Blood Mania (1970)
WRITER: Screenplay by Toby Sacher and Tony Crechales
From a story by Peter Carpenter
DIRECTOR: Robert O’Neil
STARRING: Peter Carpenter as Craig
Maria de Aragon as Victoria
Vicki Peters as Gail
Reagan Wilson as Cheryl
Jacqueline Dalya as Kate
Leslie Simms as Nurse Turner
Eric Allison as Father
QUICK CUT: A family is reunited in the wake of their patriarch’s passing, and they struggle to come together to help the family doctor out of his financial woes.
Craig Cooper - A doctor with a dark past, which is now coming to haunt his current life. Ultimately a good man, but in a bad place.
Victoria - A spoiled little rich girl who can’t wait for her overbearing father to pass away and leave her with everything.
Gail - Victoria’s sister who wandered off to live her own life years ago. We know nothing about her.
Daddy Waterman - An older doctor, who is cranky, thinks he knows what’s best, and won’t let his eldest daughter know he cares about her.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! December is here, 2018 is almost done, and it has been a long LONG time, since I have reached into the 50 packs, so I grabbed something more or less at random. Which brings us to Blood Mania. I knew nothing about it, I don't know anyone in it, all I knew going in was the rough plot. So let's just get this over with!
The credits are a trip, as a woman runs around through various colours, and I want to say it is trying so very hard to be Suspiria, but this beat that out by several years! Also, I absolutely LOVE every note of early 70s electronic synth music in this. It is that wonderful sort of sound where every note has that tiny buzz to it, and it is glorious. Thankfully that continues throughout the movie.
After all that audio/visual awesome sauce, we get into the actual movie, with an aging man in bed, signaling for his daughter Victoria to come help him and feed him.
We instantly get a sense of their relationship, and it is in a word, antagonistic. Dad gets the sense that his daughter is just waiting for him to die and take his money. And if she can't have his money, she's also vying to get with his doctor, whom she also assumes is wealthy.
Speaking of Doctor Cooper, we cut over to him just waking up and getting into the tub with his current girlfriend. But before they can have too much fun, he gets a call from a man he owes money to, so Victoria might wanna rethink that.
Victoria moves on pretty quickly when she flirts with the poolboy, stripping down, and going for a swim. She will really get with anyone, won't she?
Cooper pays the cranky old doctor a visit, makes sure the nurse will be there to keep tabs on him, and after some flirting with Vicky, he heads home.
We get to see a long makeout session with him and his girlfriend, before it is interrupted AGAIN by the loan shark, this time paying a personal visit.
Miller tries to blackmail the doctor, and I'm not sure 'loan shark' is the right word for it, but they're in deep with something, that we get the details of, and it is a sign of the times. Seems Cooper did an abortion back in the day, that did not go well. And may have been frowned upon by society just for being done.
On a later visit to the Watermans', Cooper confides in Victoria that he owes money, which she offers to help him with. She is slowly digging her claws in, despite his resistance.
We then get an extended drug fueled sex scene that MIGHT be kinda rape-y, since the doctor has fallen asleep, and Victoria cracks something under his nose that gets him all wired. Consent here is troubling.
After sex, Cooper's idea of pillowtalk is saying that the drugs they just used just so happen to be bad to use if you have a heart condition. Hmmm...!
Cooper mentions how much he owes, or rather he just says he owes, "50 thousand." "Dollars?"
NO. HE OWES 50 THOUSAND TURNIPS. YES, DOLLARS, VICTORIA.
Meanwhile, Coop's girlfriend is entertaining Miller the blackmailer, and she offers up herself as payment instead of money.
They have sex, she instantly regrets it, and if the LAST scene wasn't rape-y, this one SURELY is. And the icing on the cake is he says she's good, but not 50k good. Classy!
At some point, Vicky takes the doctor's advice, and uses the amyl nitrite to get her dad going, and he dies of a heart attack, easy peasy lemon diesy.
