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BLOOD FREAK - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1972 (By somebody, but I do not know who).
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 17 November 2006

The Characters:  

  • Herschell - A big man with scarred hands. His weakness is being called a coward.
  • Anne - Is she supposed to be 26 or 16? Like, between her personality, waxy look, and WCW championship belt, I cannot tell.
  • Angel - She visits her sister at drug parties in order to read the bible for the addicts. Not all that popular.
  • Tom - Just your average God-fearing, turkey farming, example of the American middle class.
  • The Mad Turkey Scientists - I have some questions about why a small turkey farm needs a two-man research staff.
  • Muttonchops and Girlboy - Anne's two friends who agree to kill Herschell. Yes, those are my nicknames for them.
  • Guy - A vague lump of humanity that peddles drugs to his friends.
  • The Blood Freak - This is what happens to big men with scarred hands when experimental turkey meat reacts with prescription painkillers and illegal drugs. Not all that common, I will admit, but in an infinite universe, stupid crap happens.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The movie begins with Angel and Herschell on the highway. She is driving her car, while he is riding his motorcycle. They notice each other immediately and soon pull over. Maybe Angel is having car trouble; perhaps both recognized a kindred soul, but none of that matters. What matters is that they hit it off and Angel invites her new male friend to a party. At this party there are drugs and loose women (one of them is Angel's sister, Anne); Herschell politely says, "No thank you." to both.

I could also point out that Herschell, like most riders back then, finds it difficult to look cool in a blue open face helmet. Still, Angel apparently thinks he is handsome, or something.

All right, people, I need to warn you about the most annoying part of the movie. That would be the Narrator. He appears on screen several times during the film and monotones along for a while before mercifully disappearing again. These little intermissions are agonizing. Where does he go between takes? Not to study his lines; I can tell you that for certain. Let me explain how the Narrator performs: look down, read lines, look up, say lines, look down, read lines... Every time! Hey, I thought you helped write the script. Put down that cigarette and study your freaking lines!

Anne continues her pursuit of Herschell at a pool. (No idea whose pool, not that it matters.) She pesters him about not wanting to do drugs with her, finally finding a weak point in his armor by calling him a coward. The insult works like a charm, causing the big guy to snatch her joint and start puffing away. Smoking the weed naturally leads to romp in the sheets, though we are spared watching the attack of the munchies that occurred post-nookie. Unless you like watching sweaty (or oily, or greasy - something made them look that way) people languidly rolling around on a bed, try not to pay much attention during the sex. You will be happier that way.

He might be a big guy, but I could easily deal with Herschell. I would tell him to, "Jump off that cliff." be rebuffed by a, "No, are you crazy?" hit back with, "You are a coward." and then happily watch him tumble to the bottom of the gorge. I would then find myself stuck in 1972, which is a year before I was born. Uncomfortable, to say the least.

Prior to getting caught up in the drug scene and Anne's rather wanton desire for anything that looks vaguely like Elvis, Herschell was offered a job at the local turkey farm. He shows up for work and immediately gets down to the business of running a turkey farm. Mostly this involves walking around, picking up stray gobblers, then chucking them into the enclosures. He also encounters the two employees who do research for Tom. They convince the big lout to participate in a highly irregular testing program for modified turkey. Somebody has to eat the turkey so they can get final approval. The scientists want Herschell to eat a turkey to satisfy an FDA requirement.

As best I can determine, the total number of people involved in the turkey farm is four: Tom, the two mad scientists, and Herschell. Where all the other workers have got to is a mystery. Maybe they all succumbed to other insane experiments? "You're eating turkeys that used to be people! Turkey is people!"

The experimental turkey meat, combined with the drugs, causes Herschell to go into convulsions. Afraid of their boss' reaction, the two scientists dump the suffering man on the side of the road. Eventually, the combination of drugs in Herschell's system leads to a hideous transformation. His head changes into a turkey's! Anne is initially shocked by her lover's appearance, until being won over by his bedroom efforts. Other friends are also taken aback at first, but they quickly get over the initial shock and simply say, "Man, what a bad case of turkey head. Is it going to get better?" (The 60's and 70's drug scene was obviously a crazy place.)

