Re: The 'Blood-Soaked, Limbs Hacked Exploitation Cinema' Thread
#4: Bloodsucking FreaksWhat's it about?
Master Sardu is one heck of a showman. His acts include drawing and quartering the ladies, beheading the ladies, electrocuting the ladies, driving a meat cleaver into the ladies and all in front of a paying audience. But how does Master Sardu work his magic mojo? (Hint: it's not magic and it ain't simulated.)
And what are we exploiting in this entry?
Hey ladies! (Get funky.)
And the unexpected special guest of exploitation: theater critics. No need to rub your eyes to see if you read that correctly. Theater critics.Summary of movie in a short sentence:
If you ever find your nipples attached to jumper cables which are attached to an elephant which is attached to 10,000 car batteries the smartest thing you can do is start dating a hunky football player some 2 weeks before your nipples meet the business end of those cables. Or: plan ahead.Is it any good?
You know what? Kind of, yeah. This isn't a movie with any great ambitions but it basically satisfies every point of the contract one signs into when renting a movie called Bloodsucking Freaks
. Certainly it's better than Charlie St. Cloud
.The meat:The Pledge:
We have this lovely woman with amble bosoms that will magically lose her head thanks to this here rusty ol' gilly-tine. Whatchit drop!The Turn:
Gilly-tine blade drops, head falls onto stage.
Christian Bale is twins, Hugh Jackman is clonin' up hats, cats and wolverines and... ta-da! No trick. Those ladies are dead, baby.
The 70s were a spunky time for America: the sexual revolution was dead, the 30-somethings that tried to love "Friend of the Devil" and "Voodoo Chile" were exhausted from being left behind, and paradise had been paved over to find some space for your shiny new Plymouth Fury. An evening at the movies meant watching Linda Lovelace blow the repairman while Truman Capote munched popcorn behind you. Meanwhile, at the drive-in theater, you might find you missed the two-week run of The Wizard of Gore
and kick yourself for poor time management. But, holy of holies, there by the remake of Wizard goeth Bloodsucking Freaks
. And you do rejoice.Bloodsucking Freaks
is the very marrow of exploitation cinema: breasts as far as the eye can see, drills penetrating into those breasts and women getting the brutal fuck of anti-feminism on St. Andy's bedeviled cross. It's dungeon porn, really. And anti-feminism is what finds the bold print treatment on the docket. Or maybe feminism. What's clear is that a lot of women are dying and they're doing so while scantily clad.
The idea is that of an S&M theater that puts on a program for a sold-out crowd. The crowd only wishes for the simple beatings of women. And they get this. But the producers of this S&M show tire of just beatings and the easily-won cheers of thirsty tit buffs. No, they wish to escalate the violence in order to... wait for it... wait for it... wait... for... it... please an important theater critic. I repeat: the torturers want to elevate their artless act enough to please a theater critic. Yes. Really.
And so the violence escalates to include some beheadings (topless beheadings), a woman's brain being sucked through a straw (topless while brain being sucked), a dancing dwarf (naturally) and all things medieval-on-your-ass. The critic is eventually tortured to guarantee a good review and, well, that's about it.
Only not quite. Because it's the 70s and the movie has to make some 70s territorial pissings there is a very, very long subplot involving the rescue of one of the victims-to-be by a cop and the lady's hunky football-playing boyfriend (named Tom Maverick -- now that's just about the perfect name for a hero). It ends with Maverick saving the day and the evil Sardu's hostages being freed from their cage (a real cage, not a metaphorical one) in order to revenge themselves.
It reminded me of FeardotCom
because it's the same fucking movie
. But whereas that Dorffy vehicle had a timely message to peddle the message of Bloodsucking Freaks
is as untimely in 2010 as it must have been in 1976: don't worry your pretty boobs, baby, because chiseled abs with a hungry cock only six inches below are here to save you. The Summer of Love isn't even a decade in the dirt and already the 1950s are phoning and looking for a one night stand. With pliers, thumb screws, leather, whips and a rusty chainsaw. Those pity fucks hurt... hurt so good.
Or hurt so bad if you're a woman, an actress, finding yourself exploited by trying to catch that big break in a low-budgie called Bloodsucking Freaks
. Whatever pays the bills? Maybe. But, as thoroughly misogynistic and brutal as this movie may be, it stands as a relic of that white noise following the burning bra and Friedan's advice on how to re-use a lamb skin condom. It's pure anti-feminist drivel, the kind of thing a strong anti-feminist would distance him or herself from. For that reason alone the movie has a kind of sloppy merit, the quality of a time capsule for that brief period when the Beaver n' Wally set seemed like the answer to all of those war protesting hippies. Yes, friends, Bloodsucking Freaks
is the slum call to the romance of McCarthy's era. It might not be persuasive, it may in fact be ugly and mean-spirited, but it wants what any Nixon dust bunny wanted in 1976: a return to what is right
My call is "go" for the movie. It's cheap on all fronts but it's gloriously (and yet hideously) honest about itself. Sure, it pretends to champion women with a brutal revenge scene with Sardu in the middle, but it's just scrounging for an audience-pleasing moment. It knows the audience will have blown their torture load long before that cage is unlocked. I admire it but do so uneasily -- we can't have too much of this or things will go all Pleasantville