Blood Diner (1987)
WRITER: Michael Sonye
DIRECTOR: Jackie Kong
STARRING: Rick Burns as Michael Tutman
Carl Crew as George Tutman
Roger Dauer as Mark Shepard
LaNette La France as Sheba Jackson
Lisa Guggenheim as Connie Stanton
Drew Godderis as Anwar
Tanya Papanicolas as Shitar/Bitsy
QUICK CUT: A pair of brothers who own and run a family diner, reunite with their long lost uncle, and bond over religion and food.
Michael - A young man who is the brains of the duo. He runs the diner, he does the day to day operations, and oh yeah, he has powers of mesmerisation.
George - A big dopey lug of a man, but a whiz in the kitchen. He's the chef at the Tutman diner, he's big and strong, and loves to wrestle. There are moments when he's nearly unstoppable, but still within the realm of human ability. In think he's just not too bright and doesn't know what to do when he's hurt.
Anwar - Their uncle, the mad uncle Anwar, who taught them all they know about magic, food, hypnotism, Shitar and the Numerian feast.
Connie - A girl that Michael gets interested in, but more for her virgin blood than anything else.
THE GUTS: Welcome back, Triskelions! This time out, things got a bit jumbled, but I am here now with Blood Diner! This was gonna be the Thanksgiving review, but Stuff Happened. So enjoy an early holiday meal. It's a campy little tale of cannibalism and demon worship, so let's just get right into things and dig in!
The movie opens up with a pretty solid text piece setting up how this is a violent movie, involving blood cults. It's pretty gruesome, and we don't condone this stuff. It sets a good mood. Not necessarily the right one for the movie we get, but I still like it.
We open up in the early sixties, with young Michael and George Tutman (nee Namtut), as their mom heads off to run some errands. We hear a radio report of a glee club slaying, and a PoV shot lurking towards the house.
Suddenly, the door gets hacked open, and in barges the Glee Club killer...their uncle Anwar Namtut. He's covered in blood, happy to see the kids, but the cops are after him and he heads outside for a little suicide by cop, after making sure they're eating their vegetables and studying the dark arts.
We then cut to 20 years later, the kids are all grown up, and have taken to robbing a cemetery, to dig up and retrieve the brain of their uncle. They saved Anwar's brain!
A watchman finds them though, gets his head conked in from behind, and loses his eyes. We later find out he was hacked to bits, so yeah, he's dead.
They put the brain in a jar and resurrect it so Anwar can guide them on their quest to bring back their goddess, Shitar.
While the cops start investigating the case, Anwar's Brain tells them about the plan to construct Shitar, which pretty much means they need lots of body parts from different girls of low moral value.
The plot then moves over to the diner that Michael and George own and run, with Mike doing the serving and taking care of the business, and George doing the cooking. And no one realising the food has secret ingredients from ancient rites, and the occasional human flesh. Huh, I wonder if Donald has heard of this place, he'd dig the food.
We cut to a group of cheerleaders practicing topless...who are then gunned down suddenly and violently. Well that was quick! The Tutmans come out of the shadows and start collecting the parts they need to staple together their very own Shitar. The arm bone's connected to the leg bone...
Now that they have the body ready for their goddess, the Tutmans need to get the ingredients ready for the sacred feast that must be consumed to bring her back. Geeze, this is difficult and complex. Which I actually like. And hey, Uncle Brainwar just will NOT shut up. Ahem, so Ani tells them what to do, and the brothers go out to pick up a pair of tramps and get what they need.
Meanwhile, the cops are asking around to various diners, trying to see if there's any leads, since all the girls had some similar foods in their stomachs. They chat up the Tutman's main rival Stan Saldin. His diner is across the street, and he only has one customer. Uh...who is apparently a dummy? But talks? Yeah, this movie takes a sharp left turn away from reality at this point.
The guys take their soon to be victims back to their place to do away with them, they split up, and Michael takes his to the kitchen, slathers her up with batter, as she thinks its foreplay...then shoves her head in the deep fryer. Okay...that's kinda cool. WEIRD but cool.
She somehow doesn't die immediately, and ends up running around nearly naked, battered up, with a deep fried noggin. Okay then. In the process of her panic, Mikey attacks her with a broom, and somehow knocks her head clean off. That...should not be. But whatever. We got talking puppets.
The other girl gets a bad vibe, and goes looking for her friend...and finds Mikey pulling out her innards. She tries to run away, but realises she forgot her purse...and okay she deserved being cleaved in two for that...which is another good kill.
So the plot continues onward with them needing more ingredients, hunting people, killing them for parts and ingredients. Oh, and the occasional IRS agent, just for laughs and fingers.
