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This the direct sequel to Mad Doctor of Blood Island. Its the fourth
(or third if you don't count the unrelated Terror is a Man) in the
Blood Island saga. Literally picking up hours after the first film, the
film begins on the boat sailing away from Blood Island. As John Ashley
waxes poetic about his time on the island fighting monsters the man
beast from the first film appears (he was seen to have secreted himself
in a lifeboat at the end of Mad Doctor) and a battle occurs which
destroys the ship and leaves Ashley as the only survivor. A year or so
later Ashley heads back to Blood Island to investigate stories that
weird things have begun to happen again despite the death of the evil
Dr Lorca. On the island Ashley finds that many people he believed dead
survived the final battle of the first film and that some how the
"green men" have returned. It isn't long before its realized that Dr
Lorca is back and up to his old tricks.
Finally watching this in close proximity to Mad Doctor I found that the film plays much better than it does as a stand alone film. I was never a big fan of this film prior to the back to back viewing because I always felt that it was missing something. What it was missing was the set up that the first film gives it.If you watch the two films together I think you'll find it a better film than when it's viewed all alone.
A sequel it is, but its not as scary (nor as gory nor as titillating). Sure there are some horrifying moments, but on some level this is more an adventure/ mystery film than a real horror movie. The man-beast is effectively off camera for most of the film following the opening battle (I have to say the make up here is infinitely better than in Mad Doctor). Some of Lorca's victims do cause mayhem, but the majority of the film concerns trying to find Lorca and the kidnapped reporter. Its not bad, but if you are expecting a straight horror film you may end up very disappointed, despite a great monster.
What can I say, I took it on its own terms and I liked it, high art its not. Definitely worth seeing especially as part of a double feature with Mad Doctor of Blood Island.
BEAST OF BLOOD (3+ outta 5 stars) This is one of those iffy movies that I just can't quite bring myself to recommend to other people... though I have seen it many times and will probably see it many more. It is just so cheesy... the acting and voice dubbing so poor... the dialogue so overwrought... the storyline so clichéd... sex and violence for no reason but to show sex and violence... I mean, what's not to love about a movie like that? (Well, if you're in the mood for it, that is.) This is one of those cheaply-made horror movies from the Phillipines in the early 70s starring John Ashley. (Didnd't *every* movie made in the Phillipines in the early 70s star John Ashley?) In this sequel to "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" (which I have never seen, but, really, I don't think I need to) Ashley once again fights a monster inadvertently created by a mad scientist and tries to put a stop to his insidious experiments on human beings. That's all you need for a plot, right? So there's lots of fighting... and shooting... and lovemaking (Ashley manages to find not one but TWO willing females on the remote island... what luck)! I thought the movie was pretty cool when I saw it at the drive-in when I was 14... and dang it, I still think it's pretty cool! Why is it that bad movies made 30 or 40 years ago are so much more entertaining than bad movies made NOW?
