"Blood Bath" DVD
I'll freely admit that,
when I saw this one arrive from Subversive Cinema, I had my concerns.
"Blood Bath"? What kind of a name for a movie is "Blood
Bath"? It's not hard to look at this sucker look at the box,
and the little passage on the box that says it comes from the director
of "Bloodsucking Freaks," and think, dammit anyway, yet
another exploitation hackjob from the School of Gore for Gore's
Sake filmmaking. And it made me wonder, why would Subversive Cinema
bother to resurrect this old canard.
But then what I found was something rare and unique, and it was
like stumbling on a lost Renoir original while cleaning out my dead
What I found was one of, quite possibly the, first ever anthology
horror movies. With no less than a complete wraparound story attached.
I have always been fond of the anthology horror movie it's like
getting three or four (five in this case!) horror movies for the
price of just one. They're quick, they're usually fairly decent,
and if you don't like one, another one will be coming up shortly,
so take heart!
And that's sort of the case here. We've got a nice little irony
feast to kick things off as a mad bomber gets a nasty surprise at
a diner, followed up with the less-than-stellar story of a dreamer
who gets a rude awakening as his dreams of glory in the Napoleonic
Wars aren't all they're cracked up to be. We then segue into a nifty
little piece about a modern-era Ebenezer Scrooge (I don't think
it took place on Christmas, which is sad in its way because it would?ve
been so very fitting) who runs into a surprise visitor from the
past at the worst possible time. Finally, we get this spiffy little
kung-fu movie with a bizarre ending.
The overarching story, meanwhile, revolves around a dinner party
hosted by a horror movie director with a strange home life.
Now, already, we've got a lot to deal with here, and it's got its
ups and downs. For instance, all of the stories have surprise endings.
Which means you're getting regular surprises, over an eighty minute
movie, you're getting roughly five surprises. Do the math and you're
averaging one shocking revelation every sixteen minutes. That's
better than most movies have to offer, especially from a movie that
was filmed better than thirty years ago. Plus, check out the cast!
Doris Roberts from "Everybody Loves Raymond" used to do
horror. That revelation alone was worth the price of admission.
Throw in early appearances from "Predator" and "Halloween"
and "Fargo" cast members and it's a seriously mind-blowing
moment. Even better, there's almost no blood in this movie at all.
If they wrung out all the bloodied clothing they had by the end
of the movie, I don't think it would fill a small juice glass. That's
frankly amazing given the content.
Which isn't to say it's all sunshine and lollipops. A thirty year
old movie has an unmistakable dated feel to it, and "Blood
Bath" is no exception. It looks old. Granted, it doesn't get
too much in the way of the enjoyment, but you still feel it. And
check out the awkward kung fu going on in the last story. Yipes
almighty that's awkward. When your formative kung fu viewing involves
Jackie Chan as Drunken Master, you get a bit spoiled. But this stuff
is worse than "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist" kung fu.
Special features include a making of featurette entitled "Taking
A Blood Bath: Making 70s Indies In New York", cast and crew
bios, and trailers for "The Candy Snatchers", "Metal
Skin", "Blue Murder", "The Gardener", "Blood
Bath", and "Funny Man".
All in all, while "Blood Bath" suffered from a dated look
and a few awkward moments, it earns serious bonus points as a curiosity.
It's one of the first of its kind, and so it's worth a look for
that alone. But the constant surprises and twists of the irony knife
will also improve its watchability.
Written by Joel M. Reed
Directed by Joel M. Reed
Starring Harve Presnell, Doris Roberts, P.J. Soles, Sonny Landham
Produced by Anthony Fingleton
Video Store Guy knows the best movies you've never seen. Check his
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