SLASHER MONTH: Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)

Westchester County played host to a veritable army of maniacs, including Ed Adlum (Shriek of the Mutilated), the FIndlays (Snuff) and Ed Kelleher (Prime Evil), who were armed with a camera, $24,000, some stage blood and cases of beer to pay off the cast. The result is a movie that seems like it could fit in with Motel Hell at first before you realize that these farmers are druids out to raise their queen from the dead with the blood of the stupid.

These Sangroids are bringing back Queen Onhorrid and they won’t let anyone stand in their way and that includes puppies. It’s a movie that doesn’t care if it’s shot in the day, the night or day for night. It is also relentlessly devoted to being weird without being a try hard movie. This is just plain weird.

Throw in an atonal soundtrack, the chunkiest blood you’ve ever seen and a woman in a glass case who gets to come back from the beyond and rule for all of 45 seconds and you have a movie.

If you watched Manos: The Hands of Fate and were hoping to find something just as odd and as poorly realized, this would be the spiritual East Coast sequel that you crave. If anyone else wrote that sentence, it would be a put-down. Coming out of my typing fingers, it’s the highest of compliments.

You can watch this on Tubi or get it from Severin.

Yilmayan Seytan (1972)

Yılmaz Atadeniz made eighty films or more between 1963 and 1997, amongst them Spy Smasher, several of the Kilink movies, Super Salami and Special Squad Shoots on Sight, which is all about a hypnotist cop forced to work with the mob.

Welcome to Turkey, people.

Thanks to Stomp Tokyo, I have learned that this is a Turkish remake of the 1940 Republic serial The Mysterious Doctor Satan, a movie that nobody was asking for. Well guess what? I, for one, am glad this got made.

Our hero Tekin is investigating some murders when his adopted father — well, he doesn’t know the adjective just yet — tells him that his real father was The Copperhead, who was killed by Doctor Satan, making this seem like a Silver Age update. Moments after this happens, Satan’s henchman kills the secretary and Tekin’s once adoptive, now deceased father. He had two dads, Doctor Satan, and you killed them both!

This may be easier said than done, because the evil physcian has perhaps the most ridiculous man-crushing robot ever made in his employ.

Remember how it was a big deal when the reissue of Shriek of the Mutilated put Hot Butter’s “Popcorn” back in once the song was cleared for music rights? Turkish directors have no idea what that means, so that song is all over this movie, as it rightly should be. I doubt they paid Henry Mancini for “The Pink Panther” theme either.

The star of this movie, Kunt Tulgar, said that Doctor Satan’s robot was supposed to be human until the skin on his arm would be ripped off in a fight scene, revealing machine parts 12 years before The Terminator and a year before Westworld. That said, they didn’t have the money for that and decided to go with a cardboard suit.

Mondo Macabro released this on a double DVD with Tarkan vs. the Vikings. So if you see a strange man prowling your used video store seeking Turkish reisues, say hello. That’s me.

Aska Susayanlar: Seks ve Cinayet (1972)

Translated as Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder, this 1972 Turkish film is basically Sergio Martino’s The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh in an hour and with a different ending. I was astounded to learn that this movie existed, much less be able to find it. For all the horrible things you say about the internet and social media — if you do — remember that we live in a world where somehow I can now easily find Turkish remixes of Italian movies that only absolute maniacs like me are obsessed over.

Director Mehmet Aslan also made the astounding Tarkan and the Blood of the Vikings, a movie that equally has me baffled and compelled. He also made Lionman II: The Witchqueen, the sequel to Kiliç Aslan, which we know here as The Sword and the Claw.

Mine (Meral Zeren) is married to Metin (Nihat Ziyalan), but she can’t escape the sexual feelings that arise when she remembers the brutal way that Tarik (Yildirim Gencer, Kilink from Kilink: Strip and Kill) used to make love to her. Of course, Meral Zeren is no Edwige Fenech and Yildirim Gencer is no Ivan Rassimov, but that’s the very definition of a tall order. Also that sentence may be the deepest film comment I have ever made and I realize that no one in my life outside of my fellow obsessives will get it. Such is life. Such is Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder.

Mine’s best friend Oya (Eva Bender, who was Gosha the Sorceress in Tarkan: The Gold Medallion) is the Caroll character, introducing our heroine to a new lover, Yilmaz (Kadir Inanir), who would be George Hilton for those playing at home.

There’s also a giallo-style straight razor-wielding killer, in case you were wondering. Yet even though you’ve seen this movie before, you really haven’t seen this movie before. Turkish movies are trips to the wavy mirror in a funhouse, presenting the familiar while distorting it in ways that make you see things that you adore in a whole new way.