Please forgive me but what follows are my memories encountering this movie 30ish years ago as a teenager of about 13 who had never seen an R-rated movie. I suspect only those of you who lived in the middle of North America cut off from the coasts will really appreciate this story. I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada just above the barren expanses between us and North Dakota so that map goes. One of our main contacts with the outside world was a US border TV station with the call letters KCND. KCND knew Canadian advertising was central to its bottom line. It served admirably as a cross border institution serving both southern Manitoba and Northern North Dakota with offices in both countries before switching call letters to CKND. I don't know if K/C-C/K-ND survives today either as a US or Canadian outlet. Anyway this station had a movie on Saturday night at 10:30 PM which I think was called Chiller Theatre or something like that. As I remember, the movies were the usual stuff for the time, mostly 1950's fare which I still enjoy to this day. Then one night Beast of Blood appeared. From the opening I knew this movie was completely different. The camera effects, a hideous and to this day still frightening, dripping, oozing chlorophyll monster, a guy falling into a pit of wooden stakes pumping-- no gushing-- blood from his wounds... and John Ashley and Celeste Yarnell naked. I had never seen anything like it. The other two "Blood" movies followed on CKND one of which featured the mamorable, I mean memorable, Angelique Pettyjohn from Star Trek naked with John Ashley. Beast of Blood stayed with me for 30ish years. Then I saw the DVD and confirmed that in in the 70s my prairie TV station showed it completely uncut! I miss the renegade drive-in days. This, even though I saw my drive-in movies on TV.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although the second film in the Filipino Blood Island trilogy, "The Mad Doctor of Blood Island" (1969), has no relation at all to the original picture, "Brides of Blood" (1968), "Beast of Blood" (1970) picks up mere seconds after part 2's conclusion. In this final part of the trilogy, John Ashley returns to Blood Island, in pursuit of the chlorophyll monster that had wrecked the ship he'd been sailing on. He is accompanied this time by a sassy newspaper columnist hot on the trail of a possible scoop, and played by the scrumptious Celeste Yarnall. Once back on the island, we learn that Dr. Lorca (played here by Eddie Garcia, not Ronald Remy) survived the inferno that had culminated part 2, and is keeping busy by trying to attach a new head onto the chlorophyll monster's torso. (Well, everyone needs a hobby, right?) Anyway, this film is as pulpy as can be, and dishes out more of the same mix of blood, guts, mutants and jungle adventure that were the hallmarks of the previous installments. It manages to incorporate maggots, quicksand, pitfalls, cobras, gorgeous native girls, gross-out surgical sequences, and a battle royale with hand grenades, knives, spears, machine guns and rifles...all to guarantee a rousing show. The chlorophyll monster himself is not given much screen time this go-round--the picture is more of a jungle adventure, and was filmed, Celeste tells us in an interesting interview segment on the DVD version, four hours in from the nearest dirt road! I'm happy to report that the great Bruno Punzalan returns in this, his third Blood Island film, and will likely strike most viewers as a kind of Filipino Oddjob. Please don't get me wrong...these films are guilty pleasures at best, and are hardly exemplars of the cinematic crafts. Still, they're presented with a good deal of panache, and "Beast of Blood" brings the series to a fitting close. Plus, hearing that gorgeous Filipino gal say "un-com-FORT-a-ble" is worth the price of admission itself!
The Philippino B-movie maker Eddie Romero is probably best known for
two WIP (Women in Prison) flicks starring the gorgeous Pam Grier, BLACK
MAMA WHITE MAMA (1973), which he directed, and fellow cult-director
Jack Hill's THE BIG BIRD CAGE (1972), which he produced. The prolific
Mr. Romero has been active in various sub-genres of low budget
Exploitation cinema. His filmography includes several gory Horror films
including this awesomely titled BEAST OF BLOOD (1971). While this
incredibly cheesy but quite gory Horror effort is certainly not what
one would call a 'good' film, it is certainly recommendable to my
fellow fans of low-budget-Horror, and especially to admirers of Eddie
Romero. BEAST OF BLOOD is actually a sequel to Romero's earlier Horror
film MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND (1968), which I have yet to see.
After some mysterious attacks, the protagonist Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley) returns to an island where an evil scientist is keeping his monstrous creation alive. Among his traveling companions are the sexy journalist Myra (Celeste Yarnall) and the equally sexy native chief's daughter Laida (Liza Belmonte)... BEST OF BLOOD is cheesy as hell, in an incredibly entertaining manner. Considering this is a very-low budget movie, the gory outbursts are very gory and very well-made. Especially the eponymous monstrous creature is made very well, even if its depiction on the supremely cool cover art is a little exaggerated. Both female leads take their clothes off for no real other reason than nudity at one point in the film. The acting performances are B-movie-standard-bad, but not abysmal, which adds to the trashy charm of the film. The one complaint I have about his amusing slice of sleaze-cheese is that BEAST OF BLOOD is quite a bit too long for its own good. Whit a running time of about 90 minutes a film like this one will inevitably get tedious at times. Still it is entertaining and shouldn't be missed by my fellow trash fans. One to avoid for those who find fascinating plots, logic and great performances essential in a movie, but warmly recommended to everyone who can enjoy low-budget cheese.
P.S.: The poster/cover artwork which shows the monster holding its own severed head must be one of the coolest B-movie posters ever.
