A Taste of Blood (1967) Poster

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7/10
Could Be Lewis' Best
gavin694223 October 2016
A Miami businessman, John Stone (Bill Rogers, "Santo Versus the Vampire Women"), receives a parcel from England containing two old bottles of Slivovitz brandy from his recently deceased ancestor, and after drinking both bottles, becomes a vampire.

The story started from a screenplay by Donald Stanford (his only credit), who claimed to Lewis that he intended this film to be a vehicle for Frank Sinatra. Originally, the film had a title referencing "Dr. Alucard", which is now fairly well-known to be "Dracula" backwards, and it was wise to change this.

Interestingly, the film was originally intended by H. G. Lewis to be about 90 minutes, which would already be long for him, but Lewis found it made more sense to pace the story more slowly to give it a serious nature than to be "frantic". This was also wise, and makes it a better film. Shooting took three weeks, the longest Lewis ever spend on any film. All of this shows.

Judging by IMDb, this film is not very appreciated and not as respected as Lewis' other work. Even "Gruesome Twosome" seems to fare better, which surprises me because the two are worlds apart. "Gruesome" is a mess, whereas "Taste" shows real talent and I can see why Lewis considered this his masterpiece. In what world is a film that shows real skill rated lower than one of Lewis' more slap-dash efforts?

Yes, "Taste" is still flawed, with some cheesy lighting and makeup effects. The blue spotlight is rather silly. And yes, I am pretty sure that at one point the actors forget the lead is supposed to be "John" and instead call him "Dan". But the plot, production value and acting are all better than the average Lewis film. Bill Rogers is great, and Thomas Wood is really quite incredible. He could have been a leading man in any Hollywood production.

The film is available from Arrow Video as part of their "Feast" collection, on the same disc as "Gruesome Twosome". The special features are covered in my review of the other title. The audio commentary on "Taste", among many other things, talks about Lewis' interactions with other low-budget icons, specifically Roger Corman and Bill Rebane; we also hear about how films such as these can go through various owners who you've never heard of (like how this one is or was owned by one Norm Seinfeld). If you have a love for the history of low budget (and no budget) film, the commentary alone is like a master class in the topic.
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7/10
A Taste of Herschell
BaronBl00d7 August 2001
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.
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7/10
Vampires, voodoo. What mumbo-jumbo.
Hey_Sweden18 October 2020
Bill Rogers gives a good performance as John Stone, a successful businessman who is turned into a blood sucker by drinking tainted brandy. It's all part of his legacy as the descendant of Count Dracula. He then goes about administering revenge on behalf of his ancestor, slaughtering the descendants of the Counts' old foes (Van Helsing, Morris, Harker, et al.), while also trying to make his young hottie wife (Elizabeth Lee) just like him. Doctor Hank Tyson (William Kerwin), a friend of the couple who has always been in love with the wife, must team with a Doctor Howard Helsing (Otto Schlessinger) to vanquish the undead fiend.

Something of an outlier in the Herschell Gordon Lewis filmography, this is because the legendary originator of "splatter cinema" decided that he wouldn't just settle for "good enough" here. He wanted to make this effort as great as it could possibly be. For once, he puts lots of stress on story and character. The movie periodically gives us the kind of gory moments that we can expect from HGL, but these are never the movies' sole reasons for being. He even assembled a bunch of actors that are a shade better than you'd typically find in his work. The handsome Kerwin, a regular in HGL movies, is of course always good value as he plays the romantic lead here. Lee is okay, basically fulfilling her duty as eye candy. Stone, who was likely a contender for his role due to a passing resemblance to Sir Christopher Lee, is good ghoulish fun as the tragic protagonist-turned-villain. Some of the on screen talent also worked behind the scenes (Kerwin was the production manager), with HGL himself turning up on screen as the sailor with the ridiculous "limey" accent.

All in all, this is decent entertainment, basically for doing something different. HGL fans hoping for hilariously awful acting and excessively tacky violence won't get much of that here. Granted, it's not without flaws. At just shy of two hours, this goes on much longer than any drive-in movie really should. Just when the pace should really be picking up, HGL introduces some lame comedy relief with some dopey guy and his unreliable dog. And the music isn't always that effective, becoming repetitive quickly.

Perhaps most indicative of the higher degree of quality in this filmmaking is the fact that Roger Corman saw this one, and was impressed enough to offer HGL some employment, which the Godfather of Gore politely turned down.

