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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not half bad attempt at sexually liberation slasher mystery!

Author: Edward Shimborske III (ES-III) from Toledo, OH
30 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Possible spoilers ahead: `Bloody Friday' (or `The Single Girls,' if you prefer) was somewhat ahead of its time. An odd little iconoclastic film, it combines the whodunit of Agatha Christie's `Ten Little Indians' (directed by George Pollock in 1965), the sexual liberation slant and anti-conservatism spirit of Ted Post's `The Harrad Experiment' (1973), and the slasher films that followed and soon dominated the horror genre. One wekend, an eclectic collection of men and women travel to a remote Caribbean island resort where Dr. Phillip Stevens (Wayne Dvorak) administers a sexually-liberating form of psychotherapy that involves behaviorism exercises and sensitivity training with members of the opposite sex. Unfortunately, this call to growth and awareness unleashes a new recognition in one of our travelers, which leads to a killing spree. It's pretty easy to spot the murderer, though directors Beverly and Ferd Sebastian pepper the story with subtle allusions to other members. The whole film is dimly lit (except the outdoor scenes) with jumpy editing and groovy music, but some handheld camera angles and point-of-view shots keep things interesting. Also, in the greenhouse scene, which is filled with poinsettias, the Sebastians create a visually appealing scene reminiscent of something a budding Dario Argento might have tried. The cave scene, on the other hand, tosses out some phony bats that flap around like wet garbage bags! 1970 Playmate of the Year Claudia Jennings is great, remindful of a young Bridget Fonda, and may have had a long film career had she not been killed in 1979. Likewise, the plastic-looking Cheri Howell is also good as Shannon, though she never appeared in much outside of this film, save `Sisters of Death' (1978), which also starred Jennings, and `Soylent Green' (1973). She almost looks like a Russ Meyer version of Penthouse Pet Aria Giovanni. Joan Prather, who would later join the cast of `Eight Is Enough' as Janet Bradford, makes a decent film debut here too as Lola, the girl with rape fantasies. All three get briefly naked at one point or another. Playboy Miss December 1972, Mercy Rooney, who wore wool chaps and stood in front of a chair made out of horns in her centerfold, appears for a brief moment in the film's intro, only to be shot with a crossbow (predating the kill the star in the opening sequence of `Scream'). On top of all that, the supporting cast is nothing to scoff at either! Horror-film vets Victor Izay ("The Astro-Zombies") and Greg Mullavy (`Vultures,' `I Dismembered Mama') are featured, as is Albert Popwell who starred in several of the Dirty Harry movies with Clint Eastwood and was well-known as one of the Johnson brothers in the "Cleopatra Jones" series. It's a film worth noting for its time and stimulus - a slasher film for fans of Robert Rimmer's sexual awareness manifesto of the '60s!

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Just enjoy the ride

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
27 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a pretty decent little film, kind of a modern-day adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians", or an early, more adult version of a teen slasher movie. It has a great island setting and a plethora of deserving victims in a group of 70's swingers who have gotten together on this remote island for an "encounter" session (no one will miss these kind of people and they certainly aren't going to miss each other when they start being picked off by the deranged killer). There are, however, several likable characters among the victims. Claudia Jennings plays a liberated young women who has accompanied a friend to the island after having been surprised by her boyfriend's sudden proposal of marriage. The boyfriend shows up too, and he seems to be a pretty decent guy--even if he might be the killer. There's also the beautiful nympho roommate, and a virgin (Joan Prather) eager to lose her virginity.

It's nice to see Claudia Jennnings playing against type in an unusually demure role. Joan Prather, later on TV's "Eight is Enough", also goes against her usual grain as the randy virgin, and she has some very uncharacteristic nude scenes. And as for former Playboy Playmate Jennings, well, does a bear get naked in the woods?

Some people, especially, at the time would probably consider the end pretty conservative. But what is so bad or reactionary about finding marriage preferable to 70's-style swinging-single hedonism? Basically though, I wouldn't look for messages in Beverly and Ferdinand Sebastian's movies (they definitely don't come off as reactionaries in films like "The Hitchhikers", which apologized for the Manson family, or "Gator Bait" which countered the inbred Southern hick stereotypes of "Deliverance"). With the Sebastians, and their frequent and very sexy star Jennings, it's best to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A nifty 70's exploitation movie variant on "Ten Little Indians"

