Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blood Diner

The first time I watched this movie, it was very late at night, and I was drifting in and out of consciousness, though the scattered trace remnants of the films I could remember had me convinced that this was a potentially brilliant film, though I had no idea how to connect the various moments I had witnessed into any sort of coherent narrative. Watching it a second time, I began to realize why: this movie is kind of a jumble of not-very-well-connected moments that on their own are good enough to make the whole movie goofy enough to demand a viewing.

The film opens just as it should, with a radio announcer giving a neighborhood warning about a killer in the area, armed “with a meat cleaver in one hand and his genitals in the other.” Sadly, he is soon taken out by the police, but not before he imparts gifts upon his two young nephews and ensures that they will carry on with his occult work. Fast forward twenty years, and the nephews are now the owners of a trendy vegetarian diner, and who have decided that now is the time to dig up their beloved uncle so that he can continue guiding them. Not as a corpse or a zombie, of course – that would just be silly. Instead, they keep his talking brain and eyeballs in a jar, so that he can properly command them on how to resurrect their composite goddess Shitaar. This resurrection involves them killing a great many vegetarians and using their body parts build a Frankenstein-style vessel for her and then luring their remaining clientele for one big feast where they will sacrifice a virgin.

It doesn’t sound like an overly elaborate plot, and it isn’t, so they filled it up with some delightful side jaunts. Their required virgin, for instance, is found when she was the only one in her cheerleading squad who refused to participate in some videotaped nude aerobics (something that, frankly, all movies should include). One of the brothers also has a side job as a pro wrestler, which treats us to a wrestling match against his arch-nemesis Jimmy Hitler. It’s these side jaunts that are the most entertaining parts of the film, though even when they don’t provide enough humor director Jackie Kong helpfully throws in enough blood, body parts, and shameless nudity to get us past any weaker moments.

This was originally planned as an unofficial sequel to Blood Feast. I haven’t seen that movie, as Two Thousand Maniacs left me with little interest in seeing any of Herschell Gordon Lewis’s other films (yes, this does somewhat connect with my comments in Anthropophagus). However, if it’s half as fun as this movie it should be worth at least one watching. Unlike Blood Diner, that has gotten a DVD release (Blood Diner is currently available on VHS or from the website linked in the Youtube video below). With all of the companies devoted to releasing weird horror movies onto DVD nowadays, I have to assume Something Weird Video or Blue Underground – SOMEone – will be releasing this at some point. It’s just frustrating seeing how many terrible DTV films are being released these days while entertaining cult films like this get stuck in obscurity.

Rating: *** ½

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