Sunday, October 16, 2016

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN BLOGSPOT #16: THE BLOOD TRILOGY


It wasn't that long ago that the world lost Herschell Gordon Lewis, aka The Godfather Of Gore.    Horror films had been around since the dawn of cinema, but Lewis virtually created the modern horror film by introducing extreme gore to the big screen.  After that little innovation horror movies would never be the same.

H.G. Lewis made many different kinds of films throughout the sixties, and his most notorious were his horror films, but within that horror category is a trilogy that looms larger than the rest of his body of work.  The Blood Trilogy is where it all started for Lewis, and it's the corner stone of what Horror films have become.


The first in the trilogy is 1963's Blood Feast.  It tells the story of a maniac killing young women and taking body parts for unknown reasons.  The two "non-killer" leads are Police Detective Pete (William Kerwin) and Suzette (Connie Mason).  Suzette is a member of a book club that read the book "Ancient Weird Religious Rites", and her and Pete also attend a seminar dealing with this subject.  They attend a meeting where the subject is the "Feast Of Ishtar", and Egyptian ritual where virgins are slaughtered and offered to Ishtar.

Suzette's birthday is coming up and her Mom decides to throw an exotic party for her.  She wanders into the catering business of Fuad Ramses, and eccentric guy with insane eyebrows, who says he will serve an Egyptian Feast, because... you know... he caters to unusual affairs.


Anyway, as luck would have it, Fuad runs the book club that distributes Ancient Weird Religious Rites, and eventually all the pieces fall into place and Pete realizes Fuad is the killer.  The end.  In between there's lots of graphic murder and extremely wooden acting.  Despite that, Blood Feast is one of my favorite movies of all time, duking it out with The Godfather and Texas Chainsaw Massacre for supremacy.


Lewis followed up Blood Feast with 1964's Two Thousand Maniacs, the story of a small southern town that welcomes a carload of travelers and makes them the guests of honor for their centennial celebration.  The guests are separated and one by one they're subjected to grisly torture and death by the townsfolk.  What's the deal?  It turns out that the town was actually wiped out by Union soldiers during the Civil War, and it returned to mark the centennial of that disaster to take revenge upon northern travelers.

Two of the visitors (William Kerwin and Connie Mason from Blood Feast) escape, only to find out that the town didn't exist.  The end.  In between there's a bunch of graphic murder and wooden acting.


The Blood Trilogy concluded in 1965 with the release of Color Me Blood Red.  The plot essentially lifts from Roger Corman's A Bucket Of Blood from 1959.  In Bucket we follow a simple busboy in a beatnik cafe that wants desperately to become an artist and fit in with the cool crowd.  The busboy accidentally kills and then covers it in clay.  He shows the resulting sculpture to some folks at the cafe and they rave about it.  Eventually his drive to create more work ends up with him murdering people and turning them into sculptures.

In Color Me Blood Red we follow painter Adam Sorg (played by an intense Gordan Oas-Heim) as he struggles to finish a series of paintings for a local gallery.  He just can't find the right shade of red.  When he says that you pretty much know where this is going.  His girlfriend cuts herself and he takes the blood to paint on the canvas.  Since you can't just go to the art store and buy blood, Adam has to resort to killing people for his art supplies.  The end.  In between there's a bunch of graphic murder and wooden acting.

For the second Grind-Fu Cinema Halloween spectacular, we showed the entire Blood Trilogy, complete with vomit bags.  Initial screenings of Blood Feast at drive-ins had vomit bags issued, so we felt it only right to go all out and do the same.  This Grind-Fu was also the first time that we had one of our amazing Grind-Fu cakes make by Amber, our resident cake artist.  She set the bar that year, as far as grotesque cakes go, and she keeps raising the bar each year.  Here's the year one creation:


This year she's coming up with a new creation for our double bill of The Witch and The Blair Witch Project, which happens on Saturday, October 22nd.  I've been getting updates of how preparation has been going on the cake, and it sounds like it's gonna be next level insane.  Be sure to join us for this amazing double feature of terror, costumes, and cake!

I pay a lot of lip service to the Blood Trilogy films because they're very low budget and low quality, but that's why they're so fun.  H.G. Lewis would tell you the same.  You should watch them if you're a fan of z-grade movies.  In fact, you should star right now!  Here's Blood Feast, the best of the three movies.

Shyboy

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