Here’s a film so mind-numbing it’s a veritable legend among bad movie buffs. The world’s first (and so far only) Christian anti-drug/gore/monster movie, BLOOD FREAK would embarrass Ed Wood. There was no budget to speak of, and the actors and crew would probably prefer that we didn’t speak of them either. In short, BLOOD FREAK is a must-see!
Any movie this ridiculous, amateurish, and just plain awful is well worth viewing. It’s the only movie I know that combines a Christian anti-drug message with a staggeringly inept monster movie script. BLOOD FREAK was lensed in 1972 backwoods Florida using an inbred cast and a not-ready-for-film-school crew. Armed with a five-dollar budget, these folks produce more laughs than you’ll find in the most expensive tinseltown comedy.
Herschell, a young Elvis-wannabe, meets Angel, an equally young Christian woman, along with her out-of-control sister, Ann. Ignoring Angel’s endless scripture-quotes and warnings about Ann’s wild ways, Herschell allows Ann and her good-for-nothing, pot smoking friends to turn him into a drug addict. After smoking some sort of super-pot, Herschell unknowingly imbibes experimental preservatives and transforms into a psychotic turkey monster. He then flaps around the countryside, killing and drinking the blood of drug-addicted teens until, with the help of Angel, he is saved through his faith in the Lord. And no, I’m not making any of this up.
The whole brain-damaged tale is narrated by an elderly professorial type who frequently pops in to lecture us about the nature of faith. In one scene, he lights a cigarette while pontificating on the evils of drug abuse and then breaks into a coughing fit! This appears to be the only bit of intentional humor in the film, suggesting that the proceedings might all be a cinematic put-on.
It took two directors to concoct this unholy mess, Steve Hawkes (also the star) and Brad F. Grinter. Their accomplishments are indeed impressive: the images are usually in focus, somebody almost always remembers to remove the lens cap before shooting, and I spotted no boom microphones dropping into frames. It must be some sort of honor for a real-life amputee to portray a character with his leg cut off, and still manage to make the effect look fake.
Drug abuse, teenage sex, gore, chicken monsters, Christianity…don’t say you didn’t get your money’s worth!
Directors/Producers/Screenplay: Steve Hawkes, Brad Grinter
Cinematography: Ron Sill
Editor: Gil Ward
Cast: Steve Hawkes, Dana Cullivan, Heather Hughes, Tera Anderson, Larry Wright, Randy Grinter, Jr., Jane Farber, Bon Currier, Lee Morris