(a.k.a. Blood Freaks)
Director: Steve Hawkes, Brad
Steve Hawkes, Dana Culliven, Randy Grinter Jr.
At long last, I got a hold of a copy of Blood
movie that I'd heard has many people (the kind who dig a little deeper
in the video barrel than usual) considering it a runner-up of Plan
Nine From Outer Space in the so-bad-it's-hilarious category. I
immediately watched it, and it was well worth the years I had to wait
see it. I agree that it's definitely one of the top of its field, and a
must for anyone who likes to laugh uproariously at inept technical
horrible acting, and ludicrous storylines. Blood Freak delivers
on these in spades.
With a movie like this, it's best to review it as a kind
so that you get a good idea of the kind of (hilarious) bad movie it is.
So if the description appeals to you, then I'm confident that you'll
Freak. Blood Freak, by the way, is a unique
- it's part Christian morality play, part Reefer Madness,
and part 50s mutated-man-on-the-loose movie! You read that right. The
starts off with a narrator (co-director Grinter) seated at a desk. He
a cigarette, and while puffing away, gives us a short lecture. "We live
in a world subject to constant change. Every second....of every
every hour....changes take place. These changes are, perhaps, invisible
to...............us, perhaps because our level of awareness is limited.
Take, for example, how the things we do and say to the people we meet -
all these things affect our lives, influence our destiny. And yet there
seems to be some kind of fantastic order to the whole thing. We never
how or when we'll meet...a person who'll be a catalyst, or will lead us
He continues: "What's a catalyst? Well, in this case, a
a person who'll bring about changes. They can be good - or bad. But
will be changes. You can meet one almost anywhere in your everyday life
- a supermarket....a drugstore....anywhere. Even riding down the
A pretty girl....with a problem. Who could resist? Certainly not
Several things struck me about this sequence: (1) The
and actual writing of the narration sound incredibly close to something
Ed Wood would have written for his friend and movie narrator Criswell,
and (2) The camera-shy narrator keeps glancing downwards - it almost
like he is reading from a script on his desk.
The main story starts, and we see main character
Herschell (writer and
co-director Hawkes), a Vietnam vet driving his motorcycle into Florida,
a state that rivals Texas in making really crummy movies. Speaking of
we get our first taste of the camerawork, with shots of Herschell
from another vehicle) jiggling wildly, and with sudden zoom shots for
apparent reason. Along the highway, he stops to assist Angel, a young
woman whose car has broken down. After helping her, she invites him
to her house, where her sister Ann is having a pot party with all her
friends. Angel tells Ann, "You know your body is the temple of the holy
spirit - you shouldn't defy it!" When Ann subsequently tries to seduce
Herschell, she finds that he's so straight, he won't smoke pot or have
illicit sex. Angrily, she tells Herschell, "You're a dumb bastard who
know where it's at!" Seeing Herschell and Angel having fun with reading
the bible, Ann then makes plans to get back at her sister, by using
We cut back to the narrator, still puffing away at his
you ever think about this fantastic...(William Shatner pause)...order
of things? You know, most people go through life completely oblivious
the obvious things that predictably influence their destiny."
The father of Ann and Angel is so impressed with the
kind of man Herschell
is, he offers him a job at his poultry farm starting a few days from
In the meantime, he shacks up with the family, doing odd jobs for them.
While working on the pool, Ann in her tight bikini prances up to him,
quickly sits down next to him in an unsubtle fashion. The next thing
does is offer Herschell some pot. Of course, nice boy Herschell
Ann starts mocking him, and calling him a coward. "I'm no coward!" he
and grabs the reefer and starts puffing away. The creators of this
must have gotten their information about marijuana from Reefer
because in less than a minute, our boy starts laughing hysterically and
out of control. Ann joins him in his laughter, and within a minute they
are in bed together.
The narrator (still smoking) reflects on this change of
events by saying,
among other things, "Amen!" and "Right on!"
Herschell then races to the poultry farm on his
motorbike, late for
his first day of work. He enters the grounds wearing sunglasses that
him look remarkably like Elvis. The girls' father introduces Herschell
to the farm's two scientists, Lenny and Gene. They explain that besides
Herschell doing chores around the farm, they want him to volunteer for
some experiments with some doctored turkeys. "We need a human to eat
meat to see if there any side effects....[It's] not dangerous at all -
it's a government regulation." While Herschell considers this, later
night he starts getting the sweats, and starts to claw the furniture in
a ludicrous manner. He's addicted to marijuana!