Another odd quirk of the movie's setting is the dizzying array of leopard, jaguar, tiger, and other animal prints. You have not experienced chaos until you try to watch a film with three (or more) combined in a single scene. Especially when you have a girl, wearing zebra stripes, who subsequently sits on a leopard skin couch while a velvet tiger picture intrudes from the background. I think my brain actually clicked off a few times. This is coming from someone so concerned about fashion that he regularly asks his wife, "Blue jeans match anything, right?"

Other, darker desires than sex compel Herschell after his change. Although he is forcing Anne and Guy to supply him with drugs, there is never enough. He begins murdering other users, hanging them upside down and puncturing their carotid artery in order to drink the drug-laden blood. Several of the kills are easy, requiring little effort, until he encounters a member of the Russian Female Shot Put Team. She (er, She-Ra Vladamintsky) jabs an icepick into his forehead. Herschell gobbles in pain as he yanks out the offending tool, plunges it into the thick pseudo-Russian, then staggers away into the night.

Meanwhile, Anne has been begging Muttonchops and Girlboy to help her take care of the mutant boyfriend from Hell's poultry farm. By "take care of," I do not mean feeding or changing the newspaper spread out on the floor. The selfish tramp is tired of supplying Herschell with drugs (along with being scared of him). When the injured freak stumbles up to the house, Muttonchops and Girlboy are waiting - with a machete.

It was all a dream! Everything that transpired since Herschell collapsed in convulsions was a hallucination brought on by the drugs. How does that strike you for useless? Well, the makers of this film disagree. With their friend's drug abuse exposed, Tom and Angel start looking for ways to help Herschell get better. That is a swell ending, is it not? You can imagine me shaking my fist at the screen.

The ending brings another visit from the narrator. In addition to his stilted delivery, this time a subtle anti-smoking message is added by him hacking around his cigarette. I despise smoking, but the manner in which the "break the habit" message was delivered was clownish. The Narrator standing up, eyes bugging out, and clawing at his chest while screaming, "My lungs are on fire!" would have been preferable.

Kids, I want you to know that drugs are bad. People should not engage in illegal drug use or trafficking. We all knew that before, but I should point out that drugs motivated a group of people to make this film. Movies like "Blood Freak" are bad. People should not make movies like "Blood Freak," because it hurts my feelings.

Also, nothing says, "Happy Thanksgiving!" like a turkey-headed man killing drug users and drinking their blood to satisfy his own addiction.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • People not only read the Bible in the 70's, they could dig it.
  • It is possible to craft a sex scene that encourages abstinence.
  • Never hire a cameraman with Parkinson's.
  • Turkeys are the leading cause of migraines.
  • FDA testing requires subjects to consume one (1) complete turkey.
  • Ugly men engaged in more sex during the 60's and early 70's than any period since the Pleistocene era.
  • Squeezing a person's chin really hard will kill them.
  • Writing the words "prosthetic leg" on your job application can give you a competitive edge.
  • God gives plus-ups to those who ask.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - This is why people spend money on frivolous things, like Steadicams.
  • 16 mins - A lot of porn movies have started like this...except for the music. I feel weird now.
  • 33 mins - Herschell, either you have a strange sense of humor or do not care about the turkeys' feelings.
  • 40 mins - You would expect her to scream like that if the visitor was Martha Stewart, carrying single color sheets.
  • 43 mins - "I had sex with a turkey!"
  • 59 mins - Check it out, an addict's bag lunch.
  • 68 mins - One turkey was killed in the filming of this movie.
  • 74 mins - Any competent filmmaker would have ended the movie six minutes ago.
  • 78 mins - Damn you! End! END! ARRGGGHHHH!

