My, what an unpleasant little movie.
Drink Your Blood was half of a double bill of "2
Great Blood Horrors to Rip Out Your Guts!"released on
an unsuspecting drive-in public in 1971 by the aptly-named
Jerry Gross Organization. The other Great Blood Horror was,
of course, I
Eat Your Skin. Seeing these two titles juxtaposed
in a newspaper ad were revelatory to my 13 year old mind;
What a great idea, I thought.
Well, come on, I was 13. What was the filmmakers' excuse?
open on the nightly ritual of your typical hippie devil-worshipping
(credo: "Satan was an acidhead."), as they stand
around naked, preparing to sprinkle fresh chicken blood over
a similarly naked woman (and as the stalwarts at StompTokyo
have pointed out, nudity in the very first scene of a movie
is a sure sign of trouble ahead). A "local girl"
observes, transfixed, a mere two or three feet away, and somehow
remains undetected, until the Pregnant Hippie Chick spots
her. Local Girl is then chased down by nude devil worshippers
- one of the very few effective sequences in the movie, and
far too short to be of any use.
We will note that once again Dr. Freex is using cutesy labels
like Pregnant Hippie Chick and Local Girl for the dramatis
personae - I Drink Your Blood does not provide a cast
list, and the general tenor/quality of the film is not such
that it would inspire caring much about such niceties
as names, except in cases where the name is repeated over
and over again until it is bludgeoned into your cerebellum.
Let us carry on.
The next day the cult's van breaks down, and to show their
youthful joie de vivre, they shove it into
a ravine with one of their members still inside, asleep. Ah,
what fun-loving hippie devil worshipper hi-jinx! They then
find themselves on the outskirts of Pottersville, with a sign
that states "Population 40,000"... with the 40,000
crossed out and "40" scrawled beside. Seems the
town is practically deserted due to a nearby dam being built.
The cult's leader, Horace (snicker) decides this is a perfect
spot to stay awhile.
Except that this is where the "local girl" came
from, and only this morning she staggered into town, beaten
up and dosed to the gills on LSD. Nobody seems to make a connection
between her condition and the arrival of the cult - who alternately
explain themselves as either a rock group or a theatrical
group. But then, of the supposed 40, we see only Local Girl,
her annoying younger brother Pete, their Grandpa (the local
veternarian), and the woman who still operates the town bakery
at the behest of the men building the dam. I think her name
is Sylvia, and we will call her that, as during the course
of the movie we will constantly hope that she will try to
make a statement like Sylvia Plath and kill
herself, but to no avail.
The cult takes up residence in an abandoned hotel, beginning
their stay with an orgy of rat-hunting, leading to one of
the more memorable images: the cult's Token Black Dude (TBD)
standing on a fire escape, holding aloft a bunch of dead rats
and shouting, "Hey man! Look at my rats!" Local
Girl comes out of her acid coma and tells Gramps what happened.
Gramps wanders over to the hotel, shotgun in hand, and commits
the error so many people have in films of this caliber: although
holding a full-choke shotgun, he gets nose-to-nose with Horace,
and promptly gets the stuffing kicked out of him, and (of
course) dosed with LSD.
does not take too kindly to this, and uses Gramps' vet equipment
to drain the blood from a rabid dog and inject the blood into
the meat pies the cult eats the next day. Well, it was a long
strange trip, but we finally have the setup for our little
horror movie. Rabies apparently only takes a couple of hours
to set in, and (an offscreen voice informs us) fills you with
a craving for raw flesh. So a slew of bloodthirsty, insane
hippies are roaming the land with various utensils of destruction.
According to Mike Weldon, I Drink Your Blood was cut
extensively to get an R rating, and some
pretty ham-fisted editing it was, too, as things get rather
incoherent from here on out. Somehow, some construction workers
at the dam get infected, too, effectively tripling the number
of rabid loonies with axes walking the streets. From what's
left of the sequence, it could be assumed that the workers
found the rabid Sexpot Hippie in the woods and had their way
with her (hmmm... seem to recall a similar sequence in Cronenberg's
Rabid.....) and now are paying the price. Or maybe
we should follow the film's logic and assume they just magically
No, no, something is missing, because Local Girl and Pete
are, for some reason, running away through the woods with
Hick, the only cultist with a shred of decency. They come
upon the Pregnant Hippie Chick and tell her she has rabies.
In the film's most (well, only) disturbing moment,
she kills herself and her unborn child by pounding a wooden
stake through her own belly (she's also the best actress in
this mess. Pity.). It was very discomfiting finding
a genuinely horrifying moment in an otherwise dishwater-weak
Local Girl, Hick and Pete also run into the TBD with an axe.
The TBD, however, is stopped cold by the fact that they're
standing in a stream - ah! of course! HYDROphobia! The rabid
guys are afraid of water!
So of course our nominal heroes run back into town, as far
away from the stream as humanly possible.
Sylvia has boarded herself into the bakery, Night of the
Living Dead style, and through sheer cowardice,
allows Hick to be killed. She opens the door, too little,
too late, as the rabid zombies pile in, destroying the bakery
(and revealing that the back wall was only a thin piece of
paneling. Oops.). In an all-too-rare clever touch, Sylvia
keeps the rabids at bay with a common garden hose, while everybody
piles into her car...which, because this is a crap film, will
not start. Luckily, the state police arrive and shoot everything
that has a foaming mouth. Sorta makes you wonder what the
authorities would do in such a situation in the Real World.
Dr. Oakes, who has the thankless task of being the only intelligent
person at hand, opines, "At least the poor bastards are
out of their misery. Death from hydrophobia is an agony."
What an uplifting final line! Such closure! As the
credits roll, we see Pete walking in a field. This is a mistake,
as this allows us time to realize that all this carnage, bloodshed,
and misery (especially our misery) is due to Pete,
so we wait and hope to see him run into the Mute Rabid Hippie
Zombie (whose fate remains unexplained), another mad dog,
or, at the very least, to be struck by lightning. No such
luck. The little dickweed gets away with it.
Adding to the lamentable quality of the film are the many
unanswered questions, like, Where's the dam? Why is an older
Asian woman, complete with Suzy Wong outfit, traveling with
the cult? What the hell accent is Horace trying to pull off?
Why don't people just follow the stream to the next bastion
of civilization? As far as that goes, why the hell doesn't
someone just pick up the phone and call the cops? Another
nail in the cinematic coffin is the reprehensible mondo
easy gross-out: all those dead animals - the chicken, the
rats, the goat carcass the zombies are carrying around at
the end - are real.
I Drink Your Blood, due to the cutting, eliminates
the only possible reason for watching such a flick:
violence, and lots of it. Oh, there's plenty of gore thrown
around, but we're denied the money shots. We always see the
aftermath of the violence, never the occurance,
and we can be sure they were there - so bad are the edits,
that the soundtrack skips like a CD fished out of the mud.
Under such circumstances, there are really only two reasons
to watch this movie - either you know somebody in it, or you're
a very big fan of badly-done chopped-off heads and hands.