Blood Freak (1972)

Many years ago, when I was a child-shaped entity, my father had a big book of movie reviews. Pretty sure it was VideoHound’s Golden Movie Retriever, or whatever it might have been called back then. Anyway, the book rated movies on a 0 to 4 scale with “bones” instead of “stars” and a noticeable “Woof!” for movies that got a 0. Being weird, I had looked up all the movies that started with the word “Blood,” and this woof of a review stood out. After reading the summary, I made it my goal in life to see this awful film. Which brings us to now.

This is a Christian, anti-drug, splatter flick where a man gets hooked of weed–complete with marijuana withdrawals–then eats contaminated turkey meat, grows a turkey head, and goes around killing other druggies, drinking their blood. Or, technically, pooling the blood in his man hands and then putting it up to his beak. It’s narrated by the co-writer/co-director Brad F. Grinter (the other co-writer/co-director, Steve Hawkes, is the meathead protagonist) who chain smokes and has a coughing fit at the end. Oh! And there’s even a special feature about Mr. Grinter being a nudist, so in addition to all that, I got to see his astonishingly tiny penis! I voluntarily clicked on that short film link. I don’t know what I expected.

So is there anything good in this movie? Um… uh… huh. Not really? Mr. Steve Hawkes’ Herschell resists the feminine wiles of drug user Ann, but basically gets hooked because she dares him to smoke some pot. The weed withdrawal part is kind of funny, in that Herschell is stealing smokes out of Ann’s hands before she can light them, but I ended up wondering if this was just a really tone deaf sequence intended to scare the kiddies, or if the filmmakers actually thought weed was dangerously addictive. The turkey head looks nightmarish, but not in a “good for a horror movie” sort of way, but instead in a “someone didn’t know enough about birds to not include teeth” way. And the fact that it turns out the majority of the film was just a dream is a huge let down.

Oh! I know something good! At one point, Turkey Herschell is using a power saw to cut a man’s leg off. The cut–both the filmed act of violence and the way they cut out the blade actually touching him–is bad, but the guy holding his now stump leg looks pretty real. And that’s because it was real! Sort of; they used an actor with only one leg, cut off the fake leg, and then splashed some fake blood all over. It’s more than I would’ve expected from a movie like this, so there’s your one bit of praise, Blood Freak. Don’t let it go to your head.


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