Bride of Project Horror, Day 22: Bloodsucking Freaks


By all rights, I really should have hated this movie.  It is perverted, misanthropic, tasteless, and shocking, and that's just in the first ten minutes.  And yet, in spite of myself, I ended up getting swept along by the madness of Bloodsucking Freaks.

Master Sardu is the owner of a Grand Guignol-style theater where, with his assistant Ralphus, he presents shows filled with acts of torture and murder.  What the audience of his shows does not know is that these acts are not staged, they are genuine.  His "performers" are women who he has kidnapped; some are sold into slavery, and the ones who don't make the cut are used in his shows.  When a theater critic interrupts a show in progress (you know, like theater critics do) to heckle Sardu and belittle the show, Sardu suddenly decides that getting a positive review from this particular critic is essential.  Naturally, he sets about doing this by abducting the critic and trying to torture him into acquiescence.  Sardu figures that if he can just make his show more artistic, it's sure to get the reviews he wants, so he also kidnaps a famous ballerina, to brainwash her into participating in his show.

That's the bones of the plot right there, and the rest of the movie just adds lots and lots of (often literal) flesh to them.  Every now and then we get a scene of the ballerina's boyfriend searching for her, but mostly it's scenes of Sardu and Ralphus torturing the critic, the ballerina, and their other captives.

I'm not generally a big fan of the torture genre of horror, but Bloodsucking Freaks is just so insane, so giddily over the top with its own excesses, that I couldn't help getting sucked into it. There are all of these Arnold-worthy puns, like when a victim is being stretched on the rack, and Sardu says that things are about to go farther than "any stretch of the imagination."  It's really bad, but knowingly so.  I wouldn't recommend this to just anybody: it's sleazy, nasty, and has some very imaginative abuses of the human body.  But if you're looking for something to take you around a corner from where most movies take you, you could do worse than Bloodsucking Freaks.

I give it three bondage racks out of five.
Tomorrow night: Schramm


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