Seven out of 10.
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5/10
118 minutes? Seriously Mr. Godfather of Gore?!?
Coventry11 October 2016
I have this little tradition that when an iconic horror veteran dies, and if I both respect and admire his work enormously, I try to watch one of his/her movies in the next few days following the sad news. Herschell Gordon Lewis passed away, and even though 90 years is a fine age I'd sign for immediately, it's still a great loss for the horror movie industry. Lewis was, and forever will remain, the man who brought gore and splatter to the movie and TV screens. And how! Titles such as "Blood Feast" (1963) and "Two-Thousand Maniacs" (1964) weren't just the first gore flicks; they still stand proud and strong even by today's gore standards. That being said, another trademark was that his movies were extremely low-budgeted and often so damn amateurish that they balanced on the verge of tolerability. His gory movies are great fun, but Lewis also made a number of drama/action movies without bloodshed or absurdity ("Just for the Hell of it", "Something Weird", "She- Devils on Wheels"…) and those are quite difficult to sit through. Mr. Lewis' departure also meant for me personally that I no longer had an excuse for postponing my viewing of "A Taste of Blood". I have this DVD lying in my closet for at least 12 years already, but I could never bring myself to actually watch it for one sole – and admittedly shallow – reason, namely … its length! "A Taste of Blood" has a running time of 118 minutes! Seriously, one hundred and eighteen minutes! In my humble opinion horror movies that last for almost two hours shouldn't exist. I can motivate myself to watch good movies that run more than 110 minutes, let alone to watch a lesser acclaimed H.G.L with a low gore factor!

Having completed my little tradition, I can gladly state that "A Taste of Blood" was better than I expected and a fairly entertaining horror movie; - but still too damn long of course! Easily 30-40 minutes of poor, irrelevant and repetitive footage should have been cut, and then – probably – this would have been one of the director's better non- gory flicks. The story is pretty interesting and engaging, being a modern-day of vampirism and blood retaliation. Without knowing it himself, American businessman John Stone is the last living descendant of the legendary Count Dracula. He receives a package, from London solicitors, containing a few bottles of brandy, but doesn't know that the liquor is mixed with the authentic blood from the family line. Shortly after tasting the brandy, John loses complete interest in his beautiful wife who worships him and his job he was previously so obsessed about. All he can think of right now is exterminating the descendants of the bastards that killed Dracula, and he travels to England to extract his bloodline's vengeance. The last heir of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing seeks the help of Stone's wife and best friend in order to stop him. "A Taste of Blood" definitely features a handful of bright ideas and memorable moments, but overall the pacing is too slow while the quality of sound and picture is too poor… Oh yeah, and it's far too long! Especially the dreadful love/friendship relationship between Stone's wife and best friend is incredibly tedious and redundant and even half of all the dialogs in general are unnecessary. The film is low on gore, but still HGL manages to insert a couple of gruesome moments of gratuitous bloodshed. For example, when THIS vampire feeds on the blood of a random go-go dancer, he doesn't leave two pathetic little holes in her neck but rips her entire throat wide open! He's to my knowledge also the only vampire ever who rams woods stakes through the chests of his enemies instead of vice versa!
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6/10
A Taste Of Blood
cultfilmfan5 February 2005
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.
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7/10
Different for Herschell Gordon Lewis, but still a good film
dworldeater22 May 2014
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.
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6/10
Slightly below par for Lewis
alanmora14 March 2007
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.
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8/10
Maybe not for the casual viewer, but def. for exploitation diehards.
gweegweeisgood22 August 2006
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.
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3/10
Lewis is out of his comfort zone and it shows.
BA_Harrison21 January 2012
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 flicks—pure 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!).
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1/10
A No Taste of Gore, snore
macabro3573 August 2003
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
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5/10
Nice-looking film, but pretty dull by HGL standards
InjunNose11 January 2016
Part of the problem is its length: "A Taste of Blood" clocks in at a whopping two hours. Lewis tended to wrap up his films in about 80 minutes, and certainly "Taste" would have benefited from a shorter running time. But content-wise, too, this is one of Lewis' weaker efforts. The script was written by someone (namely, Donald Stanford) outside the HGL inner circle, and it shows; these 120 minutes are dour and talky, with none of the gallows humor that characterizes Lewis classics like "Two Thousand Maniacs!" and "The Gruesome Twosome". Finally, in a bid for respectability, the Godfather of Gore kept the blood and guts to a minimum, and a movie as monotonous as this one really could have used a little more action. "Almost a step into the mainstream," Lewis said of this film when he was interviewed for an episode of "The Incredibly Strange Film Show" in 1989, "(and) it was a mistake, because that step into the mainstream gave me a picture that was neither fish nor fowl." The film is beautifully photographed, and there is one bang-up gore effect (when vampire Bill Rogers has his way with a blonde stripper), but "A Taste of Blood" is for Herschell Gordon Lewis completists only. Casual viewers will not be amused.
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9/10
Tyrannically tasteless and triumphantly turgid! A B-Movie boner par excellence!
Weirdling_Wolf28 August 2020
Tyrannically tasteless and triumphantly tepid, what celebrated serial splatter impresario H. G Lewis's 'A Taste of Blood' persistently lacked in discernible gore, compensates most generously with its ceaselessly prosaic prose style, cement-clogged pacing, and, then, finally, great pains must be taken for the viewer to successfully endure the torpid machinations of a slap-headed blood-sucker, emboldened with all the brackish, sexual rigour of a terminally ailing tape worm! For a villainously vapid vampire opus most dire, being singularly somnolent, dramatically intolerant, intellectually insolvent, dialectically destitute, 'A Taste of Blood', a 120 minute, prodigiously pallid, nigh-on static horror picture, somewhat miraculously induced a most welcome hysterical hiatus from a neutered normality for which I remain eternally grateful!

