In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Well, What Can You Say?

Anyone who grew up in the eighties will no doubt remember that going to the video store was a treat and akin to visiting the arcade or your favourite restaurant. Now I'm talking about the early eighties here, before Cockbuster came in and homogenized the market. It should not surprise you in the least – this very blog being proof positive – that once inside those vintage video libraries, I would make a beeline for the most colourful in the store. Well, the ones that weren't hidden behind a curtain anyway. I absorbed all those wonderfully decadent coverboxes and locked them away in my mind for future reference. Unfortunately, as the mom & pop stores dried up, so did my access to the more obscure horror titles, at least in the burb I was living in. I didn't see what was behind the bloody covers of Maniac, Cannibal Holocaust and Deep Red until I was well into my twenties, after finally discovering the giant big city archives of Queen and Suspect Video.

Misspent youth? I think not.

Then there was David Durston's 1970 horror I Drink Your Blood. Its coverbox stood out when I first eyed it. The marketers, at least for this particular edition, decided, instead of art, to just slap a shot from the movie on the cover. A shot which just happened to be someone in mid-decapitation! I'd love to show you this cover, but it seems to have disappeared off the face of the 'Net – much like the movie soon did from video store shelves. The only cover I can find now is this--

Not really as schlockly as an actual head in flight now, is it?

Fast forward almost twenty-five years, and what does The Bloor announce as its inaugural title in its new B-Movie Fest programme? Why, I Drink Your Blood, of course. This was fate telling me it was finally time to cross this one off the master list.

The inhabitants of a small town are set upon by a band of hippie Satanists. Things only get worse when they are subsequently infected with rabies and start thirsting for blood.

I Drink Your Blood was pretty much what I was expecting. It was good for a few laughs, though I have to admit I was expecting a little more gore. Considering it was made during the heyday of H.G. Lewis, I figured there would be some one-upmanship going on, but I Drink Your Blood rarely reaches those lofty blood-soaked heights. I was surprised however about how dialogue heavy the movie's top half was. I was like, 'wow, they're actually trying to tell a story here, good for them.' Then the shit hit the fan and it fell into chaos with countless characters running every which way.

It may shock you to learn this, but I don’t think the creators of I Drink Your Blood were too concerned about the science of their plot devices. I'm pretty sure rabies isn't an STD, or STI as the kids are calling them these days. However, I do have to relent on the whole hydrophobia thing. Apparently, fear of water is a legitimate symptom of rabies. Who knew?

And just what is up with this scene?

I'd say I Drink Your Blood is worth seeing, if only for super-cute Lynn Lowry in her first film role. Her mute character doesn't have much to do, but does at least get to have some fun with an electric knife before inexplicably disappearing from the film completely.

Really though, it is the little kid Pete (Riley Mills) who owns this movie. Never mind the fact he’s the one who cooks up the whole rabies-in-the-meat-pies plan in the first place, he’s just always got a “Gee Grampaw” response for everything.

What could possibly go wrong?

I think my only major disappointment with I Drink Your Blood was that the shot from the aforementioned coverbox wasn't in the movie. I was subconsciously awaiting that bit the entire time and then... what the deuce?! I couldn't help but feel a little robbed. But I think I'll live.


TheMikeSchwartz said...

Haha great post. A lot of those 70s and 80s movies with amazing coverbox images never show up in the movies.
Definitely one screening I wish I did not miss.

Anonymous said...

Christ, when is it going to be summer again?

I can't take this crap weather.

zack wilson said...

There is a place that still buys and sells horror vhs such as those listed. They carry the largest selection around. And it seriously grows larger every week!! Clamshells.... A word that makes all our ears perk up.. They got a crap load of them too. Wanna rent an oddity. They aint stopping you!! They want the business and friendhip of horror fans..THE VAULT, located in Hespeler,Ont.

Jay Clarke said...

I know it well Zack, I know it well.

Zack wilson-The Vault said...

Whats up!! Actually i was just responding because I thought Id let you folks know that in the office of the Vault are boxes(and cobwebs)of rare vhs tapes. Ive been hunting lately!! But we are putting them out for sale and rent in a week or two. There are many gems.. If you guys get the chance, stop in and have a look. Thanks again... I love reading your page!!