I Drink Your Blood

05/19/2022 06:36

Film: I Drink Your Blood

Year: 1970

Director: David E. Durston

Writer: David E. Durston

Starring: Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong and Rhonda Fultz



This is a movie that I had never heard of until getting the Top 300 horror movies issue of Fangoria. From there it went on a list of movies to see to expand my horizons. This also pops up on podcasts from time to time. I decided on this one to help round out my viewing of 1970 and it fit for what we cover over on Side Quest Podcast. The synopsis for this wild movie is a group of Satanic hippies wreak havoc on a small town where a young boy, whose sister and grandfather were victimized by them, tries to get even – with deadly results.

We start this off seeing a cult perform a ritual to Satan. They call themselves Sado, or the children of the dark lord. They’re led by Horace Bones (Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury). The group kills a chicken and slit its neck then pour the blood on Sue-Lin (Jadin Wong). In the cult are also Molly (Rhonda Fultz), who is pregnant. There is also Rollo (George Patterson), who is the Black member, Shelley (Alex Mann), Andy (Tyde Kierney), Carrie (Lynn Lowry) and an unnamed woman played by Iris Brooks. I should also point out, Carrie is a mute. Watching on is Sylvia (Arlene Farber). She was invited by Andy and this upsets Horace. With the rest of the cult, they attack her.

The next morning, she is found stumbling into town. Mildred Nash (Elizabeth Marner-Brooks) and her younger brother, Pete (Riley Mills), are the ones that do. They take her home where the siblings live with their grandfather. His name is Doc Banner (Richard Bowler) and he is the local veterinarian. There isn’t much he can do. They need a real doctor and it takes time for him to arrive.

What I should point out here is that this town is dying. They are putting in a dam and I take it that it will flood the area soon. Most of the town has moved away. It really is only Pete, Sylvia, Mildred and Doc along with the men that are working on the dam. They are led by Roger Davis (John Damon) who is dating Mildred. He isn’t giving her much attention as he is focused on the job.

Our cult ends up in town as well. Their van breaks down so they must stay for a while. Their plan is to sell drugs in the area before moving on. When Sylvia wakes up, she confirms they attacked her. When Doc tries to run them off, they attack him. This gives Pete an idea. He kills a rabid dog in the woods. He takes some of its blood and puts them in some of the meat pies that Mildred makes. He then sells them to the cult. This turns them rabid and they spread the disease much like an animal would. It becomes a fight for survival as this infection spreads.

That is where I’ll leave my recap for this story as well as introducing our characters. Where I’ll start would be the premise. From what I know, this could happen. I’ve heard that when a human gets rabies, it just makes us sick. We wouldn’t change like they do in the movie. Upon recording the podcast episode, Jake alerted me that something like what we get here could happen. Even before learning that, how this is presented did feel grounded enough in reality that it isn’t too far out there. What is odd here is that this disease turns them into zombies, making it seem like this could inspire a movie like 28 Days Later to be honest.

Going from there, I love the idea of this cult. Now I do find it funny that we have a hippie cult that is also worshipping Satan. To me, this is capitalizing on the fears of people of the time. Most hippies were into free love. I’m taking it that because this cult is on drugs, it is making them do things they normally wouldn’t. We see that through the character of Andy. Most of the adults at the time that were against hippies would correlate the two. This is also playing into the fear of the Satanic Panic. I’m guessing this would be early into that as well which makes it interesting. Regardless, this cult is terrifying. Horace just likes to inflict pain. I’d say that Rollo is there with him. The girls seem to just get caught in what the others are doing. That makes it feel like they’re borrowing from the Manson Family, since the Tate-LaBianca murders would have been the year prior. This works for the era as well as a pre-cursor to movies like The Crazies, which came out 3 years later.

Since this is a basic in story, I want to go over to the acting. It’s not great, but it also it also doesn’t need to be. I think that Chowdhury, Wong, Patterson, Brooks and Lowry are all solid as cult members who become infected. I like seeing Fultz and Kierney as the two that don’t eat the meat pies. There are a bunch of others that end up infected by it in different ways that I liked. Mills is interesting as this boy. He wants to protect his sister and grandfather, but his method of revenge is what causes everything. He is decent as a child actor as well. I thought that Marner-Brooks was fine along with Farber. The same could be said for Damon and Bowler. The acting works for a movie like this in my opinion.

Then the last things to go into would be the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. For the former, I thought they were solid. This movie wasn’t as brutal as I thought it would be. That’s not a negative. It does have some things that make it feel grindhouse. The blood is bright, which is a hallmark of low budget for the era. I even like the foam that we see at times for people who are infected. The cinematography is fine. It doesn’t stand out, but it also wasn’t spectacular. I had no gripes. Other than that, the soundtrack is unnerving. We get a lot of synth, which I have a soft spot for. There was a time where it got so oppressive that I had to turn it down. I thought it worked well to build the tension and atmosphere.

In conclusion, this movie wasn’t completely what I was expecting. This is an interesting grindhouse movie where a cult gets infected with rabies and attacks a small town. The acting was fine, especially from those that were infected. This movie feels like it helped pave the way for some classics down the road. They didn’t go as far with the effects as I wanted, but I can’t fault them either. The cinematography was fine while the soundtrack was solid. I would say that this movie is fun if you’re into violent, low budget movies like this. I think this is an above average movie. Not great, it has some flaws, but worth a viewing if you are into these types.


My Rating: 7 out of 10