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
30 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A motley bunch of folks suffering from various hang-ups gather together on a lush Caribbean island to let it all hang out and make out with each other. Unfortunately, there's a vicious psycho wacko on the loose who puts the kibosh on everyone's fun. Directors Ferd and Beverly Sebastian, working from a blithely silly script by Ann Cawthorne and William Kervin, relate the engrossing story at a steady pace, milk the premise for a fair amount of tension, and stage the murder set pieces with a reasonable amount of brio (the killing in a greenhouse is especially memorable). This film further benefits from solid acting by an attractive and appealing cast: the ever-radiant Claudia Jennings as sweet nurse Allison, Cheri Howell as saucy and enticing vamp Shannon, Greg Mullavey as stuttering bespectacled nerd George, Joan Prather as demure, yet kinky and eager virgin Lola, Jason Ledger as studly country boy Blue, Wayne Dvorek as charming self-help guru Dr. Stevens, Jean Marie Ingels as the snippy Phyllis, Victor Izay as lonely middle-aged dweeb Andrew, and Robyn Hilton as ditsy airhead Denise. The incredibly groovy theme "Ms. America" hits the smooth-rockin' spot. Ferd Sebastian's pretty cinematography makes the tropical scenery look almost as beautiful as the ladies. With a moderate smattering of bare distaff skin, strictly mild violence, and a handy helping of endearingly dippy Me Decade philosophical New Age hogwash (you just gotta dig the special touching in the dark encounter session!), this movie proves to be a surprisingly good-natured and even quite innocuous romp. Enjoyable grindhouse fare.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Boring Friday

Author: Bleeding-Skull from Review Land
19 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

T.G.I.F.? The elementary understanding of The Cat Scream was demolished in the wake of Ferd and Beverly Sebastian's Rocktober Blood. For in that film, this badge of machismo gallantry was propelled from mild amusement to what is, essentially, a criterion of man's existence. Now, imagine the concept of sex. Then, imagine that concept in the hands of The Sebs.

If your libido remains intact, it's clear that Bloody Friday has already been screened in your presence. And, it's clear that Ferd 'n' Bev were just warming up in 1974. Still...it is Friday. Somewhere. But not in this movie. Yeah! In parts and days unknown, an island exists solely to populate the idea of "Liberated Living". Liberated Living, as outlined in Bloody Friday, involves a congregation of sex-deficients for group sexual therapy, group talking at the bar, and group "milling" (lights out, clothes off, stuffs out). Claudia Jennings (Gator Bait) is there. The husband from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is there. And guess what -- a black-gloved slasher is also there! Yet, before the celebratory decree, it must be noted that approximately 50 minutes of this film are devoted to discussions of inconsequential topics. Luckily, the other 25 minutes are awash with speedboats, trashed bedrooms, and one bloody women. It's the little things that count.

Light on blood, action, and swinging, Bloody Friday is not the trimmed down, feel good redux of Swingers Massacre that we'd all hoped for. Rather, it's a casual 70s proto-slasher with zero rationale, awkward stylings, plenty of pillow talk, and neat-edits-that-are-probably-mistakes. What's that? You can't stand it when the lips flap so much? Usually, I'm in the same boat. But in this case, the entire cast appears to be playing themselves. As we've learned in the past (salutations, Blood Lake), any amount of reasonless dialogue can be appreciated, as long as it is delivered by actors who may not be acting. So, when a burly guy asks, "Aren't you afraid with that maniac runnin' loose?" before the film makes any effort to inform its characters of the madman's appearance, The Sebastians are keeping it real. And that's the kind of scrupulousness which keeps me glued. Unconditionally.

T.G.I.F.!

AUDIO AND VIDEO: It's a real 1970s peach. Audio was somewhat muffled, but not enough to hide the fact that songwriter Bobby Hart had more than missed his last train to Clarksville by 1974. "Ms. America"? Ouch.

EXTRAS: "Edited by The Jamez". I wish my name was Ferd Jamez.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It's not Friday and blood is scarce. So what! The notably rare (and notably talkative) Bloody Friday does not demand your undivided attention. However, it's tweaked enough to help an evening float by. If you see it, pick it up.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

dumb Friday

2/10
Author: trashgang from Midian
8 February 2009

friends advised me to catch a copy of this flick. ?Not that easy because it's an OOP. Anyway, I caught my a copy and looking at the cover I thought that it would be a nice movie a real exploitation one, and the title says it all, bloody. Well, don't believe the hype. It's only 83 minutes of your time waisting and maybe there is 1 minute of blood, and that's laughable too. The killings are the worst I ever seen, it's unbelievable that so much fuzz has been written about this flick. Let's say that they are talking a lot and keep on talking and talking, nothing really happens except now and then the usuall T&A but it doesn't lift the movie as watchable. Again, the cover made you think you will catch a OOPgem but it wasn't the truth. I have seen a lot of trash, this a real trash, don't waist your time.

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