Friday, 23 August 2013

Blood Bath (1976) - review

Blood Bath
Director: Joel M.Reed
Starring: Harve Pressnell, Jack Somack, Curt Dawson

Acclaimed horror producer and actor Peter Brown is holding a dinner party in his “New York horror film studio” for the cast of his latest movie. The table conversation revolves around superstition, the occult and Satanism, and each guest tells a “true” story of how someone they know has come to a bad end, with no other explanation apart from  supernatural forces. The first is about a hitman getting a taste of his own medicine via a series of uncanny coincidences; the second a meek husband escaping his domineering wife via a magical talisman which transports him back in time into one of Napoleon’s wars; the third a money-hungry loan shark being trapped in a safe with the vengeful ghost of a man he’d ruthlessly stood over for money years before; and the forth a hedonistic kung-fu student who betrays the masters he studied under by selling secret martial arts techniques he learned there for cash. However the student pays the ultimate price when the masters seek revenge.  And finally Peter has his own tale involving a pact with Satan’s daughter and a murderous Devil’s spawn but that won’t be told until after his guests have left...
Before directing the notorious BLOODSUCKING FREAKS, Joel M.Reed helmed this comparatively tame horror anthology (mild enough for the MPAA to rate it a PG). The segments move along at a decent pace and the amateur cast doesn’t take itself too seriously, which allows for a few funny and engaging moments. However, the postage stamp-sized budget stifles any further potential BLOOD BATH could have had. Much of the movie seems to have been filmed in dank, dark, cluttered New York basements, the effects consist of stock footage and mannequin limbs, and the music score sounds like it was cobbled together on a toy keyboard. A fitfully entertaining curio, BLOOD BATH is definitely not the worst no-budget film I’ve seen, but certainly not the best.

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