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|Index||17 reviews in total|
PRobably HG's most ambitious project even more so than 200 maniacs, and I really loved it. It is very talky but unlike other HG and exploitation flicks the acting from bill rogers and willy kerwin is quite good and makes you care about the characters and what they have to say. Since its an HG flick we have some gore but its not one of his intensive gore flicks. There is a great scenes where the vampire stone takes a nice chunk out of a stripper dancer. I do have to point out however that almost all of HG Lewis flicks have a certain style to them to make you know its an HG Lewis flick. There's the out of focus closeups, lingering gore scenes, but there is also these horrendous day-for-night shots. This movie is no exception to that as the last 20 minutes feature some of the worst day-for-night shots ever filmed. Bad movie lovers and exploitation fans should be very pleased.
The director of what is widely considered the first splatter film ever made(Blood Feast) directed this film about a man, through drinking a brandy laced with blood and his ancestral relationship to Count Dracula, that turns slowly into a vampire and begins to kill the relatives of the six men that killed the famous count. If you are looking for the typical Herschell Gordon Lewis trademarks of great quantities of un-realistic blood, super bad acting, gobs of intestines and the like, inferior lighting, and a litany of other flaws in film-making that seem to find such a home in Lewis's work, you might be disappointed. This is easily Lewis's best film in terms of direction and acting. The actors in here are average. No small feat for a Lewis film. Even Bill Kerwin(one of Lewis's regulars) does a decent job! The female lead was also average, and that says a lot for a Lewis film. Usually he just puts pretty girls with no acting talent in his films like Connie Mason, but sexy Elizabeth Wilkinson has some acting talent(albeit not a lot) as well as boobs! Bill Rogers makes an adequate vampire as well. Not only are the actors decent, but the script is interesting. Donald Stanford used some interesting tie-ins with the novel by Bram Stoker for the names of the relatives. I thought it was a fairly unique concept. The film is two minutes shy of two hours, and it is a tad long. It is very apparent though that Lewis wanted to make this film the best that he could. It shows. It shows he has some talent as well. Lewis also has a bit part as a sea captain affecting a working-class English accent. He is pretty good too. There is not much in the line of killing or gore though. The film shows far less blood that you would see in your typical Hammer feature. There are some obvious budget concerns with sets, etc..., but all in all this is a decent film about the vampire myth in a modern setting.
It's hard to believe but Herschell Gordon Lewis actually made a non-gore
horror film with this boring dreck. And with an almost 2 hour playing time,
it's about 40 minutes too long.
A wealthy businessman (Bill Rogers) receives two bottles of plum brandy in the mail as part of an inheritance from his ancestor's estate back in England. As he drinks the brandy over the course of a few weeks, he slowly starts to change into a (gasp!) vampire named (you guessed it) Dracula!
With none of the usual Herschell Gordon Lewis gore feasts in sight, this one is a complete snoozer that lacks even the campiness of his other films.
The alternate audio commentary with Lewis on the Something Weird DVD can be funny at times, but not enough to save this turkey. In other words, this ain't no BLOOD FEAST or WIZARD OF GORE.
1 out of 10 for sheer boredom
This is Herschell Gordon Lewis' "Epic" movie. This is the film with, according to Lewis, the highest production value and budget of all of his "gorror" (a term coined by Lewis describing the gore genre of films that he created) films. Despite this, I found this film to be slightly disappointing. Anyone, viewing this film expecting to see something along the lines of "Blood Feast" or "The Wizard of Gore" as I did would be slightly disappointed. The gore is kept to a bare minimum in this film and it appears as if Lewis was trying to make a legitimate horror movie without all the stomach-churning effects of his classic work. Although the storyline is fascinating, the bad acting and hideous effects do not serve this film very well, even though this is what most Lewis fans have come to expect from him. It doesn't quite work in this one, because it seems to have been the intention of Lewis to try to provide his audience with a legitimate scare. For Lewis fans, this film is still worth viewing but for those who have not seen his work before I suggest you first watch a couple of his classics such as the previously mentioned entries.