Herschell gets his "fix", and the next day he sits down
at a picnic
table, and one of the scientists gives him a roasting pan with a
whole turkey. "Let me see if I can get you a knife and a fork..." With
those tools in his hands, he (apparently) finishes off the whole
Cleaning up, the scientist muses, "Ah, he sure did clean that up..."
on the grounds, Herschell gets into a seizure, and starts wiggling on
grounds, at one point wiggling on his ass while the other parts of his
body are stuck up into the air.
Later that night, a shadowy figure walks into Ann's
room. She awakens...looks
up... and sees Herschell. But Herschell is different now - he's now Turkey
Man!!!! His body is human, but his head has turned into a
head!!!! He gobbles - she screams and faints. Frantically, he
her a long note, for he can no longer talk, just gobble. She wakes up,
strangely calm, and reads his note, which explains what happened to
She starts to babble. "I can't believe you're here like this...Do you
it'll wear off? You're sure ugly!...What if we got married - what about
the children?" They ask for help from the Almighty.
Our cigarette-smoking friend returns. "Interesting...(WSP)...how
when we come to moments of dispair...(WSP)...when we can't seem
to solve our problems any other way, we turn to God."
Then we suddenly cut to see Turkey Man outside at night.
put your cat out at night, right? Maybe Ann did that action to our
He creeps up on one woman and grabs her. She struggles, but doesn't
until he has dragged her into the woods and has cut her throat. Yes,
is not only still addicted to marijuana, but now he is addicted to
He cups his hands in the flow of blood coming out of her neck, though
not sure how Herschell, with a beak like that, could drink the blood
Meanwhile, Ann is still trying to get enough drugs for
knowing about his second habit. She later shows Herschell to her very
friends, and when Herschell is out of the house doing some more
killing, she and her friends talk about Herschell in the understanding
way your grade school teacher talked about the kids who were taught in
that special room in the basement of your school. She and her friends
their heads sadly, feeling so sorry for Herschell.
The remaining footage continues with Herschell's reign
of terror on
the neighborhood, with more random slaughter. At one point, he uses a
saw to chop off one guy's leg, and feast on the blood dripping from the
severed leg, while the poor bastard's screams are badly dubbed into his
lip movements. Finally, from out of nowhere, someone unexpectedly runs
up to Herschell, and chops off his head with a machete. This scene is
with (real) footage of a decapitated turkey. Hershell's severed turkey
head is placed on a table next to a roasted turkey in a roasting pan,
several hands fly into the frame to rip apart the turkey.
But that's not all! We are then treated to a twist
(which I won't reveal)
that's both a groaner and a gut buster, and then are treated to several
pro-Christian minutes of footage. The smoking narrator returns once
and says, "There's much to...(WSP)...warn us all. When you take
a chance on any drug, you take a chance on any unpredictable reaction."
He lectures the audience some more on the evils of drugs, and then gets
into an uncontrollable smoker's hack, still coughing away into the
This movie's a classic. There's terrible acting - you'll
the line. "You dumb bastard" could be uttered without any emotion until
you watch this movie! Everybody acts so badly, that even when nothing
happening, you're laughing at both the acting and the dialogue the poor
actors must utter. I've mentioned just some of this poor dialogue in
review, and believe me, there's much more I haven't mentioned. What
Hawkes and Grinter thinking? With the pro-Christian elements, one has
wonder if they were really trying to put a positive message in this
while trying to make something "commercial". But did they really think
a movie with such poor production values could be commercial? That
head mask will have viewers screaming with laughter, not simply
How can you take such a creature (who generates countless gobbles on
soundtrack, by the way,) seriously? Those, and other questions are fun
to think about in this movie, but the movie itself is much more
There's no doubt in my mind that anyone who loves unintentionally bad
will find a lot to savour about Blood Freak. I think
said enough about this movie, so the only thing left to do is for you
go to your video store and rent a copy.
for availability on Amazon (DVD)
See also: Didn't You Hear,
99 And 44.100% Dead, Dr. Caligari