Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976, Joel M. Reed)

Apparently this film was originally titled The Incredible Torture Show, a more accurate though less sleazy title before Troma bought the distribution rights in the '80s and changed it's name to that which you see above (no, not "That Which You See Above", I meant "Bloodsucking Freaks" moron). After seeing the brilliant Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead recently I asked around for some more Troma recommendations. This was the one that came up the most so I gave it a shot.

This film is actually similar in plot to Herschell Gordon Lewis' infamous Wizard of Gore. A magician named Sardu (Seamus O'Brien) makes his audience believe that his on-stage show involving the killings of young women is just an act, when in fact he really is killing them. To make the money to support his show, he kidnaps women and keeps them in a jail cell in his theater's basement to sell on the White Slave Trade. No, I'm not making this up. When a ballet dancer is kidnapped by Sardu and his sidekick Ralphus (I love that name), her boyfriend hires a P.I. to search for her. They soon find out that she has willingly (or so they think) quit Broadway to join Sardu's sleazy Soho show.

This has to be one of the most warped movies I've ever seen. Parts of it reminded me of Pink Flamingos, mainly the scenes showing these demented people doing the most vile things and thinking nothing of it. Though this film is nowhere near as great as Pink Flamingos, it was surprisingly watchable. Not a single slow part. I guess when you have a film with human dartboards, white slaves, an unlicensed doctor who likes to "practice" on real people and a dwarf who thinks it's hilarious to make Holocaust jokes (oh that Ralphus!), how could you be bored? The film's budget is pretty much non-existent which makes most of the sight gags laughable, though I have a feeling if the budget was higher then the film would have fallen flat on its deformed face.


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