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This is the splatter anticlassic all us sickos know and love. The non-plot is, well, pretty simple and it's only an excuse to cut loose with loads of very extreme gore and sadism. Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold), an Egyptian maniac of pagan bloodlust, must serve up a "blood feast" to Ishtar, his horrible goddess of gory days gone by. Y'know, back when chicks used to get their hearts yanked out on altars IN BLOOD COLOR! How does he get the morsels for his feast? It's an easy guess! Tongues pulled out. Limbs cut off. Brains hacked out in a blood-splattered mess. It's the grand-daddy of all the sickest stuff you've ever seen, and even though it's pretty stupid and bad, it sure is fun! It's even funny on purpose (as well as the other way around). For those of you who dig this unsavory and depraved type of junk the way I do, find this bad mother as soon as possible and surrender to the forbidden pleasures of the first splatter-comedy ever! (I think...)
Oft-credited as the first traditional "gore" pic, 'Blood Feast'
all of typical conventions of the genre; including nubile, young women
(including a Playboy Playmate), excessive blood and guts, and even some
humor (including the "hamburger" line and the trash-compactor ending).
also inept in every way, from the atrocious acting and horrible directing
the dumb-as-dirt characters. Hell, the most intelligent character in this
movie is the murderer, Faud Ramses - what, with him having penned a
seemingly popular non-fiction work and running a bang-up catering business
to boot - and even he is not too bright, which unfortunately catches up
him in the end.
If you love bad movies in that MST3K kind of way, than this is one to see. It's laugh-a-minute riot (and you've go to love the score). So put down that copy of 'Ancient Weird Religious Rites' and check this movie out.
From a technical standpoint, this movie is awful. But, you still have
to give credit to Lewis and Friedman for creating a new genre of film;
the splatter flick. For this reason, and probably this reason alone, I
rate it at 6. Well, you have to give Lewis credit for the musical score
that he did himself. The electric organ and opening shot of the Sphinx
is hilarious. The writing and acting, though, are deplorable.
This is an exploitation movie in the mold of the circus sideshow. The ad campaign for the movie made it appear to be more than it really was. In fact, a "nurse" was on hand at showings to assist those who might become overwhelmed by the horror presented on the screen. Many of the scenes, like the one with the woman's tongue being ripped out of her mouth (from what I understand, it was a sheep's tongue purchased from a local butcher)are quite revolting and unsettling. Actually, this is a part of what is known as the Blood Trilogy along with Lewis' better made, Two Thousand Maniacs. The third film is Color Me Blood Red.
Blood Feast by H. G. Lewis was the first splatter film ever made, and it changed the path of the horror film forever. Its importance, whether good or bad, is undeniable. The film is in many ways the very essence of amateurishness. I do not believe I have ever seen a film where no one...and I mean no one...had ANY acting ability. For me, the only one that comes closest is Mal Arnold as the Egyptian caterer Fuad Ramses. These people cannot laugh, cry, scream, or even speak with any degree of credibility at all. I mean you would have to train people to get results like this if you had wanted them to be like this in the first place. I can only think that maybe with the leads being so poor...the other actors had no inspiration. The direction is not a great deal better...but then the film was made in 9 days. The script is silly and filled with lamentable dialogue where every facet of the plot must be explained and re-explained. What then does this "classic" have going for it? Well, it is fun to watch. It will make you laugh at its unreal gore and its poor acting and direction. The gore is a given and it is abundant....bright red dapples and drapes the bodices of many victimized girls...all of which I might point out are very easy on the eyes...another plus for male viewers. The music, created by Lewis, is surprisingly very good and stylish, helping create the mood and pacing of the film. All in all, I recommend seeing Blood Feast for its ineptitude and the laughs it will derive. If you are a fan of horror, it is a must see to satisfy your curiosity of what caused the change from good horror stories to graphic horror films. The answer lies with Blood Feast.
Some day, I hope to travel to Clearwater, Florida, to place a manikin leg
before the Sphinx in the patking lot, in honor of this classic of trash
cinema which was filmed there. This is the one film I can think of that
succeeds brilliantly in every frame to be deeply entertaining because it's
so profoundly inept. Though I have, on repeated viewing, developed a special
fondness for Mal Arnold's interpretation of Fuad Ramses. It's the essence of
camp. He might have been a neighbor on Pee-Wee's Playhouse! Has anyone else
noticed the perverse giddiness of the scenes where he fondles womens'
There's a cut-rate irony at work here, too. The only things happening in this town are Suzette Fremont's party and those horrible murders. Yet only we, the audience, know that they're related. And what about that book club? Do they only offer one title?