This torpid terror-titbit, while lacking both terror and tangible tit-bits, is so weirdly earnest in its delivery, so exquisitely enervating in its sluggish mise-en-scene, that, paradoxically, aggressively opposing all reasonable expectations of body and mind, H. G Lewis's fright-less fright flick remains frustratingly fun to boggle, B-movie-boggled orbs at!?! If the rarefied pleasures of Stephen Traxler's sleepily silt-laden, singularly sun-stroked, eco-shocker, 'Slithis', or supreme schlock symphonist, Al Adamson's diabolically disreputable, equally divisive, celluloid opioid, 'Dracula vs. Frankenstein' engenders triumphal, trash movie tumescence in said viewer, then, you, good sir, or no less goodly madam, are in for a paradigm-shifting 'Bad Movie boner' par excellence!
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6/10
Way too long for a HGL film!!!
czar-1026 October 2000
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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3/10
A Relatively Goreless Offering From The Wizard Of Gore
ferbs5423 October 2007
"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!
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6/10
Another masterclass in bad film-making!
The_Void28 April 2008
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!
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2/10
Tastless blood sucker tale.
michaelRokeefe18 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
From the mind of gore master Herschell Gordon Lewis. a ghastly tale of the revenge of Dracula. John Stone(Bill Rogers), a quirky mundane business man,receives a couple of bottles of brandy that supposedly and unknown to him contains the spirit of Dracula's blood. Stone's wife(Elizabeth Wilkinson)realizes that her husband has become cold and distant since sampling the brandy. Stone is drawn to Europe, where he continues an awkward taste for blood and is driven by urgent revenge to destroy the last remaining descendants of Count Dracula's persecutors. Pretty lame even for Lewis's standards. Others in the cast: William Kerwin, Eleanor Vaill, Gail Janis and Otto Schlessinger.
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1/10
Sleep inducing picture will put you in a coma.
Captain_Couth4 November 2003
Taste the Blood of Dracula marks a first for H.G. Lewis. He actually made a film that doesn't revolve around his gross-out set pieces. However, this movie is slow and painfully boring. It's a celluloid glacier. In my life I have never experinced such a slow movie (and I've seen many films). I wouldn't recommend this film to my worst enemy. A word of advice to Mr. Lewis, "Don't stray away from a winning formula!"

Not recommended. Not even for insomniacs because I'm afraid they'll never wake up.

D for effort

P.S. I'll give credit to Mr. Lewis. At least he tried to do something different. Others wouldn't even take that risk.
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3/10
Florida Bore: The Vampire Version
Tromafreak28 July 2009
As of 2009, Herschell Gordon Lewis is still the master of Gore. As great as the man is, he will never be accused of being the master of Horror, but on an occasion, Mr. Lewis, unfortunately, has proved to be the undisputed master of Bore. Don't believe me? Check out Herschell's normal, 2-hour Horror epic, A Taste Of blood, on second thought, just take my word for it.