A Taste Of Blood, is about a businessman named John Stone, who one day receives a package in the mail. In the package are two bottles of brandy and the letter that comes with it says he is a great relative of a rather famous family. John, starts to drink the brandy and soon his wife Helene, notices how much he has changed. He is very cold and distant from her and he sleeps all day and works only at nights. John, soon travels to London where the package came from and learns that he is a descendant of Count Dracula, the vampire and now he is going to kill off everybody who tried to or is related to somebody who tried to kill Count Dracula. Meanwhile back home a man named Dr. Howard Helsing, visits Helene and her friend Dr. Hank Tyson, and tells them that Helene is in great danger and he is too because John wants to kill him too because his ancestor killed Dracula. Not believing at first soon Hank follows Howard, because he notices changes in Helene and does not want to see any more people dead. A Taste Of Blood, is directed by cult filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis, who is known as "The Godfather Of Gore" for giving us such films as Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red and The Gruesome Twosome. I have seen many of Herschell's films (and have liked them all) but A Taste Of Blood, is different than his usual horror films. One reason is because there is hardly any gore in this film at all. There is maybe three scenes with some very light blood so gore fans might have to look elsewhere for some of his regular gore. Also most of Herschell's films are under 90 minutes running time and this one is 118 minutes, just two minutes short of two hours. The film is well done but it is quite slow moving and doesn't have the same camp value as Herschell's other films and plays more like a straight faced horror film. It is very slow moving but at the same time I was interested in the film and wanted to see how it would carry out. It is not my favorite Herschell film but I still liked it and die hard fans of Herschell will probably like it as well if they don't mind the slowness of the film or it's no violence.
A Taste Of Blood is a bit of a departure for exploitation director Herschell Gordon Lewis. More expensive, slower paced and taken more seriously than his usual projects. John Stone(played by Bill Rogers)gets a package in the mail which contains two bottles of brandy, which he then toasts to the memory of his ancestor. Said brandy contains the blood of Dracula(which he slowly becomes throughout the course of the film). Bill Rogers does a good job as the lead and sort of resembles Christopher Lee. HGL gives a good go at a Hammer styled Dracula film. While lacking the funding and talent pool of a Hammer production, I think the godfather of gore did well with the resources he did have. A Taste Of Blood is a very enjoyable, ultra low budget horror film that may be less over the top and campy than most of the films Herschell is known for, but contains more gore than other films of this genre made during this period. It is a different sort of film for Herschell Gordon Lewis, but is entertaining and well made.
Of all the horror directors to ever tackle a Dracula movie, 'godfather
of gore' Herschell Gordon Lewis has got to be one of the most unlikely,
his previous stock-in-trade being nudie cutie features and trashy
splatter flickspure exploitation with a side order of schlock. For A
Taste of Blood, Lewis tones down his usual boobs and blood technique
for a more sedate, considered approach, the emphasis being on character
development and atmosphere; the result is quite possibly the most
boring Dracula movie I've ever seen.
Technically, the film is fairly accomplished for a Lewis film, the director coaxing bearable performances from his better than usual cast, managing to keep most of his shots in focus, and even experimenting with lighting; however, at almost two hours long, A Taste of Blood is an endurance test even for Lewis aficionados, with only curvaceous blonde star Elizabeth Wilkinson's impressive cleavage and the occasional unintentionally funny moment to alleviate the extreme monotony.
For those brave souls who intend to stay the distance, here's my I-Spy checklist of amusing/interesting details to help keep you awake: director Herschell Gordon Lewis providing what must be the worst ever London accent in the history of film; the world's largest letter knife; John's lighter, set to 'flamethrower' mode, his 'beautiful' ring, and his remarkable ability to memorise a telephone number and address; Mrs. Stone's extraordinary large knocker (the one on her door!), her scary drawn on eyebrows, and her inability to repeat everything as ordered; repetitive music on a constant loop; the letter supposedly sent from London that uses the US convention for setting out a date.
2.5 out of 10, rounded up to 3 for Elizabeth Wilkinson's big old knockers (the ones straining to stay inside her dress!).
