Blood Shack (1971)
The Chooper'll Getya!
9 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A classic of that little-known sub-genre 'rodeo horror', Blood Shack (AKA The Chooper) is just as inept as the hideously amateurish paintings under the opening titles suggest. Originally running at just under an hour, the film was padded out to seventy minutes to satisfy the distributor, director Ray Dennis Steckler adding filler footage shot at a local rodeo. The result is a ham-fisted mess of the lowest order - a boring, poorly acted, clumsily directed, shoddily edited and badly written turd of a movie. It even has a theme song that stinks.

Steckler's wife Carolyn Brandt stars as Carol, who inherits a ranch, including an old abandoned house that is supposedly cursed: whoever goes into the building runs the risk of being attacked by a sword-wielding killer called The Chooper (unless you're a cute kid, in which case you can go in and jump on a dirty old mattress without danger). Several people ignore the local legend, enter the old house and die, their bodies discovered and buried by ranch foreman Daniel (Jason Wayne), who likes to wander around topless (or wear a cropped shirt that reveals his midriff).

Meanwhile, neighbouring rancher Tim (Ron Haydock) keeps pestering Carol to sell her property (Sell me the ranch. Sell me the ranch. You will Sell!), and anyone who has ever seen an episode of Scooby Doo will immediately identify him as The Chooper, the man obviously trying to scare people away so that he can get the ranch at a snip (and he woulda gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for that pesky Daniel).

The film features two shower scenes with Brandt, but no nudity, has two of the worst child performances I can remember (by Steckler's children Linda and Laura), sees Brandt sporting garish stars and stripes flares, has some truly diabolical lines of outdated dialogue ("The kids were really grooving", He told me his daughters dug me, and I dug them", "The whole scene was too heavy"), and is free of gore. Not to put too fine a point upon it, it's crap!
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