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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Forgotten Horror Gems Vol. 7 - I Drink Your Blood (1971)

We are seven films into a list of movies that I have somehow managed to miss over my 50 years on this planet.  We've seen some okay ones and some terrible ones, but I have to tell you that nothing prepared me for the absolute awesomeness of this one.

I Drink Your Blood (1971) is exploitation horror at its finest.  We'll get to that in a moment.  First, I have to tell you that Lilith sat this one out.  To be perfectly frank, I know she's not a fan of gore so Karen and I watched it while she was out of the house.  That said, the first scene alone was almost enough for us to wait for her to get back.  There is nothing I'd love to hear more than a 16-year-old making snarky comments about a bunch of naked hippy devil worshipers reciting dialogue so pretentious that suppressing giggles was nigh impossible.

That said, I took the responsible adult route and Karen and I soldiered on alone.

So, what makes this movie so good?  Let me count the ways!

The story involves a bunch of Satan worshipers who descend on a small town.  First, they brutalize a local teen girl.  When her grandfather goes to get revenge, they beat him up and force feed him acid.  Now, here's where you expect some Billy Jack character to come in and kick ass, right? 

Wrong!  Instead, a twelve-year-old boy, the grandson of the man who got dosed, decides to take  revenge.  He kills a rabid dog and then extracts blood from the animal and puts it in the Satan worshipers' food.  

They, of course, go insane and start killing each other and anyone else they come across.  Body parts are lopped off, blood flies everywhere, organs fall out of wounds... it's just awesome!  Soon the sickness begins to spread beyond the devil cult and into the people of the surrounding area.

Why is this "exploitation"?  Well, this movie rode into theaters as the Manson murder trial had captured American imaginations.  Nothing was scarier than hippies.  Sure they'd smile to your face and talk about peace and love, but then they'd take those mind altering drugs and who knows what they'd do.  Right?  Seen through the eyes of the time, this movie is definitely frightening.

Now, the acting isn't the best.  I'd say everyone is trying hard but only about half of them are really pulling it off.  Lucky for us, those who do pull their acting weight include most of the devil worshipers, the boy, his grandfather and his sister.  

Acting aside, there's one huge thing I have to complain about.

The soundtrack.

It is almost entirely made up of obnoxious, irritating noises.  Karen described it as taking a recording of a battery operated toy ray gun, looping that on itself and cranking it higher and higher depending on the amount of tension they were trying to portray.

It's pretty wretched.  Still, it's not worth skipping this one over.  You could do a lot worse than spending an hour and a half watching a bunch of rabid hippies lay waste to a small town.

I highly recommend this one and consider it the first movie of this whole experiment that is a clear-cut winner!  It's gross and low budget, but still... a winner.  You can actually find the entire movie for free on YouTube:

Next week, we'll delve into something a bit more classy... not a lot more though.  We have an image to keep around here.

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