Anyone who has already seen a Herschell Gordon Lewis film will probably
know more or less what to expect from this one; bad acting, terrible
production values, a turgid script etc etc. A Taste of Blood has all of
those lamentable elements except this time it's even worse than usual
as the damn thing goes on for a massive two hours. I had a strong
feeling that I'd be criticising this film for length before going into
it and quite why Herschell decided to make this film this long really
is beyond me; it's not even like the plot line is stronger than his
usual fodder and all we end up with is a film that is more stretched
out than usual; not a film with added 'good bits'. The plot focuses on
vampires; in particular, the legendary Count Dracula and the action
kicks off (eventually) when a businessman receives a mysterious package
from London containing a case of brandy. Naturally, he decides to drink
the brandy and naturally considering the film is about vampires, it
turns him into a vampire. He and his beautiful wife then go to London
to kill off the Van Helsing family.
The sequence towards the beginning in which our hero receives the mysterious parcel from London really does sum this film up. This is a simple sequence yet Herschell Gordon Lewis manages to drag it out for twenty minutes; there's no suspense concerning the opening of the parcel either and in it's place is a load of padding that sees the three characters involved babble on about rubbish that doesn't concern the plot anyway. The rest of the film is no better than this sequence and is completely amateurish also; lacking any kind of horror or suspense and the little gore we do get just looks fake as usual. It's really a travesty that Bram Stoker's classic characters have been used in this movie too and the film does not justify their inclusion. Of course you could argue that it's not fair to criticise this film for being rubbish since anyone going into a HGL film will know that already; but the fact of the matter is that A Taste of Blood is a heinously bad film and it would be impossible to write anything about it without highlighting the numerous flaws. Overall, this movie is rubbish and difficult to sit through and should only be seen by hardcore HGL fans!
"A Taste of Blood" (1970) is a relatively goreless rarity for Herschell Gordon Lewis, aka "The Wizard of Gore." At almost two hours in length and clearly designed by Lewis as some kind of epic vampire saga, it tells the story of John Stone, a smarmy Florida businessman who receives two bottles of brandy in the mail from his British ancestors. He drinks the bottles off, little realizing that they have been Mickey Finned with the blood of Dracula himself, and soon, blue-skinned and with a 100-year-old score to settle, he starts to track down the descendants of the old neck nosher's enemies. That doctored booze, I should add, comes as no real surprise in the film...not after we learn that Stone's middle name is Alucard. (This sets the viewer up to expect appearances by Dr. Nietsneknarf and Mr. Namflow, which mercifully never happen!) Anyway, with only a handful of mildly bloody killings, this film should barely appeal to Lewis' usual rabid fans. Nor should it appeal to anyone looking for a well-put-together film. In truth, the picture is very cheaply made, terribly edited, moves at a glacial pace and is never frightening. Lewis' direction is lackadaisical and his camera positionings are pedestrian; worst of all, the same few snippets of music are repeated endlessly, as if on a tape loop, to the point of distraction, and the day-for-night photography is laughable. So why the three stars? Well, the film is also decently acted (for an H.G. Lewis movie, anyway), is at times atmospheric, and the three leads (Stone, his hotty blond wife and his best friend) are somewhat interesting. The picture should have been a 1/2 hour shorter, but with a lot more polish, this Dracula update could have been something other than the bloodless life-drainer it often is. Oh...I should also mention that those blessed maniacs at Something Weird have done it again, rescuing another cinematic oddball and making another fine-looking DVD out of it. Way to go, guys!
A taste of Blood is Herschell Gordon Lewis's answer to a Vampire Film. Husband (Bill Rogers) and Wife (Elizabeth Wilkinson) get a mysterious package in the mail from England filled with brandy bottles and a message telling them to toast Their ancestors. The husband starts to nip away at it slowly despite his wifes insistence not too. Bad move, turns him into a creepy lookin, blue make-up, type vampire, with a funky looking ring that can hypnotize people. This movie has all the HGL trademarks, including the unstable camera shots, cheap locations, quit editing during exciting moments, and bad acting. Bill Kerwin (from Blood Feast and many more HGL's films) has a role in this one too as an overly bothersome friend of the family. There is even a Howard Hesling doing the Dr. Van Hesling thing here. Good 'OL Hersch has a cameo as an English sailor. This film has it's moments, but at 118 min. is way too long, it can easily be trimmed to a nice 75 min. and still have the same outcome. Also I might add for a HGL film the gore is rather tame, and it takes a good 45 min. to see any blood, and when you do see it, it is rather lame.
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