View Full Version : Blood Freak (1971)

10-07-2003, 01:35 AM
Here's my review of Blood Freak, which is pretty much a giant spoiler. Enjoy!

Blood Freak opens up with director, Brad Grinter, pondering the nature of reality, chance, and circumstance while wearing a polyester shirt and smoking a cigarette.

Brad Grinter shows up at various points throughout the movie, commenting on the choices the characters make and how it is impossible to state precisely which of their choices will lead to the horror yet to come. He starts off by introducing us to Hershel, an Elvis/Johnny Cash looking Vietnam vet and a Captain America style drifter. He spies a pretty girl named Angel having car trouble and offers his aid.

Angel takes Hershel home to meet her wild drugged out sister, Ann, who just happens to be having a drug orgy when the couple arrive. Angel is a good Christian girl and asks Hershel not to do any drugs at this time, and so he doesn't. A hot babe, the girl friend of Guy the Pusher, hits on Hershel. She insists that Guy doesn't mind, and Guy wouldn't even mind if she and Hershel went for a ride, so to speak.

Hershel politely declines her offer, saying its not right to sleep around if you have a boyfriend, that its a trampy thing to do. The lady tramp gets insulted but Guy refuses to protect her honor, being that Hershel is so big and her character doesn't even have a name. Plus, she is a tramp. But he agrees to help Ann get Hershel hooked on drugs in a bizarre seduction plot.

In the meantime, Angel takes Hershel to a bible meeting where no bibles are seen but an old man who runs a turkey farm gives Hershel a job doing "this and that until we see where you fit into the operation."

At the turkey farm, Hershel meets two turkey scientists who offer him a bonus if he'll be a human guinea pig and eat a chemically treated turkey. They also offer Hershel occasional access to illicit drugs, for kicks.

So, the next day, after Hershel learns he's hooked on Guy's drugs, he shows up to work with his appetite and eats a whole turkey. In front of a whole pen of turkeys, which might have been a stab at irony or it may just have been bad taste. After devouring the whole turkey, Hershel begins to feel woozy and passes out.

After one of the turkey scientists finds Hershel passed out, they decide to dump his body someplace, because they could loose their jobs if they're caught feeding hopped up turkeys to hop heads. When Hershel's boss finds out, he insists that Hershel is still a man, but that doesn't turn out to be true for very much longer.

When Hershel wakes up he has been transformed into a turkey headed god named Hershel. But he still has a drug problem. The first thing Hershel, the Turkey Headed God does is goes back to Ann, who understandably freaks at first. Since Hershel can only gobble gobble, he writes down his predicament. In a hysterical fit, Ann wonders what kind of children a Turkey Headed God and and a raven haired beauty with full red lips might produce. And what will her parents make of Hershel?

But then she calms down and gets two of her stoner friends to get Hershel the drugs he needs because Guy has disappeared after Hershel confronted him and told him "since you got me hooked, you're going to keep me supplied."

Alas, stoners are an unreliable source of illicit drugs and so Hershel is forced to kill beautiful young ladies just after their weasel boyfriends have shot them up.

Turkey headed god, Hershel, take a page in dressing his victims from Ed Gein and hangs the gals upside down while poking a hat pin or ice pick on their chins until the fake blood flows free. It just might be variable lighting, but some blood was definitely redder then other blood.

Eventually, Guy shows back up and trades Ann to Scuambag the Druglord for a drug loan. When Ann resists, Scumbag the Druglord strangles her right in front of Hershel's disbelieving beady eyes. It's as much pathos as a rubber turkey head mask has ever conveyed on film.

Hershel lets out a muffled gobble gobble which alerts Scumbag to his presence. Scumbag the Druglord's eyes pop out of his head when he gets an eyeful of Hershel's turkey head, and he runs outside, where Hershel is, to get away from Hershel.

Even though it's pretty clear that Hershel can't see through his Turkey Headed God mask, he eventually catches up with Scumbag and dispatches him. I forget how because next, Hershel falls to his knees and repents. He prays and prays and God takes pity on him and turns the whole movie into a dream.

Its pretty obvious from just one viewing that Blood Freak has influenced film makers ever since it was first released, from the "the whole season has been a dream" theme used to rescue TV's Dallas from its low ratings to scenes that had to have influenced the makers of Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. But, unless you see the movie, you'll just have to take my word on that.

Aside from being the first Christian splatter film, Blood Freak is one of the first films to warn us of the dangers of what the loony left today calls Frankenfood. Which is to say, food that has been manipulated, which is to say, all food grown on farms and in gardens and such.

Eventually, as long as this film stays in circulation, I see the eventual marriage of the Religious Right with the Loony Left, like rocks and moss.

Like most Something Weird disks, the extras are a bit uneven. I found two Easter eggs, one of Brad Grinter choking on a cigarette and one of a drive-in promotion promising ten free turkeys on Tuesday night November 22 to ten lucky winners. It is promised that the turkeys will be ready for the oven.

Then there's a Skin-Noir featurette called The Walls Have Eyes, which was kind of boring. Guys filming hot babes dancing naked in front of one-way mirrors to the tune of Dragnet and the Untouchables. There might have been a real story there, but I couldn't hack it long enough to find out.

Then there's a short featuring Brad Grinter as a nudist newsman trying to help a newlywed buddy who's new wife is afraid to be naked in front of him. Being naked in front of a bunch of strangers at a nudist colony is the cure.

Then there's a nature film about drugs being like snakes. Didn't hold my interest.

Then there was a circa 1969 documentary called Beggars at the Gate an LSD versus traditional religion versus the socialist mind control cults, like People's Temple that were springing up at that time. Apparently, God has to change with the times.

Then another nature film about wild turkeys and how smart they are. And finally some trailers for Blood Feast, the Blood Splattered Bride, Brad Grinter's Flesh Feast, the main movie and a few other early gore films.

While I enjoyed Beggars at the Gate, I would say Blood Freak is the real attraction here. Highly recommended for fans of Hershel Gordon Lewis (who I figure Turkey God Head Hershel must be named for, even if its not true, its what I choose to believe) and fans of Something Weird and people who like turkey.

10-07-2003, 02:57 AM
Great entry in the 'killer turkey" subgenre. I think I'll bring it over the folks' house for Thanksgiving.:D

10-07-2003, 07:37 AM
This movie sounds absolutely amazing. It is now on my rather lengthy Netflix queue. :lol:

10-07-2003, 06:07 PM
i didnt really like it all that much. kinda boring. this is coming from a guy that likes redneck zombies and blood feast. there are some pretty enjoyable extras tho.

10-08-2003, 05:37 AM
It had me laughing out loud a lot of times. I tried to imagine the actors trying to act seriously with this guy in a turkey mask.

Even if its not a good movie, the guys who made it must have had a blast.