The Film: Blood Freak
The Principles: Steve Hawkes, Dana Cullivan, Heather Hughes and Bob Currier. Written and Directed by Brad F. Grinter and Steve Hawkes.
The Premise: Herschell, a gullible Vietnam vet biker, rescues a cute girl with a flat tire on the side of the road. She takes him to a swinging drug party where he meets and hooks up with her sister. He then follows the sister to a turkey farm owned by her father, who employs two moronic lab assistants that conduct experiments on him. He is given a steady diet of marijuana and turkey meat that have been chemically altered resulting in Herschell turning into a mutant turkey monster that feeds on the blood of drug addicts!
Is it any good: Shit no! This one’s a total turkey. Please excuse the pun, especially since I’ve already used it in a previous review. No, this movie is downright awful, however there’s a certain awesomeness about the fact that it’s both a monster movie and also one of those late sixties-early seventies anti-drug movies designed to frighten the youth about the dangers of marijuana addiction. There’s a middle-aged, chain-smoking narrator who pops up every once in awhile to preach on how the moral choices the lead character has made is steering him down the path to ruin, as he obviously reads from a script off camera. In other words, this is a so-bad-it’s-good classic that is one hundred percent camptacular!
Co-director, co-writer and star Steve Hawkes plays the big, dumb, brawny, Elvis-sideburns sportin’ Herschell, who unwittingly becomes a weed fiend when seduced by a hippie-nympho chick and served turkey meat soaked in chemicals of an undisclosed origin. If he had stayed with the first sister he met, an extremely straight Bible-quoting square, he never would have turned into a creature with a giant turkey head that craves junkie blood. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. You see kids… this could happen to YOU!!!
The film was shot in south Florida and every actor in the movie is covered with a shiny sheen of perspiration from the humidity. It’s the sweatiest monster flick I’ve ever seen before. It’s also one of the cheapest looking, but it does have a certain charm and uniqueness that I admired a great deal. It’s a sleazy, Kentucky fried grindhouse gore-fest with an anti-drug, pro-Jesus message at its core. The narrator tells us in the end that the story is based “partly on fact, partly on probability.” I wonder what he was smoking?
Is it worth a look: This is a movie that I feel would be great to watch with a group of friends after a post-Thanksgiving feast gathering with strong libations a plenty! What could be more entertaining than sitting down with a belly full of digesting turkey meat to watch a movie about a drug fiend who turns into a turkey monster and drinks the blood of hippies wasted on pot? I call that shit cathartic, especially when you get to the scene where they actually decapitate a real turkey on film! Great holiday entertainment for the sick and deranged.
Random anecdotes: There’s a scene where the turkey monster grabs a slimy redneck drug dealer and cuts off his leg by pushing it (very slowly) through a table saw. The sequence goes on forever and is extremely realistic looking because the actor was an actual amputee.
Cinematic soul mates: None. There’s absolutely nothing else like it.