WRITERS: Story by James Vance
Written by Christopher Lewis
DIRECTOR: Christopher Lewis
STARRING: Patrick Wayne as Michael Hogan
John Carradine as Senator Bradford
Bennie Lee McGowan as Gracie Moore
Josef Hardy as Doctor White
QUICK CUT: The blood cult is back! Joel's brother comes to pay his disrespect, and gets sucked into the unanswered mysteries circling around this Oklahoman town.
Michael Hogan - Joel's brother, and where Joel was the creepiest creep who ever did creep, Mike is actually a nice guy. He's upstanding, smart, and wants to know what happened to his brother, despite admittedly never liking him much.
Gracie Moore - A small town farmhand's wife, who doesn't take any crap from any one. Even when they're doing their best impression of the Nailgunner and trying to scare her off her farmland.
Doctor White - A kindly old doctor and mortician, reprising his role from the first movie. Oh, and he's also a murderous jerk who helps run and cover up the blood cult's activities.
Senator Bradford - If Doc White is a bastard, Bradford is the bastard of bastards. He runs the cult, and is pretty much behind everything. Everyone's marching orders come from him.
THE GUTS: I have my Revenge! Or I guess I have VCI's Revenge. The sequel to Blood Cult picks up more or less where the first one stopped sucking. Doc White arrives on the scene of the Tina's suicide from the first movie, finding the Wilbois and Tina's boyfriend. He examines Tina's body and notes that jumping off the fire escape has caused her to have different wounds than the other victims. Well, yeah! Butcher knives don't hurt you the same way a good fall does.
The deputy tells us the sheriff has really lost his marbles, and he wants to make sure we get it, because he tells us twice. Doc looks at Joel's hacked up body, and they both acknowledge Tina did it. So why point out her wounds were different than the other victims, if they already knew she was the killer? Did they think she was the killer, and decided to hack herself up, but instead beat herself to death with the knife?
White gets interrupted by an eager reporter named Karen trying to meet a deadline. He doesn't want to give any details until he can work out the cover story they're going to tell the press.
Before he can get away though, Karen brings up the blood cult. His expression grows dour and he offers her a ride out of there so they can discuss it further.
He picks her brain and she basically recaps the first movie. But there's also this hilarious exchange. "What do you know about the blood cult?" "I've heard rumours." "About what?" "The cult." Who's on first! I don't know! THIRD BASE!
She keeps giving the doctor information, slowly recapping the first film, and he just keeps asking her, over and over again, what she knows about the cult. She's telling you!!
Karen says the sheriff told her that he believed the cult was made up of powerful people in the town, and she's the only one who knows. Well, I guess that clears up that bit of confusion from the first movie! Nice to have to wait until the sequel for your plot to start making sense.
The doctor pulls out one of the golden amulets and shows it to her. Since she's not entirely a sucky reporter, she starts piecing together that she might be in the wrong car. She asks if Tina was the murderer, and White tells her yes, but there were others as well. Yay, more plot cleaning. And complicating at the same time.
White drives by her turn off, then into a dark alley, and a police bike drives up behind them. Maybe she's not such a good reporter. Karen gets out of the car to talk to the cop, and she just stands there, while he very, verrrrrry slowly pulls something stabby out of his boot and stabs her with it. Good thing he gave her plenty of time to run or fight, which she didn't use at all.
Karen falls down dead, knowing too much about the blood cult. This movie must be kept secret for the sake of humanity. Her fall then makes the movie skip it's track to two months forward in time.
We're put through many establishing shots of a farm, and I bet it's the same one from the first movie. At least this time they run the credits over the scenes, instead of just showing us a forest for five minutes while people talk off camera.
The farmer's wife hears some strange noises so runs to get her husband, and more importantly, his shotgun. She tells him she thinks they're back, so yeah. If it isn't the same location, it's at least meant to be the same farm.
He goes to investigate the noises in the shed, calling out to them as he approaches. I have to say, I'm quite amused that as he rushes closer, and the camera follows him, he keeps almost getting ahead of the cameraman. Watching the lens try and keep up is a hoot.
The farmer finds a dog's head drawn into the dirt of his shed, and blood drips down upon him. Someone leaps from the rafters and raises a small hatchet in the air, giving the man with the shotgun enough time to declare, "Damn," with about as much urgency and panic as one might say when they notice they're out of bread and really want a sandwich.