Also, the tongue-pulling scene had to be the first occurance of slapstick gore. I mean, he didn't knock her out or anything. He just jammed his fingers into her mouth as soon as she opened the door. And she didn't particularly struggle with him. She just went "Ngaahhh!" and "Lleeehhh," as he yanked. And when he got the tongue out, it was about a foot long. Did it get stretched out of shape like taffy?
For a movie to be that entertaining to me every time I've watched it (which must be more than fifty by now)represents some weird kind of accomplishment. Do yourself a favor and buy the DVD. This is perhaps the best unintentional comedy ever made!
anyone who views themselves as a serious horror fan should praise HG Lewis as GOD!!! although his movies are dated and somewhat cheesy by todays jaded standpoint, without his contributions, the horror genre would not be what it is today. this film is the first of the revolutionary (for their time...) "trilogy of blood", which were among the first films ever to show graphic depictions of bondage,blood, mutilation and all things near and dear to true horror fans hearts. obviously upon current viewing of the film, the gore effects will seem amateurish and silly, but you have to remember, this film was made in 1963. NO ONE was making films like this back then and we can all thank Mr. Lewis for his contributions, because without them, horror would not be what it is today. 8 1/2 out of 10 for the genre also see "The GORE GORE GIRLS" (aka BLOOD ORGY) - in my opinion the best (and goriest Lewis film)
My rating is a kind of anti-rating. Is this a fine film? No. Is the plot compelling? No. Are the actors top-notch emoters? No, no, and thrice no. Are the gore effects convincing? Absolutely not! Is the film a work of sheer visionary genius? Yes! Sort of, in an alternative film-making universe kind of way. Fuad Ramses is one of the greatest/most bizarre cinematic creations I have had the pleasure of seeing. His logic is fantastic, and if for nothing else, he deserves kudos for outrunning a number of fully-fit police officers, and him with a conspicuous (read sinister) limp! Ramses' enunciation of his lines is brilliant and I am now searching for an opportunity to slide "a feast...last...given...five...thousand...years...ago" into an everyday conversation. Add not very bright police officers, one of whom is clearly Basil Exposition's father, and a series of splendid (and ground-breaking, it must be said) gore set-pieces, and you have genius. So, let us all raise a glass to Mr. Lewis and proclaim Blood Feast as the warped work of art it most surely is.
Herschell Gordon Lewis's pioneering 'gore' movie is one of those films, like 'Plan 9 From Outer Space', which is entertaining due to its sheer ineptitude. Almost everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. The acting ranges ranges from ridiculously over-the-top (Mal Arnold) to so wooden it makes the furniture look animated (Lyn Bolton and Playboy Playmate Connie Mason). The music is truly appalling, including hilariously misjudged musical 'stings' and out-of-tune strings. The editing, especially in the opening scene, is some of the worst you will ever see. The story is little more than an excuse to show a lot of very bloody (but also very unconvincing) gore. However, the film has plenty of unintentional laughs and is more enjoyable than much of the slick, soulless Hollywood 'product' that gets churned out at an alarming rate each year. A must for all lovers of Z-Grade exploitation.
Herschell is maybe my favorite gore director. The person who invented genres off handedly, does it again - for the first time! Wonderful colors, very disturbing plot. John Waters used to watch these films as a young man. One could see Herschell's effect on Waters later films like 'Pink Flamingos' when you look at Herschells colors (color me blood red) and the trashy- campy acting, costumes and settings. When I think of flesh Water's star Divine - i have to admit - Waters saved some of that gore effect that Herschell has in his films. The effect of real fleshy gore!
Herschell Gordon Lewis' cautionary tale of wanting to be too cultured. Ramses, a shop owner with disturbingly large eyebrows, offers clueless white people a taste of old world Egypt in what is called a blood feast. This turns out to be a cannibalistic ritual needed to resurrect an ancient Egyptian deity. This movie gives you everything you'd expect and more. While using an over abundance of fake syrupy blood, shaking camera effects and plenty of severed body parts, it seems more bizarre than gorey. It does feature plenty of terrible single shot dialogue and a sparse single instrument score. This is the exploitation film that makes you love exploitation films.
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