Dr. Foster (Ashley again-damn, look at those sideburns) comes back to
Blood Island when the creature escapes (in a great opening sequence).
Can the nefarious Dr. Lorca (now played by Eddie Garcia) be stopped.
While it all seems like a lot of fun, "Beast of Blood" is actually the weakest in the series. Sure, there's the requisite gore and nudity (including the creatures severed head-and when it talks!), and some nice action scenes come in. The thing is, the movie fails to keep one's interest as much this time, as there's a feeling of deja vu. Sure, the creature looks better this time, but you can only put up with it the premise of the series for so long before it starts to get stale.
Also, there isn't as much carnage from the creature this time around (and what happened to those killer trees?), meaning we have to put up with some tedium-such as scene after scene of people going through the jungle. Really, it grows quite tiresome.
"Beast of Blood" is far from horrible, but it's the weakest entry in the series, as it showing that the creators have milked the concept dry-in spite of some nice moments.
"Beast of Blood" picks up where its predecessor, "Mad Doctor of Blood Island", leaves off, so in essence both movies are one long story. Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley) is sailing away from the island when the monster of "Mad Doctor" causes the destruction of the boat. Bill is rescued, and one year later he returns to the island upon hearing stories of what may still be going on there, even though the villainous Dr. Lorca supposedly perished. He's now in the company of nosey, stubborn reporter Myra Russell (Celeste Yarnall) and a captain played by Beverly Miller (Miller also concocted the story for this entry). Of course, he learns that Dr. Lorca, now played by Filipino film veteran Eddie Garcia, is very much alive and still up to no good. Lorca is keeping the severed head of the monster alive in his lab, for one thing! This is overall not as much fun as one might wish it to be, as it has a mostly uneventful first half, and the movie does mostly consist of a trek / pursuit through the jungle. But, as with any of these Filipino horror movies, the inherent atmosphere of the locale comes through strong, and accompanied by the expectedly (and endearingly) grandiose music by Tito Arevalo, "Beast of Blood" does have the perfect "midnight movie" feel to it, and does have the legendary Eddie Romero in its director's chair; if you watch enough of these movies, Romero's is one name you'll start to see repeatedly. The acting basically gets the job done, with Ashley effective as the stolid hero. Yarnall, known for appearances in movies like "Live a Little, Love a Little", "The Velvet Vampire", and "The Mechanic", is super sexy and a commendably, fairly feisty type, and Liza Belmonte is also a real looker as helpful local Laida. Familiar faces Alfonso Carvajal as tribe leader Ramu and Bruno Punzalan as henchman Razak are fun, but not as much as Garcia, who seems to be relishing his role; Lorca cheerfully discloses at one point that he's "madder than ever". It's just too funny when Lorca is addressing the severed head, and even more so when the head is seen to speak! A pretty good finish and highly amusing gore and creature effects add to the appeal of this movie which if not great is still pretty good. Seven out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the third film in the "Blood Collection" series and it takes up where the last movie, "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" left off. As everyone knows from the last exciting movie, "Dr. Bill Foster" (John Ashley) and "Sheila Willard" (Angelique Pettyjohn) managed to survive the explosion at the lab of "Dr. Lorca" (played by Ronald Remy) and were last seen on a ship heading away from Blood Island. However, one of the green creatures had managed to smuggle himself aboard just as the film ended. Sure enough, he comes out of hiding right as this film starts and causes the ship to explode killing everyone on board except for Dr. Foster and the green creaturewho is seen slinking into the jungle as the opening credits appear on the screen. We then learn that Dr. Foster was rescued by a native woman named "Laida" (Liza Belmonte) and was sent to a hospital on the mainland. Months later he decides to return to Blood Island and is followed by an attractive journalist named "Myra J. Russell" (Celeste Yarnall) who wants the inside scoop on what happened. Now, although this movie doesn't quite have as much eroticism as its two predecessors, it does have some decent jungle combat scenes if that's any consolation. Likewise, Celeste Yarnall filled in quite well as the mandatory damsel in distress. All in all then, I rate this movie about the same as the last two films and recommend that it be seen after "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" if for no other reason than to obtain some kind of continuity. Slightly below average.