That's right gang, a regular Horror movie, courtesy of good ol' H.G. No gore, this time, maybe a trickle or two of blood. Technically, Horror is the name of the game. With better acting and everything, hot diggity damn. About a businessman named John Stone, who, one day, receives an inheritance in the mail, two bottles of Brandy., which, unknown to stone, also contains Dracula blood. I guess this guy is related to Count Dracula... positively genius!! Despite the wife's advice, John drinks the bloody booze, and the rest, as they say, is history... and by "history", I mean painfully dull. Sound intriguing? No? You don't say. Honestly, I don't feel great about making such negative comments about a man who, like it or not, is a bigger icon than Wes Craven and Sam Raimi combined. So, any self-respecting fan of the genre should be willing to over-look the flaws of Lewis, and sit through the Gore, as well as the Bore, at least once... well, except How To Make A Doll, a film which proves that some of these obscurities were meant to stay lost. When you're the master of Gore, fixing what ain't broke may not be the brightest of ideas, but at least Herschell is capable of thinking outside the box from time to time (unlike George Romero). Although, more gore would have been cool too. Ultimately, If you're not hardcore-Lewis, then don't even think about it, but If you must own them all, then own them all. 3/10
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3/10
Like a community theater version of Dracula
planktonrules3 October 2009
A man receives a package from England. Inside is a letter stating that he is the sole heir to a family fortune and title. Additionally, the letter states that enclosed in the box are two bottles of the finest family-made liquor and that he should make a toast to the family and his good fortune. Unfortunately, the brandy-like concoction is laced with the blood of Dracula and slowly the man changes to a vampire. Additionally, the blood fills him with a desire for a vendetta--a vendetta to kill the living relatives of the people who killed Dracula a century ago. In a real change of pace, 90% of the film is set in the Miami area--certainly a big change from previous films.

I really am not exaggerating in the summary--this looks like a lower quality community theater group performing a modern reworking of Dracula. While this may sound pretty bad, for a Hershell Gordon Lewis movie, this isn't that bad. In fact, I'd place it in the top half of his films for quality--though it still isn't that great. The worst thing about the movie is the rather uninspired acting. Most of it isn't terrible--none of it is particularly good. The second worst thing about the film is the direction--it shows no imagination or style whatsoever. I've seen many homemade videos on YouTube that look as good or better. But, there is something decent in the film--the story. While doing yet another Dracula film isn't something we really needed, the story shows more originality than manner of the Hammer Dracula films! It is a novel idea...and that's something!
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10/10
60'S horror classic
jacobjohntaylor17 April 2016
This is one of the scariest movies of all time. It about a vampire who great grand son if Dracula. He not a wear of it. Till the day becomes a vampire. If this movie does not scary you no movie will. This is one of the better Dracula sequels. This movie is a must see. It has great acting. It also has a great story line. It also has great special effects. 4.8 is just underrating it. It is no 4.8. It is a 10. I mean that. This is one of the best horror movies of all time. I can not imagine why any one would not like it. It is a true horror classic. You should see this movie. It is a great movie. You need to see this awesome movie. It is so scary.
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3/10
Weak HG Lewis Effort....See His Other Stuff First
scott88-427 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I'm a HUGE fan of Mr. Lewis and have enjoyed many of his films over the years (2000 Maniacs, Blood Feast, Gruesome Twosome, She Devils On Wheels, Colour Me Blood Red, etc). Admittedly, I enjoy low budget schlockfests and B-movies. I am able to somehow find the good in even the worst exploitation films.

However, while I loved and still love Lewis' 1960s gore films, "Taste of Blood" is EASILY the weakest effort in the Lewis horror library. The acting is truly laughable, the plot inane, and the trademark Lewis gore is tame and bland. Vampire Stone is a dork and in the end, goes down in a pitiful display that would make Chris Lee red with rage.

If you are a new fan to Herschell Gordon, steer clear of this film until you've seen his "classics" ("2000 Maniacs" a must see). This is a very weak entry, and one that made even this die-hard Lewis freak wince........not in a "good" way.
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4/10
Boooring!
jimiphish31 December 2006
Like others on this site, I really like low budget gore movies from the 1960s and 1970s. I can usually look past the terrible sets, dialog and acting if there's a sufficient amount of blood and guts.

