl in a motel room, while it's being filmed and then she gets blackmailed for it. The most interesting features are all the trailers for other bad horror movies from the same video company that released this DVD. Those were fun to watch, and I may seek them out. Also, there's a montage of horror comic covers, set to some music. Doesn't have anything to do with anything, but the music is nice, and the covers are fun to a comicbook geek like me.
First Kill: A whopping 49 minutes into the movie, over halfway in. The slow pace of the movie really dragged it down, with all the preaching and moralising. We don't even see the kill, and just hear the girl scream after Herschel scoops her off into the woods.
Best Kill: That would be Herschel's third victim. The movie really takes its time killing her, with the blood draining out, and Herschel revelling in his fountain of blood. She screams and bleeds for minutes. I would've given the prize to the drug dealer losing his leg, but it was so horribly done.
Best Line: "You know, Gene, there are times when I suspect you're the brains of this outfit."
Said from one of the non-scientists to the other. It's just hilariously delivered, and flew so in the face of how these guys look. And yet, I suspect he may truly have been the smartest character in the movie.
Blood Factor: Buckets and buckets of blood. Pouring out of girls, shooting out of a leg (In theory) spurting out of turkeys, and the morbidness of the family devouring Herschel's body gets an added shout out. This movie is not shy about the gore.
Sex Appeal: There's a few sexual situations, and skimpy outfits, but for the most part, the skin is kept to a minimum. The short film with Hawks in the bonus features has tons of nudity though. And let's not forget the nudist film. They saved it all for those pieces, if you really need that sort of thing.
Rating: Oh gods, it burns. This movie is just so damned awful. It's random, it's messed up, and it has no idea what it's trying to say. They're trying to push a pro-religious message in a movie with sex, drugs, blood, and killing. Who is this movie for? The religious won't go see it, and the people watching it won't be converted. Especially not by this stuff. In fairness, the makers went bankrupt, and Hawkes had to complete the movie on his own, so I can cut it a little slack, but still. This is an unprofessional, badly made, badly written, and just plain bad in almost every conceivable way.
And yet, I couldn't stop watching it. So starting with this review, I'm instituting a new feature, where I rate the movie itself, and the entertainment value.
The movie itself, I give it one out of five roast turkeys. This is absolute, bottom of the barrel garbage. Don't save the leftovers.
For entertainment value, it gets at least a three out of fives gobbles. It's like watching a trainwreck, and you want to see how bad it gets. And boy, does it get bad. I could see this movie being a blast to watch with a crowd, laughing it up, and going all MST3K on it. But still, it's so awful that it can only be so entertaining. Only watch if you are strong of will, for you may get a contact high just from staring at this bad trip.