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Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

The Incredible Torture Show (original title)
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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.

Director:

Joel M. Reed

Writer:

Joel M. Reed
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Cast

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

SARDU: he was the creator - the director - the master! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Troma

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Sucking Freaks See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joel M. Reed wrote the script in one day. See more »

Goofs

When Ralphus begins sawing the girl's hand off in the 'dismemberment' scene, the saw is to the inside of the shackle. When the camera view changes, the saw is to the outside of the shackle. See more »

Quotes

Master Sardu: Her mouth shall make an interesting urinal!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rate It X (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
There's something wrong here, even for an exploitation film
1 December 2005 | by jpilkonisSee 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.


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