His wife calls out and comes to investigate, and we see her run all the way from the house to the shed. The entire run. Not a single cut. And we see it from inside the shed, so she starts out as this tiny dot on the horizon.
We then get to sit through nearly three minutes of a car driving. Half of that we're in the air watching and can barely hear the radio, which is actually pretty good from that high up! Then the driver turns up the volume so the movie can tell us who the hell just got axecutionaled. Not that we really needed to know at this point.
The driver introduces himself to a woman, Liz, and we learn he's Joel's brother, Michael Hogan. Go on, make your BSG and Colonel Tigh jokes now. I know I am. Oh, and he is also Liz's brother too.
We learn just how close the two brothers were, when Mike says he could care less that his brother is dead. Considering how creepy the guy was, I can't entirely blame Mike. I mean, Joel got off the Satellite of Love and left Mike stranded up there with Tom and Crow watching those bad movies and...what?!
Next we jump to a pair of biology students in the middle of nowhere looking for birds, I guess. Lisa sees something in the distance and goes to investigate. She's too busy looking through the binnoculars to try and see what's out there, and totally misses the bear trap she steps into. Good thing the killer was right there behind her to take advantage of her flub. Can you believe the luck?? Just stumbling upon a victim in the middle of the woods, and she's not going anywhere!
The killer hacks off Lisa's leg, leaves the payment for her services, and waits for the other girl to find the body so he can kill her too. I'll say one thing for this movie, nice body count.
Oh yeah, there's a funeral going on, kinda. Liz and Mike discuss what to do about their brother's murder. Mike wants to go to the police, even though the case is pretty much solved. He's got no reason to think it was anything other than a murder suicide, doesn't even know about the Sorority House Murders! Aside from the plot calling for it, he has no real reason to dig deeper. The movie could give him one, but no. Easier to just have him question it and investigate. And sure, the police appear to be involved, but again, he doesn't know that. Why would he not think they wouldn't perform a full investigation? I hate plot dictated actions.
The doctor and Dean Bayley turn up at the dead farmer's funeral to see if his wife is interested in leaving her farm. Because that is surely the best time to throw salt in that wound, right?
Naturally, she has no interest in selling, but the pair keep pushing her. They do not know the art of the soft sell, do they? This is her husband's funeral, and they are practically beating her over the head to sell. That is never gonna work. Granted, they're not above murder, so why bother asking, aside from the suspicion it would raise?
The scene plays out uncut, just one long shot on the trio, and watching the not exactly professional actors stumble over their lines is great humour. This happens throughout the movie, by the way. And to top that off, you gotta love the doctor's cover story being that a hatchet fell on Carlton's head. Fell!
Liz heads out to the Hogan family farm, but discovers she's not alone. She calls out to the figure, and tells him she locked her keys in the car. Because that's what you do when you see a guy trying to hide, in a town full of murder victims. Make sure he knows you can't escape. He reaches out towards Liz, and oh my gods, she starts to choke.
The killer is Darth Vader!!
But then something weird...well, weirder happens. She falls over, and when next we see her, it looks like she's charred. It kinda looked like she was smoking before, but I thought that was just backscatter from the sunlight. They could've played that up a little better.
Mike arrives at the police station, and gets mistaken for his brother, which I'm not even going to touch. The deputy from Blood Cult is back, and his acting's actually improved some since the first movie. Although, wouldn't take much.
The deputy tells Michael about the blood cult, and that he thinks the sheriff might have been onto something in his investigation into their existence. Despite losing his marbles.
We then see the Nailgunner...no wait, some OTHER crazed killer in a motorcycle helmet. At least this one has an actual motorcycle. He chases down Gracie and kicks at the side of her truck to...I don't know. That can't possibly be expected to nudge her off the road. A road that looks like they're driving through a field of dirt, so there's nothing to drive off of, it's all just dirt!
Finally the chase leads the pair next to a body of water, and the two face off. It looks like there's going to be a game of chicken, but the guy on the bike drives off. And then drives right back, heading straight for the truck. And finally...the movie cuts to another scene. This is me throwing my hands in the air.
But hey, we finally get to see Sheriff Wilbois again! He's in a straitjacket at the hospital. Because he lost his marbles, doncha know.
As much as I roll my eyes at that being repeated, at least it's accurate. He's rambling to his 'fellow' senators about dogs everywhere, and fingers in salad bowls. Which is a cute reference to the first movie.
