BLOOD FREAK (director/writer: Brad F. Grinter/Steve Hawkes; cinematographer: Ron N. Sill; editor: Gil Ward; music: Gil Ward; cast: Brad F. Grinter (Narrator), Steve Hawkes (Herschell), Dana Cullivan (Anne), Heather Hughes (Angel); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Brad F. Grinter/Steve Hawkes; Something Weird Video; 1971)
“All I can say is gobbledegook!”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Oddball combo horror and exploitation film, that might be enjoyable to those seeking out bad films that are weird and come with tongue-in-cheek messages about just saying no to drugs. Something Weird advertised on their DVD cover that this turkey was “The World’s Only Turkey-Monster-Anti-Drug-Pro-Jesus-Gore Film!” All I can say is gobbledegook!
Brad F. Grinter and Steve Hawkes are co-directors, co-writers and co-producers. With Grinter providing the obnoxious narration that warns us drug use has serious consequences and at one point of his narration is choking on a cigarette while moralizing on the dangers of drugs. Hawkes is a muscleman playing the lead male character named Herschell–named in honor of cult gore filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis–while posing throughout as if he were God’s gift to women and mistakenly thought he was in a Tarzan pic (he played in a few foreign Tarzan flicks).
An Elvis looking God-fearin’ hunky biker named Herschell (Steve Hawkes) on a country road comes upon a pretty conservative square religious girl named Angel (Heather Hughes) stranded in her convertible (I assume from car trouble) and they begin to chat. She invites him to her home and he takes her there by bike. At home her sexy liberated party girl loose woman sister Anne (Dana Cullivan) is holding a drug party for stoners and insisting that Herschell smoke some weed and screw her. He refuses and she taunts him as a coward. Angel, who tells Herschell she lives by the words of the Bible and will not defile herself with promiscuous sex, then takes Herschell to her dad’s poultry farm, where the Vietnam vet is given a job to do odd jobs around the ranch. That night Herschell, who is now living with Anne and Angel in their family home, is seduced by Anne wearing a tight bikini as he’s doing repairs on the family pool. The Elvis-hungry Anne gets her man stoned on marijuana and screws him. Herschell immediately becomes addicted to grass and craves more. The next day on the turkey ranch job, two sleazy lab research workers offer Herschell free drugs to be a guinea pig and eat the chemically altered turkey they’ve created and are now seeking government FDA approval. Since Herschell’s now addicted to grass, he takes their offer and after putting down a whole turkey he starts twitching in the back yard and foaming at the mouth until he passes out. The lab men think he’s dead, and fearing arrest for murder carry his body to the road to get him out of sight of the turkey farm. But Herschell awakens as a psychotic killer, complete with an enormous turkey head and starts killing drug addicts for their human blood. The film asks the following important questions: Can either Angel or Anne or God save him? Could it be that this was just Herschell having an hallucination?
Everything about this movie is Ed Wood bad, from the acting, the screenplay and production values. It’s so bad a film, that it demands to be seen by those who call themselves weird film addicts or those who just have a perverse need to see a film that’s so unbelievable it must be seen to be believed.
REVIEWED ON 5/22/2009 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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