Movie Review – Blood Feast (1963)

Blood Feast
Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis
Courtesy of Cheezy Flicks
Original Year of Release: 1963
DVD Release Date: February 22, 2012

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BLOOD FEAST is another one of those films I had heard of for years and years, but just never got around to watching. This is a very weird statement to make for me as a horror fan, particularly because Herschell Gordon Lewis is renowned as the “Godfather of Gore”. To be honest, I’m not sure why I didn’t pick up this one sooner, but I’m glad I finally gave it a look. BLOOD FEAST is crammed full of schlocky dialogue and hokey characters, but it’s got some great carnage, and it’s a worthy addition to any horror library.

If you are not familiar with BLOOD FEAST, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Cheezy Flicks:

Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror has ever been seen before. When Mrs. Fremont hires crackpot Egyptian cultist Fuad Ramses to cater a party for her daughter, Suzette, she commits the culinary catastrophe of the century! Fuad immediately prepares a Blood Feast made from the grisly body parts of nubile young women. The world’s first (and most notorious) “gore” film, “Blood Feast” is both shocking and hilarious. It’s also the first of the infamous “blood trilogy” from director Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer Dave Friedman, who followed this perverse classic with the equally twisted “2000 Maniacs” and “Color Me Blood Red.”

BLOOD FEAST is not a very good film, but it’s a lot of fun to watch nonetheless. I’d like to say the acting is good in the film, but I would be lying if I did. The acting is atrocious, with every cast member giving stiff, wooden performances. For some odd reason, this doesn’t really detract from the film. I think it might even add to it in a weird way. Maybe a so-bad-it’s-good aspect.

The storyline is familiar, but keep in mind this film was made during a period when events like these were almost unheard of. Thus, the plot had a lot of shock value back then…it just doesn’t do much for us today. We are so desensitized to everything, it’s hard to give us a jolt. Still, you have to give Lewis credit; his take on the cult fanaticism is very realistic.

The special effects in BLOOD FEAST are very good, especially considering the time period in which they were made. Lewis has a fine eye for gore, and he put more in this film than I was expecting. I was both surprised and impressed.

BLOOD FEAST won’t appeal to everybody, but horror fans will be entertained. The film is hokey, sure, but it is still entertaining, and I recommend it. It is available now.

MSB

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