Quotes: 

  • Herschell: "No, thank you."
    Anne: "Take a drag. It'll help loosen you up."
    Herschell: "I can do without, thank you"
    Anne: "No thanks, no thanks, no thanks. How can such a big hunk of man be such a damn coward?"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note bloodfreak1.wav Anne: "Go ahead, turn into a Bible freak. See who gives a damn!"
Green Music Note bloodfreak2.wav Scientist: "We are testing the chemical caponization of poultry, but we need a human to eat the meat to see if there are any side effects."
Herschell: "You want me to be a guinea pig?"
Note: They are talking about chemically castrated turkey meat. If you give the turkey a pill, and its testicles drop off, who would not be worried about eating the meat?
Green Music Note bloodfreak3.wav Tom: "So why did you take him out and dump him? Don't we have enough trouble in these experiments without taking a chance on a murder charge? All we did was g-g-g-give this guy some turkey."
Green Music Note bloodfreak4.wav Anne: "Gosh, Herschell, you sure are ugly."
Herschell: (Gobbles.)

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbloodfreak1.mpg - 2.4m
Herschell grabbed this girl right after she shot up on heroin. He punctured her neck and started drinking the blood greedily from his cupped hands. Does anyone else wonder how effective it is to drink from your hands when you have a turkey head? It looks like Herschell is wasting most of the meal.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #9. Posted on November 19, 2006, 11:37:25 AM by RCMerchant
I didn"t notice any scars or burns...he seemed to look just like he did in the movie...only older. He actually looked to be in real good shape,for his age.
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #10. Posted on November 19, 2006, 03:07:25 PM by zombiedudeman
oh yeah, I read about his tiger escaping and it got killed by the cops.  Bluesad
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #11. Posted on November 19, 2006, 06:15:42 PM by Yaddo 42
Hawkes was interviewed by Keith Olbermann a couple of times after the tiger incident, he was quite distraught which made him harder to understand on top of his accent. I was guessing he was a little drunk as well, but I could be wrong.

He starred in some films that may have made unauthorized use of the Tarzan character. I don't think the films ever got a legit release in the US, they mostly played in South America and Africa. When he in the news because of the tiger, they included shots of him giving a tour of his house and mementos of his film career, posters and photos of his Tarzan days were visible.

I read some old interviews with Hawkes online he maintains the films were authorized, and were just meant to be entertaining kids films. When asked about Blood Freak, he has said he hates the film since he only made it to get money he needed since he wasn't paid for earlier film work.
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #12. Posted on November 19, 2006, 08:03:36 PM by zombiedudeman
It's funny he hates Blood Freak, that movie even inspired a band that's adored in the underground metal scene, wonder if he ever knows about it, good album:



Re: Blood Freak
Reply #13. Posted on November 20, 2006, 07:19:17 AM by RCMerchant
Thats pretty groovy! I'm some whut of a cartoonist myself-Great art! I just      busted your karma cherry for that one!
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #14. Posted on November 20, 2006, 10:10:44 AM by clockworkcanary
Rumors I've heard are that the makers of this film used to make some old school low budget porn and that the producers could only get funding if they made it such a morality tale (drugs and premarital turkey sex are bad mmkay) -the irony.  I have no idea how one could verify such rumors though hehe.

Great review - had me laughing out loud several times.  I swear, were-turkey sex has to be in the top ten of the oddest things ever presented in a b-flick!
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #15. Posted on November 20, 2006, 01:02:19 PM by Andrew
A reader named "Chris AZ" wrote in to solve the mystery of what the one scientist is talking about.

The mystery word is "caponization" - in other words, castration of the turkey.  I think eating that meat would worry me, considering the castration is done with chemicals.  I will be updating the review.
Re: Blood Freak
Reply #16. Posted on November 21, 2006, 12:22:46 AM by Yaddo 42
In what I read, Hawkes maintained he really only wanted to make films aimed at kids, entertaining family fare and such. Talk about straying from your goals and ideals to pay the bills.

The stuff I found through Google was from when I was looking up more info on his Tarzan films after the tiger incident. Most of what I found were online fanzine articles and interviews concerning Blood Freak. It seems to be the thing he will be remembered for if he's remembered at all, in the US anyway.

Maybe the article in languages I couldn't read had more Tarzan info. Although his films weren't mentioned in that AMC doc about Tarzan several years ago, which makes me think they were trademark infringements, and that film even mentioned the legal action taken against a French aninmated spoof that had to change some names.
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