Horror

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

Comments Off on I Drink Your Blood (1970) 26 April 2017

I drink Your Blood blu ray

Studio: Grindhouse Releasing

Theatrical Release: December 1970

Blu Ray Release: November 22, 2016

Director: David E. Durston

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Review by James Klein

Grindhouse Releasing does it again. Their releases puts some of the very best companies to shame. Their blu ray releases of genre films have always been given the utmost respect in terms of picture, sound, and special features. Previous releases such as Cat in the Brain, Massacre Mafia Style, and Pieces have blown us away here at Unrated and their most recent release, I Drink Your Blood is no exception. The blu ray set even comes with a tiny blood syringe that our little hero Pete Banner uses to infect the violent hippies. But I am getting ahead of myself…

Filmed under the original title Phobia (which is a far less exploitive title but not as memorable) a bunch of satanic hippies travel around in a beat-up bus when their less than reliable vehicle finally breaks down. They stumble upon a convenient store / bakery in a tiny little town and purchase a few meat pies before they are directed to an abandoned hotel where this group of hippies can take shelter. The hotel is now overrun with rats and in a gruesome sequence these hippies stab and shoot every rat in sight, even making a rat shish kabob for their amusement. 

Little Pete Banner (Riley Mills) witnesses these hippies scream and smash the hotel and believes that these are the same hippies who beat up his older sister during the main credits of the film. Running home to tell his Grandfather, grandpa not only ends up getting beaten up by the hippies but is forced to take LSD where he breaks down in a bad trip. Pete, hellbent on revenge, injects several meat pie with rabies and convinces the hippies to take them the next morning where they all eat feverishly due to lack of food. 

This is where the film finally picks up as these hippies, already dangerous  and uncontrollable soon become violent crazed monsters who attack and kill anything in sight. Foaming at the mouth with their eyes bugged out, the whole town starts to become infected as these crazies start biting other residents who soon turn into a murderous madman or madwoman. Stupid Pete!

I Drink Your Blood plays almost like a loose remake of Night of the Living Dead as the townspeople must fend for themselves and each other from these crazed, zombie-like savages. And like Night, a bite will result in turning into one of the crazies. Shot on a very low budget, the similarities to Night is endless although I Drink Your Blood has a certain charm to it that differentiates itself from George Romero’s 1968 classic. I Drink Your Blood does have its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, and it knows damn well how silly it is but thankfully does’t try to ham it up or struggle to be funny. Just be prepared for some pretty awful acting, a slow first act, and some very cheap gore effects. 

Grindhouse’s new blu ray transfer knocks the socks off the old limited edition Fangoria DVD, released a good 15 years or so ago. While that DVD was pretty great in terms of picture and special features, this blu ray release blows the old DVD away. If you own the DVD, it’s time to sell it and upgrade. 

For starters, there are two versions of the movie: the theatrical X-Rated Cut and the Director’s Cut which expands on a few sequences dealing with character, as well as more of Grandpa having an acid trip and an extended, darker ending. The Director’s Cut is about five minutes longer. Both versions look absolutely amazing and presented in the original 1:67:1 aspect ratio. The picture has never looked this sharp and while the old DVD was quite good, it’s like night and day compared to the blu ray. Shockingly, for such an old grindhouse film, there is very little print damage that I noticed, making this HD debut such an amazing release. The 1.0 DTS-HD sound mix plays well on my system, even the overly loud music that pops up from time to time doesn’t sound distorted. All in all, absolutely no complaints with the picture or sound. 

Now for the special features…holy shit. This two disc special edition is absolutely loaded and will take the average viewer days just to get thru it all. Not only are there two versions of the film but they are accompanied by two audio commentary tracks. One is from the previous DVD with director David Durston and star Bhaskar (who passed away shortly after the commentary was recorded). There is also a new commentary track with actors Jack Damon and Tyde Kierney. There is an interview with David Durston who goes into great detail about the making of the film. One of my favorite features was seeing footage of Durston and actress Lynn Lowry speaking before a crowd at the Cinema Wasteland convention hosted by Ken Kisch in Strongsville, OH. More on camera interviews with Durston interviewing some of his actors (one where he gets embarrassed and cuts short the interview over something that took place on the set), Bhaskar performing “The Evil Cobra Dance”, deleted scenes, and finally the theatrical trailer and TV spots. 

Also included is a second disc that has two more feature films! Blue Sextet, an X rated psychedelic thriller directed by Durston from 1969. While it is nice this feature film is included, the movie is a downright bore. Then there is the infamous I Eat Your Skin, the 1964 black and white thriller that was paired up with I Drink Your Blood on a double bill that played at drive-ins. I Eat Your Skin even comes with an interview with William Grefe, the 2nd unit director on the film. Both films actually look great and have been remastered in HD. Despite some print damage, both movies look and sound nice. The DVD package even includes a booklet and a blood syringe which I already mentioned. Even if you think I Drink Your Blood is just an ok film, it is hard to pass up this blu ray release due to all the great extra features and supplements. 

Movie Rating: ★★★½☆

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

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