Film: Blood Feast
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Writer: Allison Louise Downe
Starring: William Kerwin, Mal Arnold and Connie Mason
This film begins with a young woman entering her apartment. She goes into the bathroom and gets into the bathtub. We see next to her is a book titled ‘Ancient Weird Religious Rites’. A man then attacks her with a knife; he is played by Mal Arnold. He stabs her in the eye and then cuts off her leg.
We then see the police captain, played by Scott H. Hall, and a detective played by William Kerwin. We have learned that there have been other murders and they still have no idea or clues as to who could be doing this.
We then see a woman; played by Lyn Bolton, enter Fuad Ramses Exotic Catering business. She is looking to throw a party for her daughter and wants to do something that will be the talk of the town. The man is the killer, Arnold. He suggests having an Egyptian feast that he will cater. Bolton states her daughter is interested in Egyptian history and that will be great.
There is a curfew that has been put into effect but a couple on the beach ignores it. The woman, played by Ashlyn Martin, she wants to go home, but her boyfriend, played by Gene Courtier, wants to stay. Arnold shows up and hits Courtier in the head and takes the brain of Martin.
The police go to interview Courtier and he doesn’t remember a whole lot. They do get out of him that the man has grey hair and wild eyes. Martin’s parents come to the police station and all they can get out of them is that she was part of a book club.
Bolton’s daughter is played by Connie Mason. She is the one the party is being thrown for. She goes to the world history talk for that week and we learn there that she is dating Kerwin. We learn about Ishtar and the Egyptian feast. The film actually uses Mason in a wig and Arnold to reenact how the feast went in ancient times. We learn that virgins were sacrificed to make the meal and that the high priestess was killed as well to raise Ishtar.
There are more murders and more of their body parts are stolen. The police still do not have any leads and the day of the party is getting closer and closer. Will the police figure out that is Arnold before it is too late? Or will Mason be sacrificed to Ishtar? Will the ritual work?
First off, this is the first film by director Herschell Gordon Lewis that I have seen. I know he is a master of gore and after seeing this film, I can see why. I don’t personally feel this film is too gory though. There is a lot of blood, that doesn’t look entirely real, and we see dismembered body parts and innards. I have seen much worse, but I will give Lewis his due. I am also personally interested in ancient civilizations and rituals they do, so I didn’t mind that part of this film. I won’t hold it against Lewis and screenwriter Allison Louise Downe, but Ishtar is not an Egyptian goddess. The film has low running time, so the story isn’t too deep and complex, but we get a good amount of death scenes.
Now the quality of this film is lacking. I did read that it was made for on a low budget and it looks like it. The acting is just bad across the board and there really isn’t one person that I was impressed by to give credit. The story could have done with a little bit more subplots to add some time and depth, but I think budget was a big reason there wasn’t more.
With that said, this film does have a cult following so I will give it credit there. If you like blood and gore, then this film is up your alley. I don’t think the gore is as bad as other films I have seen, but the film does have a pretty impressive body count for the low running time. The acting isn’t good and the story is lacking. Don’t come expecting too much from this one and only watch this if you like gore, then I think you will enjoy it. For the rest, it is safe to avoid this one.
My Rating: 5 out of 10