"At least he died with dignity." Not based on THAT image, he didn't.
Cooper heads downstairs to give Victoria the news, and she outright tells him she killed her father. She tries to cover it up with saying she didn't want him to suffer, he was going to die anyways, and now she can help with the 'tax collector'.
But even in his shock, he tells the medical examiner that the cause of death was stroke, because hey, 50k, am I right?
They try and get things over with, but the reading of the will has to wait for them to find Gail, Victoria's sister, and that will take time. This blackmailer is SUPER patient, eh?
We fortunately cut ahead, meet Gail, and read the will. And it turns out Gail gets everything, except the house which Victoria can have...on the condition that she can't liquidate any assets in her lifetime. So essentially she gets nothing. Besides a roof over her head.
After Victoria explodes at this news, and is put down for the night, a family friend confronts Cooper, knowing he was into Vicky for the money She then warns him to stay away from Gail now that she's the one with the cash.
This is advice which he instantly ignores, and offers to show Gail around town. We are then treated to, no joke, a dialogue free seven or eight minute long romance montage. There’s only twenty minutes left in the movie, and this eats up a third of that!
Cooper is spending more time at the Waterman place now than he ever did when papa Waterman was alive. On the upside though, it's rife with that wonderful electrosynth buzzing.
It all culminates in MORE sex (Oh I do love you free love late sixties movies) and Victoria witnessing the act. I am sure that's gonna end well, as Gail takes one more thing away she wanted.
Gail visits her sister, who has calmed down considerably, and offers Victoria half of the money she inherited. But Victoria has grown as a person off camera, and doesn't want it. But wait! Gail drops the bombshell that she also tried to give money to Coop, and even he turned her down. Because true love. That developed in five minutes. Which just infuriates Gail even more.
She goes to take a bath, but the angry Victoria shows up and in a wonderfully shot frenetic scene, she bashes her sister's head in good.
Cooper calls and gets told Gail went back to New York. However, he knows that's a lie and rushes over to see what is going on.
He shows up, Vicky acts as if everything is fine, until he finds the body. They confront each other and he takes Gail's body out to his car.
Coop makes plans to, I presume, dispose of the body, and he tells Victoria not to do anything. But then suddenly...ZOMBIE GAIL! Vicky freaks out, passes out, and then we see Miller has come on by and he used the body as a prop, and probably further blackmail...but the movie ends, so who knows!
Video: For a fifty packer, this is definitely on the good side of things. HOWEVER!! I have serious issues, because I dunno if it was the disc, or my player, or something else, or a combination thereof…but this was being shown to me in 4:3, and as you can tell by the images above (I fixed the screencaps) this was clearly a squished widescreen presentation.
Audio: Solid enough for what it is. Highlight is definitely that music!
Sound Bite: "She can't ruin applesauce..."
Body Count: A very light movie for the dead bodies.
1 - A whopping 37 minutes and the old man dies.
2 - And then out of the blue, Victoria randomly slaughters Gail.
Best Corpse: Gail’s ‘zombie’ prop corpse is amazing.
Blood Type - F: Almost nothing, save for a few bits when Gail is killed.
Sex Appeal: This movie has boobs aplenty!
Drink Up! Every time there is a sex scene
Movie Review: What…what even is this movie? The plot is barely existent. You know everything going in, it’s just a question of, will Victoria get caught? Will Coop get out of his deal? And…there’s no real answers. This movie doesn’t really GO anywhere, and I have no idea what it’s trying to say. A strange one indeed. But some very solid cinematography and use of mirrors, save it. It has style, just feels…lacking. Two out of five doses of amyl nitrite.
Entertaiment Value: Nothing in this movie is particularly noteworthy, but I was entertained, more or less, for the movie. The acting is okay, the characters actually play off each other very well, and there is a sense of humour to it all, especially whenever Daddy Waterman is on screen. It’s a fascinating look into late 60s filmmaking, and views of the time, but otherwise, it’s just kinda there. Two out of five turnips.