Review Date: April 11, 2000
Released by: Image Entertainment
Release date: 2/22/2000
Region 0, NTSC
Full Frame 1.33:1
H.G. Lewis campy Blood Feast
, which revolutionized the gore film as we know it, has made it to DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video. Once again going the extra mile and providing us with a Special Edition instead of just the film, Image has released a must have for H.G. Lewis fans. Let's take a look at Blood Feast
A vile epidemic of murders is sweeping the city in which young beautiful girls have been brutally mutilated. In response authorities advise all women to stay indoors after dark to avoid running into this homicidal maniac. Meanwhile the seven recent string of killings baffle police and all attempted investigations turn up no clues as to who the authorities are dealing with and his whereabouts. Even more disturbing is the grisly fact that each mutilated woman is found with a body part removed.
Dorothy Fremont (Lyn Bolten), who is giving a dinner party for her daughter Suzette Fremont (Connie Mason), visits Fuad Ramses Exotic Catering. She is looking for something unusual and different to serve at her daughter's party and she's come to the right place! She speaks with the man himself, Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold), who promises to cook her an "Egyptian feast". Little does she know that Ramses is the serial killer going around murdering young women and the body parts he's been stealing are the "special ingredients" needed to bring about the resurrection of his goddess "Ishtar". With Ramse's Blood Feast nearing completion all he needs is the final ingredient, the sacrifice of a young woman and who better than young beautiful Suzette?
H.G. Lewis's Blood Feast
, like many of his other films, has little redeeming value except its gore that by today's standards is not very exceptional. Still, Blood Feast
was one of the first "gore films" ever made and introduced audiences to sights undreamed of breaking many taboos of what can or cannot be shown on screen yet at the same time other significant aspects such as story and acting were dismissed. The acting in Blood Feast
is truly terrible rife with overacting and uneven dialogue its clear these are complete non actors but H.G. Lewis films were made on shoe string budgets so it's not surprising.
The effects and gore which are the films strong points are for the most part well done but even they make the most fake looking Lucio Fulci gore shots seem realistic by comparison. Still, the violent and bloody nature of the killings and the way the gore is foisted upon the viewer creates a sense of unease, which was better, emphasized in Lewis's Two Thousand Maniacs
. Overall Blood Feast
is worth a look for it's historic importance to the horror genre, but those looking for a well-crafted film should look elsewhere.
Image Entertainment presents H.G. Lewis's Blood Feast
full frame in its original aspect ratio. The image quality on this disc looks very good for its age. The transfer, while exhibiting some mild grain is pleasingly clear with a nice overall sharp look. Colors look good with nice saturation, especially reds which are vibrant and solid. Flesh tones look fairly natural. The print used for the transfer is in great shape with only a couple shots that have obvious signs of damage. This is a very nice effort by Something Weird Video and Image Entertainment.
Presented in Dolby Digital Mono, Blood Feast
sounds as good as it's going to. Dialogue was clear and background noise was minimal.
Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video have prepared a nice Special Edition for H.G. Lewis fans. Like the Color Me Blood Red
DVD, Blood Feast
features a commentary by Director H.G. Lewis and Producer David F. Friedman. The two talk about how Blood Feast
came about and how the title sequence was done. They also talk about the film's release and an experience they had going to see it for the first time at a drive-in. They also talk about some of the actors and actresses including Mal Arnold. It's a good commentary with hardly any gaps. It's sure to please Blood Feast fans.
In addition to the commentary the disc also features a short film titled Carving Magic
. It's pretty bizarre and funny at the same time. Running approximately 20 minutes, the short teaches you how to carve such meat as turkeys, steaks, hams and much, much more. This short is sure to have all vegetarians wincing at the screen. After learning all these super carving skills I'm sure to be popular next Thanksgiving...either that or I'll lose a finger or two
. Next we have rare outtakes, which contain alternate takes and shots composed at different angles than what's in the final film. Like the outtakes for Color Me Blood Red
there is no sound so instead some music from H.G. Lewis's other films are played in the background. Amazingly there is approximately 50 minutes of outtakes!
Also accounted for is the original theatrical trailer. It's a humorous trailer, which features a warning beforehand for all people with weak hearts to briefly leave the theater while the trailer is playing. The trailer goes on to highlight some of the films goriest scenes. There is also another "Gallery of Exploitation" which has more artwork, advertisement and publicity flyers for exploitation films. Overall another great disc in terms of supplements for H.G. Lewis fans.
The original gore film, Blood Feast
, has finally made it to DVD. As with Color Me Blood Red
, Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video did a great job giving fans more bang for their buck instead of releasing movie only editions. This film is gorier than Color Me Blood Red
and is thus more pleasing to gorehounds. If your thinking of giving one of H.G. Lewis's films a try this is the one to watch.
Image Quality - B+
Sound - B
Supplements - A-
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- 12 Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital Mono
- Audio Commentary with Director Herschell Gordon Lewis and Producer David F. Friedman
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Rare Outtakes
- William Kerwin and Harvey Korman in short subject Carving Magic
- Gallery of Exploitation Art