Blood Feast (1963)
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
You would have thought that I would have seen the first American splatter movie ever made.
But if you thought that, you would have been wrong.
The only film I've ever seen by Lewis was 2000 Maniacs which I absolutely loved. With 2k Maniacs, Blood Feast and Color Me Blood Red, this is what most have dubbed The Blood Trilogy.
And to be privy to seeing it is to see grindhouse flicks at its apex. It may be filled with horrible acting, blood red blood and full of cheesiness, but it spawned an American horror revolution...and its not too bad.
Hey even Juno loves Herschell Gordon Lewis movies.
An Egyptian caterer kills various women in suburban Miami to use their body parts to bring to life a dormant Egyptian goddess, while an inept police detective try to track him down.
Try to pretend it's 1963, you're in Times Square at some grindhouse theatre. You've been watching to many Leave it to Beaver episodes and you see the poster above. You pay your $2 to see Blood Feast. Running at a minimum 70 minutes, you see scantily clad women get slaughtered in the most gruesome ways.
Think about it. This was something totally new. So totally fucked up, you're now totally disturbed. And this should not be taken lightly.
Let's bring it to modern times. How about the first time you saw Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th. Remember that feeling?
That's what it was like to see Fuad Ramses (our notorious serial killer caterer) kill countless victims.
There are so many firsts in this movie. Let's list them.
1.) A women gets her eye cut out
2.) A women gets her legs cut off
3.) A women is scalped to death and her brain is removed
4.) A women's tongue is ripped out
5.) A women gets whipped to death
6.) A women gets her heart ripped out
7.) We see a killer "cook" human flesh
8.) Somebody dies via garbage truck compactor
Wikipedia also likes to add:
9.) Blood Feast is also one of the first films to show people dying with their eyes open.
Our first machete armed, Egyptian obsessed serial killer is Fuad Ramses.
1.) "Crazy, weird eyes"
2.) A very noticable limp
3.) Speaks in incoherent blood thirsty sentences
4.) Prefers knives and machetes as weapons
5.) Is a caterer of exotic foods
Our cops are so inept it's a miracle the lead detective figures out who is the killer in the nick of time.
All in all, Blood Feast as the first American splatter introduces the formula that all other future splatter movies will follow.
1.) Deranged killer who stalks his prey (usually women)
2.) Elaborate, over the top gore and splatter scenes
3.) Cops/detectives hot on his trail
4.) Gratuitous nudity
5.) An ending that just doesn't live up the the hype
Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)
See above. Kinda listed it all there.
Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)
For a 60's flick, you've got some glimpses of nudity
Scantily clad gratuitous bikini boobies
That tongue ripping scene. Classic!
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Every gorehound and would be splatter-holic needs to see the Citizen Kane of splatter movies. It should be mandatory viewing for any horror fan (as well as many other HGL films). It's an education to see that Lewis and David Friedman (who produced it) were pioneers that evolved what horror movies could be.
2000 Maniacs, Gruesome Twosome (review coming soon!), The Gore Gore Girls, The Wizard of Gore and Color Me Bloody Red are being remade because the originals are classics.
Seriously, even Juno loves Herschell Gordon Lewis. So it' gotta be hip and cool right?
Check out the trailer.
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