42nd Street Cinema

Blood Feast (1963)

NOTHING SO APPALLING IN THE ANNALS OF HORROR! The instantly grabbing tagline from Herschell Gordon Lewis' 1963 splatterific Blood Feast. A film widely associated with kick-starting the Splatter and essentially the Slasher film sub-genres. With it's intensely graphic depiction of violence and gore and a 'central' madman. It is also the first in a fan dubbed 'Blood Trilogy' with Two Thousand Maniacs (1964) and Color Me Blood Red (1965).

In a nutshell Blood Feast is about an insane Egyptian caterer named Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) who is hired to prepare an authentic Egyptian feast for Suzette Fremont's (Connie Mason) dinner party. Fuad on the other hand uses this as a guise to enable him to kill people, those being predominantly nubile girls, using their body parts in meals and sacrifices to the Egyptian Goddess 'Ishtar'. In reality Ishtar is a Babylonian Goddess of fertility, love, war and sex...or at least that's what wikipedia told me.
With Fuad on his bloody quest to reawaken a dormant Goddess, an embarrassingly inept duo of police detectives attempt to uncover the reasoning behind the recent spike in grotesque homicides, to which they inevitably draw a conclusion that it is indeed one Fuad Ramses.



Behind the alluring facade of gory scenes of mutilation and general carnage Blood Feast doesn't have much else going for it...other than a short runtime of quite literally just over an hour. By no means is it an entirely bad film, it falls short mainly on the script and performances which are often overacted or completely lifeless. It sports a no budget charm and an 'on the fly' approach which is visible throughout, complete with music written and performed by H.G. Lewis himself! The film, for its age manages hold its ground considerably well when pitted against it's modern counterparts, thus enforcing the common belief that Lewis and his producer Friedman were ahead of their time and something of geniuses when marketing their pictures.

Blood Feast is what it is and that happens to be a piece of cheap exploitative trash that will never be forgotten and quite possibly without it, we may not have the splattery treats we have come to know and love.

2 comments:

Morgan said...

You're right, it was one of the first films to bring us both the splatter and the slasher genre! I have to watch this one again!

Joe Monster said...

One of the things that always fascinated me about this movie (besides the cow intestines of course!) was how awesome the cinematography looks. Those rich reds and blues practically scream at you from the screen! I'll have to give it a look-see myself sometime.

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