Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blood Thirst (1971)

Director: Newt Arnold

Writer: N.I.P. Dennis

Composer: ???

Starring: Robert Winston, Katherine Henryk, Yvonne Nielson, Vic Diaz, Vic Silayan, Eddie Infante, Bruno Punzalan, Judy Dennis, Max Roio, Ching Tello, Minda Morena, Isidro Francisco, Felix Marfil

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Sinister! Inhuman! What was the thing that came out of the eerie blackness of satisfy its blood thirst!

Plot: A sex-crimes specialist from New York travels to the Philippines to help his friend, a Manila homicide detective, solve a series of murders.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Doubtful.

Despite IMDb saying this is from 1971 (it may have been ultimately released that year) it looks and feels like it was made ten years earlier.  The trivia says it was shot in '65.  It doesn't matter.  It's alright.  The use of lighting and shadows is probably the best thing going for it.  It feels like it takes a hefty dose of inspiration from the James Bond pictures of the time.  Robert Winston is a very likable actor.  He's tall, good looking, has a voice like Anthony Perkins and he handles himself very well...BUT he's much too flippant and and amusing for the entire film.  He practically smiles with a one liner on the tip of his tongue in every scene.  He even has Bond-ish one liners when he's completely alone.  If he'd played it cooler like Connery he would have been fantastic.  This is his only starring role which is too bad, he could've gone on to a great B-movie leading man career.  I wonder what happened to him. 

Fans of 70s Filipino exploitation Women In Prison (WIP) films will recognize Vic Diaz (here as Inspector Miguel Ramos) from films like THE BIG BIRD CAGE (1972) and BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA (1973).  That's him on the right with Winston on the left.  BLOOD plays out like a film noir/spy/horror flick and it sort of works.  I like the look of it and a good deal of the performances but the film drags at times and Winston's performance is too light in tone.  The monster scenes are spliced in at strange times making it feel like somebody had the crazy idea to turn a noir spy flick into a horror one by adding a few shots here and there.  That'd make more sense if it weren't for the ending which brings all of the actors and the monster together for the big finish which gets ridiculously silly (and fun).  This is the second half of a double feature Something Weird Video DVD along with BLOOD SUCKERS (1970) and a plethora of fun extras. 

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