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Monday, September 27, 2010

Blood Feast (1963) - Horror Killer

Part of Terrorthon 10 at the Somerville Theater in Somerville MA
Blood Feast (1963) - A woman comes home and gets ready for a bath, she turns on her really cool radio, a Zenith Royal 250 to hear reports that women in town have been killed and to stay home after dark. Since she keeps her book of Ancient Weird Egyptian Rituals nearby and the camera lingers on it we know it is important. Suddenly as she relaxes in her bubble bath a man appears and stabs her to death and then after she is dead takes a leg as a trophy. So begins this 1963 gore movie, some would argue started the genre of gore in movies.
This is not a good movie, it is poorly written, acted and lots does not make sense as you watch. An example of this is the two cops that are featured. The Capt. Frank (Scott H. Hall) overly dramatic with every line repeatedly through the film states there are no clues to who the killer is. That's because in this work the police have yet to develop the ability to take fingerprints. The killer makes no effort to wear gloves or avoid smearing blood all over the place, but apparently the police don't know the existence of fingerprinting.
Nor does this movie attempt to hide the killer from the audience. We learn in the first three scenes who the killer, Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) is, what his motivation is and what his larger plan is. I won't be spoiling anything here by saying that he worships the Goddess Ishtar and wants to perform the Blood Feast that will bring her back to life. Where our killer runs a catering service and has some kind of mind control abilities he easily convinces Dorothy Freeman (Lyn Bolton) to have such a Feast for her daughter (Connie Mason). It is not a spoiler because 15 minutes into this you are shown everything. So the rest of the film is about the inept cops learning it.
I love that the killer worships a store mannequin dress as the Egyptian Goddess. He is a strange character who overacts and limps badly but somehow is completely silent and can easily surprise the most cautious victim. Needing more body parts the killer heads out to the beach to find Tony and his girl making out. She wants to go home but he wants her to hang and "prove" her love. Fuad dragging his dead leg behind him in the sand, knocks out Tony and kills the girl. For some reason there is a boa constrictor on the beach, when the police arrive they do not have a clue and state that fact. Since they did not tape off the area all the walking around must have erased the trail left by the killer as he dragged his leg behind him. It could have gone something like this.

Capt. Frank: Well guys we are here a bit late again. If we could just find a clue to what direction the killer went.
Officer: Capt Frank there is this clear path here in the sand, looks like someone dragged something from over there, to where the kids were attacked and then off that way with something dripping blood behind it.
Capt.Frank: Good work kid, What's your name? Hey lets fallow that blood trail and see where it goes.

BUT NOOO! Instead they talk to Tony who is awake again and crying like a two year old who had his candy stolen. Then they bring the parents of the latest victim in to ask if they know who did it? You see this scene would not be necessary except that the writer Allison Louise Downe wants to introduce that Det. Pete Thornton (William Kerwin) is connecting the book from the first scene to this murder. Since there are more body parts needed for the feast there are more murders to come. The Captain and Tanielle return to a Miami motel drunk, we only see them from a distance but can tell they are drunk from their bobbing and weaving. Capt does not get to go into Tanielle's room probably saving his life. Ramses drags himself to her room using the railing of the walkway but since there are no finger prints in this world leaves no clues when he kills her and rips out her tongue. I loved that we know she is dead because she crossed her eyes.
Now we get filled in on the feast and it is through a lecture that Thornton goes to with his girlfriend Suzette Fremont (Playboy playmate Connie Mason) the daughter who will have the surprise feast. They are both interested in Egyptian culture and history and besides how will Ramses ever get caught if Det. Pete doesn't have a way to make connections.
There are more murders and on the night of the party the police close in on the killer. When they get to his catering store and find the latest victim they are shock and then figure out that Ramses is the killer and is at Suzette's house right now!
Suzette comes close to having her number punched but Ramses has to flee the cops before the deed is done. Dragging his bad leg behind him he manages to stay ahead of a bunch of cops for a very long time until he can hide in the back of a garbage truck. You can guess his outcome. The gore effect were pretty effective and I had a better feeling about this film after seeing the Herschell Gordon Lewis documentary after this feature, but as a film itself it was really poor.
Rating (3.2) 5.0 and up are recommended, In the Zombiegrrlz system I would tell you to Skip It!

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