Sadly, I must say this movie is the weakest of the H.G. Lewis films I've seen. To repeat what other people have said, it is WAY too long for this type of movie. The acting itself is no worse than his other movies. And the plot is similarly ridiculous. But there's almost no blood or other ghastly effects at all. Some seriously twisted gore would have made this more bearable. Graphic violence made "Blood Feast", "The Wizard of Gore", and "The Gore Gore Girls" pretty entertaining viewing experiences.

Maybe he was trying a more serious approach with this film. Who knows? I love his films, but I don't recommend spending 118 minutes of your life watching this one.
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6/10
A Taste of Blood
Scarecrow-884 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Herschell Gordon Lewis' own Dracula film is considered an overlong bore by many vampire (and HGL) lovers of the Bram Stoker character, with limited gore and extended takes of acting and dialogue in real, authentic locations in Miami. Uncharacteristic for HGL, "A Taste of Blood" is just about 2 hours in length and he admittedly took greater pains in setting the lighting and allowing for his performers to explore their characters with more depth. President of a company, John Stone (Bills Rogers), receives a package containing a small chest with two wine bottles inside containing the blood of Dracula. Stone, thinking the bottles are filled with wine, takes a drink, and after multiple tastes of the blood slowly is overtaken by the evil of Dracula soon pursuing humans when he runs out. Using a blue light and pasty make-up, Rogers is presented as a Dracula more akin to a zombie in Bob Clark's "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" than the Hammer movies. While not as overly gory as the renowned "gore trilogy", there are some instances of bright red stage blood and open wounds (the most gruesome is where a female victim's throat is torn open by a voracious, unhinged Stone, fully overwhelmed at this point by Dracula's power). Because the movie is so dialogue-heavy with plenty scenes of characters talking for great lengths, I imagine (and have read) that this particular movie will fail to generate the same order of jovial fandom as HGL's schlocky, campy, gory splatterfests. That may be the problem: his fans expect the absence of restraint, having embraced the gratuitous nature of HGL's movies, wallowing gleefully in the over the top performances and violence. Elizabeth Wilkinson is Helene, John's concerned wife who can see the personality change, her life soon in danger when he finally becomes completely vampire; Bill Kerwin is Helene's doctor friend, Hank (he's in love with her), who she confides in. Otto Schlesinger is Howard Helsing, one of the last descendants of those who killed Dracula in danger of being a victim at Stone's hands (Stone went to London on "a business trip" killing several of the descendants of those behind Dracula's death), appealing to Hank for help. Wilkinson, while not much of an actress, is quite a pleasure to look at (I found my eyes always wandering to her boobs, although she is costumed in tight-fitting wardrobe elaborating her nice curvaceous figure). HGL has a small part as a British seaman (he even uses British dialect!)! The film includes all the requirements of vampire movies: the danger of the sun, annoyance of the crucifix, and the staking of the heart is how to kill Stone's vampire.
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"Be Careful! He Has The Strength Of Ten Men!"...
azathothpwiggins26 December 2021
In A TASTE OF BLOOD, "Godfather of Gore" Herschell Gordon Lewis presents his semi-serious take on the vampire legend. While it has the same cheeezey sets, silly premise, and petrified acting / dialogue as other Lewis productions, it's also quite entertaining.

However, don't expect his usual bloodbath. This time, Lewis has left his garish red paint behind. Even so, it's still worth watching, especially for his fans...
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4/10
A Taste of Boredom
Stevieboy6667 November 2021
American film director Herschell Gordon Lewis was known as the Godfather of Gore and made a number of cheap, gory horror movies in the 1960's. This is his stab at a variation on the Dracula story and is quite different to his splatter movies, apparently he claimed it was his masterpiece, personally I'd disagree. For a start there is very little gore here and it is a 46 minute wait until we get to see any. Elizabeth Lee does provide some nice eye candy but there is zero nudity. The acting is reasonably OK bar one, Lewis himself plays an English sailor and he has one of the worst Cockney accents that I have ever heard. Terrible! Production values are alright but what really lets this movie down is that it is too talky and at nearly two hours in length way too long. Essential viewing for fans of HGL but bottom line is it's more bore than gore.
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