4/19/2017

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (Review)

Title: I Drink Your Blood
Writer/ Director: David Durston
Cast: Bhakshar Roy Chowdhury, Jadin Wong, Ronda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon
Year: 1970
Min: 83


A devil-worshiping hippie cult, led by the deranged and charismatic Horace Bones (Bhakshar Roy Chowdhury), are conducting a Satanic ritual. A pretty girl named Sylvia (Iris Brooks) witnesses it from behind the trees. When she is spotted the cult grab, attack, and beat her savagely. She is found wandering on the roadside by Mildred (Elizabeth Manner-Brooks), who runs the local bakery, and Sylvia's own younger brother, Pete (Riley Mills). They take Sylvia home to her grandpa Doc Banner (Richard Bowler). In the meantime, the hippie's van breaks down and causing them to stay in the  town. They move into a rat infested, abandoned building.
When Doc learns that Sylvia was attacked by the hippies he goes to confront them, but only gets his own beating and drugged with acid. He gets let go, when Pete goes over to the hippie house. After seeing what happened to his grandpa he decides to take a shotgun to exact revenge. But, he encounters a rabid dog instead, shoots, and kills it. He later decides to take the blood from the dog and injects the rabies filled blood into pies that Mildred made. He convinces the hippie cult to have those pies. 

The hippie cult begin to show signs of being infected. They try to kill each other and soon others, as they forth at mouth and become increasingly violent. One of the cult members, the sexy Molly (Rhonda Fultz), gets scared and runs away. She meets up with some construction workers, who she has sex with. Eventually, the rabid madness sets in, and she bites and attacks one of the men. Soon the construction workers become rabid, too. And, the mostly deserted town is overrun by both killer, rabid hippies and construction workers.
I Drink Your Blood is a cult classic that came out in 1970. Inspired by the Manson murders, writer/ director David Durston made this bloody flick for legendary exploitation producer Jerry Gross. Upon its release the movie got a X-rating, prompting cuts to earn an R-rating. It would famously play on a double bill with the truly awful I Eat Your Skin. Over time, I Drink Your Blood garnered more and more of a cult following and increasingly positive reviews. To the point, where today it has a whopping 99% on Rotten Tomatoes! And, much of this praise is rightfully deserved.
Durston crafts an immensely fun, grindhouse splatter flick. Admit ably the first 30 min or so a little bit uneven. But, it as it goes on, it really gets better. It's a wild and over the top film that is laced with dark humor. The site and the idea of a kid contaminating meat pies with rabies in the name of revenge is wonderfully wild one, as are the Satan-worshiping rabid hippies. I mean, come on, those two statements sell the movie all by, themselves!
The acting ranges from bad (the kid is so terrible, that he is awesome!) to pretty good, but no matter on what spectrum they fall under the cast is a hoot to watch. Particularly amazing is Bhakshar Roy Chowdhury, here simply Bhakshar, gives a completely unhinged performance as the Manson-esque leader. Cult horror fans will love seeing the lovely Lynn (Cat People 1982) Lowry, as a mute member of the cult.
The ultra-violence that helped this classic earn it's infamy, and aforementioned X-rating, is certainly graphic. A lot of it is also on the cheesy and fake side. It, at times, hits H.G. Lewis quality. The grue includes graphic, multiple stabbings, gunshots, bitings, amputation, ax hacking, a patently fake decapitation, and more! There is also lots of skin, including full frontal nudity, from both cast member you want to see nude, and some you may not be as excited to see naked. It all helps to add to the flick's enduring quality.
While, the whole aspect of killer hippies can be seen as a comment on then post-Manson murder hysteria, it is also perfect exploitation fodder. That it also touches on drugs and predates other infection movies like The Crazies, Rabid, and, of course, the 28 Days Later movies, only helps to solidify its place in history.
I Drink Your Blood is a complete blast. A great mix of ultra-violence, dark humor, and exploitation, this movie is one of the best pieces of early 70s grindhouse cinema. As a matter of fact, it is one of the finest, if not the finest killer hippie movie, not directly based on Manson. The movie is currently streaming on Shudder and can be bought on DVD and Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing (the most recent company to release it on home video). No matter how you see it, make sure you view this killer classic!
4 out of 4

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