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Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)
"The Incredible Torture Show" (original title)

 -  Horror  -  3 November 1976 (USA)
4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 3,749 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 62 critic

Sardu, master of the Theatre of the Macabre, and his assistant Ralphus run a show in which, under the guise of 'magic', they torture and murder people in front of their audience. But what the punters see as a trick is actually real.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Seamus O'Brien ...
Sardu
Luis De Jesus ...
Ralphus (as Louie de Jesus)
Viju Krem ...
Natasha Di Natalie
Niles McMaster ...
Tom Maverick
Alan Dellay ...
Creasy Silo
Dan Fauci ...
Police Sgt. John Tucci
Helen Thompson ...
Sardu's Assistant - Curled Hair
Ellen Faison ...
Sardu's Assistant - Straight Hair (as Saiyanidi)
Ernie Pysher ...
Doctor
Carol Mara
Linda Small
Alphonso DeNoble ...
Middle Eastern White Slaver (as Alphonso)
Illa Howe ...
Girl on Guillotine
...
Doctor's Compensation
Jenny Baxter ...
Electrically Shocked Girl (as Janis Beaver)
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Storyline

In New York's Soho district, the master of ceremonies Sardu runs the Theater of the Macabre, which specializes in acts where people are tortured and dismembered. The audiences dismiss it as fakery but the gore is real. Behind the scenes, Sardu and his dwarf assistant Ralphus torture and mutilate women for their own pleasure, as well as sell girls they have abducted into slavery. When the critic Creasy Silo contemptuously dismisses the show, Sardu has him abducted and tortured. At the same time, Sardu also abducts the ballerina Natasha Di Natalie and determines to break her will in order to make her agree to perform in his new show. Written by JohnWaters

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Join The Fun!... Human Dart Boards... "Home Style Brain Surgery"... Dental Hijinks! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Sucking Freaks  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Joel M. Reed, the script was inspired by a real nude S&M ballet company and by the films Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975) and Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976). See more »

Goofs

When Sardu is done eating off the girls back, the plate of food is still full when he begins smoking. When he knocks the girl there is nothing on the plate. See more »

Quotes

Tom Maverick: [while almost falling because he stepped on something] They shouldin't have stuff lying around, people could fall.
[picks up a severed head]
Tom Maverick: Ugh!
[drops the head]
Sergeant John Tucci: What's the matter Tom? Never got a little head before?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Changed Earth (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
There's something wrong here, even for an exploitation film
1 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Anyone whose tastes run towards exploitation films kind of knows "the drill," the recurring themes, methodology, and clichés of the genre. We embrace them, and an exploitation film which effectively "plays the game" can get away with a multitude of since which would be unforgivable in mainstream cinema (bad acting, bad writing, bad production values, etc.).

By those standards, "Bloodsucking Freaks" should be hailed as a masterpiece of the genre, and, judging by its enduring cult popularity, it is. Still, there's something about this film which limits the viewer's ability to enjoy it for what it is, and, thus, limits itself. At first, it's hard to put one's finger on exactly what it is, but I think I've finally worked it out. Simply put, filmmaker Joel M. Reed made a film whose spirit is as mean-spirited and diabolical as what we see up on the screen.

"Bloodsucking Freaks," as often as not, plays its numerous horrors for laughs. (Indeed, Sardu and Ralphus occasionally come across as a kind of nightmarish stand-up comedy act.) The trouble is, the intention behind the humor is anything but good-natured. Any viewer with any kind of decency at all can't relate to the motivations behind what they see, and this diminishes the fun of watching this movie to a great degree. For exploitation fans, there is a fine line between brutal and unwatchable, and there are many times during which "Freaks" sinks below that line. And so while this film is an absolute must-see for fans of the genre (although how many such fans have not seen this movie?), it's not going to be one of the films in their collection which can be revisited often.


19 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Worst movie i've ever seen humaddict
Brilliant! scott_dallas2001
'Incredible Torture Show' version of the poster!!!! bradmill
Banned US filsm RicerBoi3
Eli Roth is full of........ asylumsmashface
When Was This Movie Actually Made? autumndawn
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