Mike plays along with the delusions to get his questions answered, and they're appropriately gibberish to a normal person. But to the people who have seen the first movie, they actually make a lot of sense, which is more than you can say for the movie itself. That can be tough to pull off.
We jump over to Dean Bayley and Doc White admiring their coins, and Dean is getting grumpy over all the killings, because it means he has to order more of the very hard to find amulets. Well, that's a good path for the authorities to follow, isn't it? He also complains about the need for more monk robes as their membership grows. Ahh, the budgetary concerns of a cult.
Bayley is getting a bit tired of all the killing, the sacrifices, feeling there's too many of them as their membership grows and they ask for more boons from Caninus. He even goes so far as to say there is no Caninus, and that something needs to be done about the lunatic fringe that's killing people and enjoying it. So, he doesn't believe in their god, he was ok with the sacrifices, but what did he think he was getting out of this deal, if not some boon from their god? Good times?
White gives the dean some pills to calm him down, and he foolishly takes them. The senator and doctor discuss efforts to get their ceremonial land from the Moores before their big ceremony the following day, and everything is going according to plan.
The senator calls the murderous nutjobs the true believers of Caninus, and Bayley the abomination to their beliefs, and Dean gets quickly punished for his heretical slander.
Back at the Moore farm, Gracie is cleaning up the place when she keeps getting call after call of hangups. Ugh, I hate telemarketers. She eventually picks up the phone and blows a whistle at whomever is on the other line. The voice on the other end asks her what her favourite scary movie is and...wait, wrong movie. Tells her to get out.
Mike arrives to ask Gracie about the farm, the cult, and the sheriff. Y'know, the plot. She doesn't have many answers, but she does start to put two and two together and realise that White and Bayley were asking about the farm and there are mysterious people trying to run her off. So there's that.
They hear the dirtbike outside and see the biker zooming around the farm. He tears up the yard, driving in circles and...this is the big gun the cult called in? This is, I dunno. Kinda lame? Running her off the road was fine, but blowing doughnuts around her garden gnomes?
After running the biker off, he movie jumps to some woman in her place getting ready for something, and the product placement from the first movie continues as she pours two glasses of very obvious Coke. She takes the plastic cups out to her date in the hot tub, and really? Straight soda? No alcohol? I'm not a drinker, but that seems rather tame.
After a cheap scare by her cat inside, the two lengthily make out and flirt in the hot tub, while someone watches from the shadows. Things look like they're about to get hot and heavy and...HOLY crap, the boyfriend had a knife stashed on him and kills her! He hacks off her head and leaves an amulet of Caninus behind.
Ok, that was...actually surprising! That was a great twist on the cliche of having them both killed by the guy in the bushes! No idea how he hid the knife, but I don't care. I...yeah, I'm impressed! Never tell anyone.
The next day, Mike is trying to call people on the List of Evil that he got from Wilbois' files on the cult, but he doesn't have much luck since the dean is dead, and the doc is doing the autopsy. He's still got a few names to go, but that's not a great start.
And that's when whomever is listening in on the conversations cuts the phone lines to the farm. Can you hear me now? NO.
Since the phone is out Mike and the widow head out to find others on the list face to face. First stop is the home of the hot tub stabbee. Well, they're about to be as surprised as I was.
They search the house and discover doors left open. And I notice that the killer replaced the half used six pack of Coke with a fresh, unopened bunch of cans! How considerate.
Out back they find the girl's body and the doggy coin. Gracie can obviously see the body, but she doesn't react to it until she hits her mark right next to Mike. Nice.
She sees the coin, and has the most brilliant leap in logic I've seen. She remembers that Doc White owns dogs, raises them, and therefore is in on the plot! Yes, that's right. Owning dogs makes you eeeeevil. As a cat person, I can see some merit behind this theory. Wouldn't it make more sense to have her remember them murdering her dog from the first movie?
Mike decides to call the police, but they think it would be better if he changes his voice first. Because so many people know him here, what with leaving town years ago. To top it off, he does the most cliche French accent. That isn't suspicious at all!
He then makes a call to Doc White to try and get some information on he wants the farm, by making the doctor think he wants to buy it as well. The conversation doesn't really go anywhere, besides having Mike tell the doctor his name three times. Movie, the rule of three does not mean you have to repeat lines three times in three minutes so people get it.
With the doctor busy at the morgue, the dynamic duo head over to his house to investigate if he is involved in the cult, based on their flimsy as hell evidence. Yes, they're right, but again I hate leaps like this.