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We start where the previous film, Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968) finished with Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley again) and Sheila Willard although she is never seen, escaping Blood Island on a boat. However, escaping with them is the mutant green chlorophyll contaminated monster. It starts to kill the crew, they shoot at it. In return the monster throws a barrel of petrol at them, the barrel bursts and petrol spills everywhere. One of the crew attacks the monster with a naked flame, it gets knocked out of his hand and the entire ship blows up and sinks. Only Foster and the monster survive. The monster is washed up on a beach. Foster is rescued and sent back to the mainland for treatment. Foster decides to return to Blood Island, and hires a small cargo ship to take him. When he arrives on the ship he finds a newspaper reporter Myra Russell (Celeste Yarnall) waiting for him. She thinks there might be a story and travels with Foster to investigate. Once at Blood Island Foster, Russell and the ship's Captain (Beverly Miller) find the tribes Chief Ramu (Alfonso Carvajal, another returning cast member from the previous film) is apprehensive and unfriendly. Foster starts by heading to Dr. Lorca's (this time played by Eddie Garcia) old house that was supposedly destroyed by fire. There he runs into an old enemy, Razak (the returning Bruno Punzalan) Dr. Lorca's henchman who had previously tried to kill him. With the discovery of Razak, Foster manages to convince Ramu to help him. They go in search of Razak and leave Myra behind in the village. However, Razak and his men kidnap her and take her to Dr. Lorca's elaborate hideout in the Valley of the Red Mist who is still alive and still conducting experiments on the unlucky locals, and keeps the green monsters decapitated head and body alive with the help of medical devices, for reasons which aren't really explained that well. It's up to Foster to finally put an end to Lorca's horrifying experiments and save the girl! Written and directed by Eddie Romero I thought it was a pretty decent film, but not as good as Mad Doctor of Blood Island. This one plays more like a jungle adventure for the most part, with Ashley trying to save Yarnall's dopey reporter. The green monster has even better make up than the first, even though those eyes are still a problem, you can the actors eyelids, again. The problem is that it's barely in the film, after the cool opening sequence the monster doesn't attack anyone else in the whole film, the monsters headless body just lies there and it's head just sits on a table doing nothing in particular, a complete waste. The monster attacks were the best feature of the previous film and this feels like a bit of a disappointment. Dr. Lorca and his experiments are also almost completely ignored, he doesn't even turn up until about half way through the film. There is also a serious lack of blood and gore, which doesn't help it. The end sequence in which the locals fight Dr. Lorca's gang isn't very exciting and a little dull, a bit more imagination would have helped. Acting, again is OK, as are the effects, music, sets and editing, but non of it's brilliant. The Philippine jungle locations are again nice and colourful. It's a reasonable exploitation film, but overall I was a bit disappointed. There are better out there, but this ain't too bad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Beast of Blood" is the third of the Blood Island-Eddie Romero series, all
of which starred terrible actor John Ashley. Although, with these films,
is better just to ignore the acting and enjoy the exploitation
There's some gore, a cheap but neat-looking monster and a little bit of skin too. (Celeste Yarnall ain't much of an actress, but she is photogenic.) The plot is nonexistent, something about the Monster of Blood Island's head being saved for experiments. It is extremely silly, but it's also imaginative. The monster's head and body are severed, but the monster manages to control his body to escape and kill anyway. Did Stuart Gordon see this before making "Re-Animator"?
My biggest complaint here is that the film shoots its wad at the beginning. The first scene of the film is kind of confusing: John Ashley is on a ship leaving Blood Island when the monster, a stowaway, breaks loose and starts killing the crew. Ashley and the monster duke it out until both end up shipwrecked back on Blood Island. After that, the film really drags until the above experiments on the monster occur. As with the other Blood Island films, there are a lot of filler scenes that supposedly develop the characters but are actually there to eat up the film's running time.
Still, there is some fun to be had in "Beast of Blood," but I wouldn't recommend it to serious horror film fans. This is for bad movie fans only, and even then they might be disappointed.
It's still better than Final Destination 2, though.
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