Thursday, November 29, 2007


I know that this 1971 release from director David Durston doesn't technically count as a zombie film, but I'm including it here because the film is clearly inspired by the success of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and Durston hews very close to that movie's style. (I also happen to think it's great.) What it lacks it social and political commentary, though, it more than makes up for it in sheer exploitive outrageousness.

A cult of Manson Family-inspired hippies, led by Indian dancer Bhaskar in a sublimely over-the-top performance, crash at a soon-to-be ghost town in upstate New York. When a local girl witnesses one of their LSD-fueled Satanic rituals, she's raped and beaten (sorry, deviants, it happens offscreen). This sets up an unlikely but oh-so entertaining revenge scenario as the girl's shotgun-toting grandpa heads out to settle the score, only to be handed a beating of his own (and also getting dosed with acid by the cult's resident skank). So it then falls to his grandson Pete (sort of a grindhouse Dennis the Menace) to avenge both grandpa and big sis; following reasoning only a schlock horror film can comprehend, Pete kills a rabid dog and injects its blood into a fresh batch of meat pies, which he then sells to the hippies the following morning for breakfast (you may wonder why anyone would eat something given to them by a person they've just victimized, but Durston sure doesn't).

Still with me? The hippies are then transformed into rabid, zombie-like creatures who froth at the mouth while committing various atrocities (and although the town is practically deserted, there's still plenty of victims on hand to mutilate, as well as a handy construction crew to spread their infection to). Sleaze fans will find plenty to feast upon here, with all the severed limbs, self-impalings, and spilled intestines on display, not to mention the gangbang of a rabid girl that causes the construction workers' infection (be sure to track down the original 83-minute cut that retains all the nasty goodness).

Despite its multiple liabilities--from the improbable script with its howl-inducing dialogue to its overwrought acting--I DRINK YOUR BLOOD operated by its own demented logic to be a singularly enjoyable experience. Somehow Durston has created his own universe where he can determine his own rules, kind of a low-rent David Lynch (yeah, I just compared Lynch to a movie called I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, wanna fight about it?) eager to please exploitation audiences, aided immeasurably by the stock sound effects and Clay Pitts's bizarre score.

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD probably doesn't qualify as a "good" movie, but I'd take it over THE GODFATHER or RAGING BULL anyday.

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