Blood Feast (1963) Review

Many times throughout history within art, science and all other human endeavors it has often been the case that the first time something is done it isn’t always the best time. One can picture the first cave man to create fire probably set alight his whole family and let’s not forget that penicillin, Velcro, the microwave and many more inventions where just accidents.

And so we come to Blood Feast which was by no means an accident and which, in the annals of horror history is an immensely important movie being that it created the splatter genre.

Directed by the Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis it was the first film to fully focus on the blood over all else bringing the guts, brains and viscera to the forefront to the audiences equal delight and disgust.

Cinemagoers where given vomit bags when they went to a screening and the film was not only the oldest movie to appear on the Video Nasties list but is often credited with creating the original machete wielding maniac in the form of its central crazed villain Fuad Ramses played laughably over the top by Mal Arnold.

Whilst running an Exotic Catering store by day madman Ramses worships the Egyptian goddess Ishtar by night hacking his way through suburban Miami on a murder spree which confounds the police and distresses the residents in its brutality. Killing nubile young women in the streets and in their homes Ramses always takes a body part with him yet leaves no clues behind.

Unaware of his true nature rich socialite Dorothy Fremont (Lyn Bolton) secures Ramses cooking skills for her daughter Suzette’s (Connie Mason) upcoming party hoping to not only astound the guests with something unusual and outlandish but also please Suzette who is studying Ancient Egypt with her beaux Det. Pete Thornton (William Kerwin).

Ramses proposes to Mrs. Fremont an Egyptian feast that has not been served for over 5,000 years which delights her no end however she is unaware that he is actually offering to prepare a blood feast made from his many victims and served up in the attempt to bring his beloved goddess back to life with one last sacrifice.

As the insane Ramses rampages on mutilating more women Detective Pete and his Captain struggle to put the pieces together bringing the blood feast nearer and nearer and Suzette’s life closer and closer to danger.

As mentioned in the introduction although Blood Feast was the first splatter movie it is by no means the best being that it is made on a low budget and is filled with bad acting and a terrible script. The plot moves along from ridiculous coincidence to unbelievable ineptitude on the part of the police who fail to put together clues even Scooby Doo would have solved in the first five minutes.

In many ways every cliché of the slasher movie is present with the demented psycho on a supernatural mission, the titillating teen victims punished for their wayward sexual ways and the terrible police somehow unable to stop the slaughter it’s just none of them are done very well.

What does work is the gore and although the effects are dated it still looks good with an abundance of hacked off body parts, splattered wounds and rich red blood covering every cadaver in glorious technicolor (despite these pics!).

Sadly the blood feast itself is a disappointment however anyone looking for a ultra-disturbing interpretation of this finale should head for Marcel Walz 2017 remake which more than delivers when it comes to the climax believe me.

Although its significance can never be denied Blood Feast is nowhere near the best example of the genre it created however this doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching and today’s horror loving audiences will find tons of unintentional entertainment in the film which will still make you lose your lunch except it will probably be because your laughing so hard.

Movie Rating: ★

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ 



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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