Blood Beat (1983)

Amazon Prime video is amazing. This isn’t sales pitch. It’s the truth. What finally sold me was the sheer amount of movies that I can search through. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to the shelves of an old mom and pop video store. Ah, the old days of Prime Time Video, where I’d look at all the lurid horror boxes and try to decide how many I could watch in a weekend.

Blood Beat is one of those box covers you’d look at over and over again, trying to decide whether or not you should rent it. Then, when you finally sit down and take it in, it blows your mind and you try to describe it to your friends and they think you have to be making it all up. Ah, the pre-internet days. Well, now that we’re all online, I’d like to think of you as my friend. And I’m going to tell you all about this crazy movie.

Fabrice A. Zaphiratos has two directing credits to his name and this is one of them. That’s a shame — his direction here tends toward the strange and unexpected. There were moments here where I just yelled in glee at the TV, shocked at what was happening. It’s not the best movie you’ve ever seen, but it aspires to be one.

This feels like a regional horror movie made by a bunch of European art directors on too many drugs. It’s also the only Christmas horror movie I’ve ever seen that has a psychic samurai slasher. But it really isn’t even about Christmas. It’s also the only film I’ve ever seen that has a murder scene synched up with a girl’s orgasms. Also, the house the family lives in tries to kill everyone at one point, but no one decides to leave it.

This all starts with Cathy and Gary talking about how they’ll never get married, despite him wanting to be a father to her children. This scene feels like something out of a pure drama and not in a tacked onto a horror film way. I actually thought I had accidentally loaded up a student film or an attempt to film a 70’s hard and honest look at relationships. But soon enough, Dolly and Ted come home. Ted’s girlfriend Sarah is the cause of great concern, as Cathy’s psychic abilities warn her of the young girl. Surely, she’s seen her before. And when Sarah finds a samurai sword in her bedroom, things get strange.

As weird as the film gets, it never plays anything for laughs. It’s earnest and deadly serious. Unlike a modern film, it explains nothing. You’re open to explain for yourself why the mother and girlfriend have a psychic link. Why is the killer a samurai? Why are there strange video effects throughout? Why is the mom a painter? I’d love to discuss this film at a party with a roomful of people who have just watched it.

This movie is why I love movies. It feels like a discovery. I want to share it with you.

Vinegar Syndrome has put out what has to be the definitive release of this film. It’s packed with extras and an embossed slipcover. You can also find it, like I did, streaming on Amazon Prime.

One thought on “Blood Beat (1983)

  1. Pingback: Ten slashers to watch instead of Halloween – B&S About Movies

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