They find his monk robes inside the garage, and more doggy coins. Now that's actual evidence. They also immediately find the master plan map of the cult in the first place they look. Gracie points out that must be where all the noise and fires are coming from, which raises the question...
All this time they've already been doing their ceremonies on her land, and now they suddenly need to own it. Sure, the farmers are suspicious, but they were still using the land they're trying to buy so they can use it! Heck, before they raised suspicions by killing, harassing and scaring the woman, there wasn't anyone looking into the fires that wasn't currently insane!
Not to mention, why did it take this long to think of the fires as the cult's meeting place?
They read up on the cult, with even more curious dialogue. Mrs. Moore reads off, "In the year 16...whatever." She can read the 16, but not two more numbers? That probably would have been quicker to say than whatever? I can't even call that out as bad acting, I don't know what it is.
Blah blah blah, building a Frankenstein's monster from body parts as an offering to the demon that is their god for power. Something about how the founder of the cult will rise up to lead them. Move along movie.
They see Mike's old farm is nearby the ceremonial grounds too, so it looks like his promise to swing by the old place will come true. He can say hi to his sister! Ohhh, wait. She's just a pile of ash on the ground now. Seriously, we even see the ash when they leave.
Mike sees her car, and wonders where she went, and Mrs. Moore says that she probably got a ride back, since folks out there can be real helpful.
ASIDE FROM THE MURDERS.
They trek out into the woods and find the sacrificial altar and a pile of bones and...wait. Right behind them you can clearly see a house and about four cars. Why didn't they say anything when someone was lighting their yard on fire, not 100 feet away?? Did the chanting not bother them? Ooops.
I'd say they make a plan to surprise the cult, but it pretty much boils down to, "Let's surprise the cult!" Not the most intricate plan, but if there's less details, I guess less can go wrong. I don't mind being kept in the dark of the plan, but they should at least make it seem like there is more to it than something thought up by the Spanish Inquisition.
They do finally give us some hints that there will be exploding gas cans, and that always makes me happy. See, just some simple details, that's all I ask for.
I'm sure Mike's plan will probably involve circling the wagons.
They gather up some guns from the farm for the fight, and the motorbike returns. Mike has to be told who it is, despite the grinding motor being pretty damned clear, so I don't know who else he was expecting to turn up. Maybe there's a Harley convention in town.
While the biker makes the slowest advance on them ever, they set up some wire (Which may or may not be barbed) to clothesline him with. I remain unclear since Mike is told to find barb wire, but it doesn't look barbed, and they're awfully casual about handling it without gloves.
They make this overly elaborate plot to tighten the wire by using the tractor motor, but it just won't start right away. They couldn't have come up with anything better? Relying on some piece of machinery to quickly wind up the wire and make it taut? What if it spun the wrong way?
And while we're at it, if the big ceremony is that night, what good will it do to scare her off? The cult is already walking to the site, we saw them going! Gracie owning the land is inconsequential to their plots. It might make them marginally easier, and now she knows, but only because they caused trouble.
Whatever. The plan finally works and they get the biker off his scooter. And because this is a movie, once the bike falls over, it immediately explodes.
So, the biker is out on the ground, and they just wander off to stash their weapons at the site. They don't bother to make sure he's unconscious. They don't bother to even see who it is. They don't even tie him up in case he wakes up. Shaggy and Scoob are better detectives than this. These two deserve what they get from this guy. Of course, we never see the biker again.
The ceremony to raise the cult's long-dead founder Martin Bradford begins, and I think Doc White drinks from a glass containing the blood of all the people they've killed. He of all people should know THAT isn't good. Especially since they said earlier they've been killing hobos and vagrants.
Bradford's triumphant return is heralded by a brief ripply effect on screen, and then Pop! the senator in a white robe is suddenly glowing. Wow, with all the blood, fire, and pomp, I would have expected something more showy. Talk about anti-cilmactic.
On the upside, if you're going to use John Carradine in your film, might as well make him the ressurected leader of a demonic cult. It is what he's good at, after all.
He declares that only the true believers shall be allowed to continue, and everyone cries out that they are true believers. Well good, I guess if you can trust anyone, it's a murderous satanic cult. Wait...
They reveal the body on the altar they've been building, give it the blood of life or whatever, and it rises, with a gigantic hand. Where the hell did they get that thing from?? And it's a bit of a letdown that the cult's master plan is to raise a zombie army.
