Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

Lurid, sleazy, daft and amazingly blood drenched for a film made in 1970, David Durston’s horror picture for Jerry Gross was yet another of those films that until recently I had avoided simply because the plot (young boy infects hippies’ meat pies with rabies and turns them into insane killers) sounded too unpleasantly excessive to be any fun. Well I’ve been wrong before and here’s a good example. I should have checked out I DRINK YOUR BLOOD years ago. Of course if I had I would probably have ended up watching one of the numerous cut and hacked about versions out there, so perhaps it’s just as well that I waited for the uncut DVD, and even that came out ten years ago, thus demonstrating that even I’m not able to keep up with everything.
There aren’t that many classic exploitation films that open on a naked man standing behind a strategically placed sword, and it’s quite possible that this is the only one. We find ourselves at a ritual of the naked members of SADOS (Sons And Daughters Of Satan) which is basically a group of spaced out hippies led by Indian leader Bhaskar Chowdury. Unfortunately their chicken-slaying antics are witnessed by a local girl from the nearby town. Two of the gang molest her and, when the group move into the almost-ghost town where she lives, her grandfather Doc Banner, who also happens to be the local vet, goes to the old hotel where they are staying to have it out with them. They beat him up and feed him LSD. The Doc’s twelve year old grandson Pete (Riley Mills - quite possibly the best actor in the film) determines to get revenge. He shoots a wandering rabid dog, extracts some of its blood, and injects it into meat pies which are then sold to the hippies by the local bakery. It’s rather a sparse bakery, by the way, that doesn’t seem to sell anything but the meat pies in question. This is probably quite fortunate as a cream puff or lemon meringue injected with rabid dog blood might arouse suspicion.
The hippies tuck in and pretty soon are wandering around foaming at the mouth and attacking anyone who crosses their path, hacking off limbs with an axe or, in the case of pretty, mute Lynn Lowry, using an electric carving knife in a scene David Durston has proudly remarked was written especially for her. Pretty soon all the construction workers who are building the nearby dam are infected too, and the last twenty minutes is a riot as the remaining few survivors try to get to safety with only the maniacs’ fear of water as an often-hilarious means of defence.
Unless you’re familiar with it, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD doesn’t do what you’re expecting. The opening half an hour prepares you for a hippy version of the old Roger Corman Hell’s Angels pictures of the time before it turns into a crazy, manic, ebullient version of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD but with sleaze and silliness instead of the satire, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. The murder scenes are way over the top, and once the film gets going it feels like a forerunner for the late 1980s gore epics of Peter Jackson such as BAD TASTE and BRAIN DEAD.  
Really worth taking a look at if you’re a fan of any of the above, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD has already been watched several times at Probert Towers and we’ll no doubt be watching it again when we fancy a dollop of daft, blood-drenched, drive-in craziness. With added hippies.

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