Bad Blood (1989)

All around auteur — he was a writer, director, producer and editor — Charles Vincent began his show-business career in regional theater as a director and stage manager in his native Michigan. He worked for the Yale Repertory and the Negro Ensemble Company before making his cinematic debut in 1971 with the adult film The Appointment. He worked in X-rated film until the mid-1980’s while also dabbling in mainstream fare with films like Summer CampDeranged and Hollywood Hot Tubs.

This movie comes late in his career and features Linda Blair and Troy Donahue alongside actors better known for their adult work. Gregory Patrick, who plays the main character, is really Randy Spears. And the villain of the piece, played by Ruth Raymond, is, in reality, Georgina Spelvin, who starred in The Devil In Ms. Jones and also shows up as the hooker in Police Academy (trust me, that’s a pivotal role). Veronica Hart, Vincent’s favorite actress, also makes an appearance.

A young man (Patrick/Spears) finds out that his mother (Raymond/Spelvin) isn’t who he thought she was, but a wealthy artist who lives as a recluse. His parents had taken him and raised him as their own. Meanwhile, his possessive birth mother begins to ruin his life, even poisoning his wife Evie (Blair).

It also might not help that his mother can’t tell the difference between him and his dead father, whose painting of him initiated this whole mess. This makes me worry that I’m going to have to make a Letterboxd list for movies I’ve watched about incest, which is far greater than I’d like to admit to you, dear reader.

This movie is also way better than it would seem that it should be. It aspires to be a movie closer to Misery than outright exploitation without forgetting that it has to deliver the goods. And by goods, I mean mind-bending mother on son assault.

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