The cops have been digging into things, and found similarities to an old case, the one that ended with a dead Uncle Anwar. They want to investigate but the chief is against it, but they sneak around behind his back. So, they and go interview the lead detective from 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, the kids plot their grand orgy feast for a few days later, to resurrect Shitar, and Stan the competition sneaks into the diner to find their secret recipe. And Anwar's brain.
So the plot ticks along, there's a wrestling match, and eventually the time comes for the big feast and virgin sacrifice. Finally. Michael collects the girl he's been eyeballing all movie for her virgin blood. Oh, and she just so happens to be the daughter of that lead detective, so there's a bit of revenge on the side for Anwar.
The boys discover Anwar is missing, while packing up but before they can go after Saldin, the female detective shows up hot on the case.
So they head to Stan's to retrieve their uncle, and they threaten Torgo the dummy, but Stan threatens the jar right back. He tosses it at the brothers so he can escape, but it all ends with the brothers having their uncle back, and Stan missing his hands as they fight.
We're rolling into the final act now, as they have all the ingredients, their uncle to recite the words, and drive off to the club for the big Numerian Feast. Mmm, Numerians.
As the spell begins to be read by Michael, people in the club start turning green and ravenous, devouring the stew, then each other, and anything else they can possibly eat.
The resurrection is a success, Shitar's Frankehookered body awakens, but before she can drink a cold glass of Connie, the cops show up, start firing, and it's chaos in the club.
Fortunately, the zombie horde is between the cops and the Namtuts, so that buys them some time, while Shitar zaps folks around the club and makes their heads explode. Why not?
Michael tries to drag Connie over to his goddess so she can have her blood sacrifice, but one of the cops shoot him in the face before he can succeed, and saves the girl.
George goes into a rage and tries to drag the cop into the goddess's awaiting second mouth, but before he can do that, Sheba kicks George, and it's HIS head that falls into Shitar's stomach.
It looks like she then explodes, but as the cops clean up the mess, we see a hot blonde get into a car, and Shitar lives, driving off into the sunset to do whatever it is evil goddesses do.
And yeah, that's how we end.
Video: It looks pretty good, all things considered. My version is crammed on a disc with three other movies. There's room for improvement, but perfectly good. I've got the Blu-Ray, and look forward to watching that.
Audio: Same goes for the audio, pretty much.
Sound Bite: "I'll try to round up enough guts to call their parents."
Body Count: Bodies fall all throughout this movie, with a few massacres, but some of the numbers below signify 'events' more than 'specific body count numbers' at times. And I am okay with that!
1 - Five minutes in and uncle Anwar goes for suicide by cop.
2 - The night watchmen loses his eyes and his life.
3 - Male cheerleader gets shot...Aaand then at least four more.
4 - Guy gets his head crushed by Mexican jumping car.
5 - Beer battered girlfriend's head into the deep fryer, then removed.
6 - Other girl gets cleaved in half by George
7 - IRS agent gets killed and his fingers served up.
8 - Random guy gets run over a few times by George until he's dead.
9 - Girl gets hacked up for sacrifice.
10 - And then it's a slaughter of orgy and food.
11 - One random head explosion
12 - Singer of the band gets a head explosion
13 - DJ #1 gets zapped
14 - DJ #2 gets zapped
15 - Michael gets shot in the face and dies.
16 - George gets head eaten by Shitar's gut
17 - Shitar go boom...but lives and has a snack.
Best Corpse: I am really into the girl getting cut in half. It's quick, and simple, but totally works, and is blody gruesome.
Blood Type - B+: There's a lot of blood, a lot of pieces of people, and a lot of solid effects.
Sex Appeal: So much nudity.
Drink Up! Every time you see Anwar's brain
Video Nasties: There's a lot of silliness to go with here, but Anwar trying to teach Stan how to cook is my new favourite cooking show.
Movie Review: This is a TOUGH one. The movie is often listed as 'comedy' as much as 'horror' and while there is some high camp, some downright bizarre stuff, and some humour, it's not REALLY a comedy? I'd say it's more surreal than comedic, especially when we keep featuring a talking dummy?! But underneath all the strangeness, there's a decent plot in there! Family legacy, black magic, trying to resurrect an ancient God with dark rites without getting caught, and it's a pretty solid idea that totally works. But it IS weird and nonsensical at times, and that's a bit strange. Still, the underlying story is good enough, and made well enough, although the acting is a bit dodgy. Three out of five brains.
Entertainment Value: I actually rather enjoyed this weird slice of camp. I wish it was a little more coherent, and not quite so randomly strange for strangeness sake, but it's still some wacky fun. I wish it had a bit more focus, the wrestling plot adds nothing, and the repetative nature of gathering all the bits and pieces gets old. But, it's under 90 minutes, so it doesn't overstay it's welcome. For some 80s campy fun, this is weirdly compelling. Four out of five tongues.