Video/DVD Pick

Blood Suckers/Blood Thirst

Video/DVD Pick

Blood Suckers/Blood Thirst Something Weird Video raises the bar on the bizarre-o-meter with this stellar double-feature DVD of two of the most deliciously bad horror movies from the golden age of bad horror movies. Both of these flicks hail from the early '70s and both are totally stepped in that era, with Blood Suckers coming off as a particularly mind-boggling mish-mash of vampires, squishy hippie sex and pseudo-Freudian psycho-babble (at one point, some pipe-smoking know-it-all informs us in no uncertain terms that vampirism is a sado-masochistic perversion exclusively found in frigid females and impotent males).

Blood Suckers (which is inexplicably billed in the opening credits as Freedom Seeker) is about — as much as it's about anything — a brilliant, dashing young Oxford scholar who, while on holiday in Greece, falls in with a cult of acid-gobbling sex freaks led by a neck-biting succubus in go-go boots and a mini-skirt. The movie is filled with inane, unintentionally hilarious dialogue; choppily cut, zoom-lens-crazy cinematography; strange, virtual cameos by Peter Cushing and The Avengers' Patrick Macnee; and one of the most absurd psychedelic orgy scenes ever committed to celluloid (complete with all manner of drug consumption, group groping, guys in silly masks, and vaguely satanic freak-out music).

In other words, it's a total hoot. After the lurid psychedelic colors of Blood Suckers, the atmospheric black-and-white photography of Blood Thirst may have you thinking you're watching some sort of foreign art film, but don't be fooled: this is a grade-C prime monster movie, as sleazy as they come — and I mean that in the best possible way.

Blood Thirst was shot entirely in the Philippines and features a cast composed largely of what appears to be local non-talent, as well as a great, babe-stalking monster whose face seems to be entirely composed of cast-off goiters. There's also some incredibly cool belly dancing sequences that take place in the world's tackiest nightclub and an astonishingly annoying hero whose idea of charm consists of bad jokes, insults and making clumsy passes at women.

Both movies make very little sense and are all the more entertaining for it, and both look smashing on DVD. The digitally remastered black-and-white images on Blood Thirst are particularly sharp and smooth, but Blood Suckers, despite some overly murky night scenes, offers quite an eyeful as well with its lurid palette of saturated '70s colors. As if all that wasn't enough, the DVD is jam-packed with all sorts of extra features, including cheesy trailers for nearly a dozen vintage horror gems, scads of drive-in related odds and ends (from a gallery of exploitation art to intermission announcements) and a pair of hilariously amateurish, soft-core shorts featuring witches, vampires, naked girls and really, really bad special effects.
—Lance Goldenberg

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