But wait, this isn't the body they've been piecing together, it's Liz? But what about the whole thing with taking body parts and making something with them? And she was ash! We saw the body, we saw the markings on the ground! They just hosed their own mythology.
Before the Lizombie can be sent to weed out the non-believers, Mike wants to go down and stop them. Gracie stops him and says she has a plan. Which is apparently the plan they had all along, since she shoots the gas can. Good thing your plan was what he already knew...
Things go boom, the cult members scatter, and we see some have monster faces? Where did that come from?? Did their god demon transform them when Bradford returned? Are they zombies? The Frankenmurders? I don't know! And when they get shot, they disappear. More with the not sense making!
Everyone has run to the forest, including Bradford, or is it the senator? That became unclear at some point, because the Senator was the one who was always against the schism. Or was he always Bradford But then why the glow? And if he's ressurected, why does he look like the senator? Bah.
With only White remaining, the pair head down to finish things off. I hope.
Gracie demands the doctor stop this, or he'll shoot, and he declares that bullets can't harm him. At this point, I am all for testing his theory. If he's right, well that's more knowledge than you had. If he's wrong, then problem solved!
She begs and pleads for an interminably long time, and Mike fortunately has the stones to pull his own gun and just shoot the bastard already and get it over with.
Before White dies, he wonders what happened, he thought Michael was there to heal the group and...wait. No way. You are joking. Michael is part of the cult!! Holy crap!
I'm not sure if that twist should piss me off, or could be brilliant. I'm kinda leaning towards the latter. Outside of earlier stating that Mike never liked his brother, I don't think it was set up very well, but it is one hell of a surprise. And actually makes me want to rewatch this trash to see if it tracks.
Michael at least wants to let Gracie live for helping the cause, and Bradford sees she could be useful. Sadly, she's kinda got this moral code that won't let her help murderers.
She tries to fire the shotgun, but nothing happens. She's either out of bullets or Caninus intervenes. I like the latter option, again. Senator Carradine goes into full-on crazy scenery chewing laughter, which is awesome, as they beg her to join them.
Gracie finally gets the gun to work and shoots...someone. We don't exactly see whom, since the camera is on her the whole time. But since she shot twice, I presume she shot Mike and Bradford.
Foolishly, she declares everything over, but if you've read the site for any length of time, you know a horror movie is never over! Bradford rises again with one butt ugly face.
And no! No movie! You do not get to roll credits over that! You bastards!! That's not an ending!! Aaaaarrrrgh.
Video: A marked improvement over the other two movies in the Ripper Blood-Pack. Why is that? Because it was shot on film, not on video. And it makes a world of difference. It's not great, and still has some flaws, but I have no major complaints on the visual look of the film.
Audio: Nothing special, a solid stereo mix, that's easy to hear.
Special Features: We've got a pretty informative and fun commentary with the guys behind the camera, explaining how they came up with the sequel, some references to the first movie, and general production stuff. Some good info, really. Also a short production video, but there's nothing much to it.
Sound Bite: "That's Mister President! He's evil, but he's not bad!" Poor, insane Sheriff Wilbois.
First Blood: Seven minutes in, poor reporter Karen Wilbur bites it at the end of a screwdriver. A very slowly pulled out screwdriver.
Best Death: For sheer shock value, that award goes to Elvira in the hot tub. That really made me sit up and take notice.
Blood Type - C: They really toned down the gore from the first movie, and decided to focus instead on story. No, seriously. Stop laughing. That's what they said! But there's still some gore, and some decent makeup for the demons. I also give them some points for the death of Elvira. it lacked blood, but they faked it with red lights that worked surprisingly well.
Movie Rating: Well, it's crap. It's cheap, quickly made, crap. The acting isn't horrible, when they don't use a take that doesn't have people stumbling over long lines. It's not great either. The story is way too confusing and dependent on twists that don't make much sense upon reflection. But it is a step up from the first movie, in almost every regard. For what it is, it's ok. Three out of five dog head coins.
Entertainment Value: Oh, was I ever entertained. The movie surprised me a few times. They had a story that kept me guessing, mostly out of confusion, but hey. It answered some lingering questions from the first movie, and it had John Carradine. They get points for that alone. If they'd only done more with him. But it was fun to watch. The Blood Pack is definitely worth checking out for cheap laughs. Four out of five exploding cans of gasoline.