Pervertissima (1972)

The gorgeous Françoise (Maelle Pertuzo, no relation to the Françoise in director Jean-Louis van Belle’s other film, The Lady Kills) has been hired by a tabloid to do a report on “Love in Paris.” That means that we’re treated to a mondo within a narrative film as she works as an exotic dancer, a prostitute and even takes journeys to sapphic saunas and freelove masked balls.

However, she soon goes from sunbathing and beating up some dude with twigs for money to meet up with Dr. Vilard who is turning real human skin into superhuman love dolls ready to help him rule the world. You know a doctor is mad when he shoots up before he makes beautiful people mate to make a master race. I mean, there are other signs, too.

Club Sexy from The Lady Kills — and a photo of that film’s star Carole Lebel — both make appearances here, making this some form of spiritual sequel while being the loosest film I’ve seen, a movie that doesn’t even attempt to make sense.

Which is to say — this is awesome.

This is on the same blu ray as The Lady Kills and only Mondo Macabro would put out something this fantastic. I love that they find movies that I’ve never heard of and make them look better than they ever have before. I would say they are doing the Lord’s work, but we all know that God wants nothing to do with the movies they release.

You can get this from the absolutely great people at Mondo Macabro, who were kind enough to send us a copy of this film.

Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (1972)

We’re six movies in to the story of El Hombre Lobo, Waldemar Daninsky. This time, after battling aliens and yetis and vampires, he is searching for a cure. That cure brings him to the grandson of Dr. Jekyll, played by Jack Taylor, whose career has taken him from the Mexican Nostradamus movies to Jess Franco sleaze to The Ghost Galleon to Edge of the AxePieces and more.

The plans in Naschy films are always wild. This one involves him drinking one of Jekyll’s formulas in the hope that the Hyde side of his persona is less evil than that of the wolf. Nope. It just makes him even more dangerous.

This was directed by León Klimovsky, who also made The Vampires Night OrgyA Dragonfly for Each Corpse, The Dracula Saga and The People Who Own the Dark.

If you’re looking for a movie where men become wolves in elevators while women watch on in terror or turn furry on the dance floor, this movie will scratch that itch. Seriously, Naschy deserves to be better remembered than he is. I adore everything he ever made.

To get another perspective on this film, check out this review from Robert Freese as part of our Pure Terror month.

Moon of the Wolf (1972)

Daniel Petrie made some pretty much films — Fort Apache the BronxA Raisin in the Sun and The Betsy — as well as some memorable made-for-TV movies like Sybil (which ruled mid-70’s bookshelves and viewings) and The Dollmaker.

Here, he’s in Louisiana along with a stellar cast making a movie that honestly could have played drive-ins. That’s how great these made-for-TV films were.

In the Lousiana bayou country of Marsh Island, two farmers (Royal Dano! and John Davis Chandler) find the ripped apart remains of a local woman. Sheriff Aaron Whitaker (David Janssen!) and the victim’s brother Lawrence Burrifors (Geoffrey Lewis!) both show up at the scene, but it’s soon determined that somehow, some way, the girl died from a blow to the head. Lawrence blames her most recent lover. The sheriff things it was wid dogs. And the Burrifors patriarch claims that it was someone named Loug Garog.

That mysterious lover could have been rich boy Andrew Rodanthe (Bradford Dillman!), who along with his sister Louise (Barbara Rush, It Came from Outer Space) lives in an old mansion, the last of a long line.

Based on Les Whitten’s novel, this originally aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on September 26, 1972, then reran as part of ABC’s Wide World of Mystery on May 20, 1974.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

Death Played the Flute (1972)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Rochester is a librarian. Mad about movies and books and film soundtracks. His favorite film is The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. This is his first article for our site and I hope it’s not the last.
 
Angelo Pannacciò’s 1972 Death Played the Flute,  aka Requiem For a Bounty Killer,  is not an easy film to find, unless you are ok with Greek subtitles that get in the way of the poor quality picture.  Is it worth searching for, as I did recently?  No, not really.  It is certainly not one of the better Spaghetti Westerns, but it does have its moments – most notably the scenes in which the baddies are shot, knifed or, as in one scene, killed by a dart fired by the flute of our titular anti-hero, Kimble (played by Giuseppe Cardillo). Plot wise the movie leans towards the superb revenge westerns Death Rides a Horse (1967) and, particularly with regards to the ending, Cemetery Without Crosses (1969).
 
The film opens with Burton (the rugged Michael Forest, a regular in early 60’s Roger Corman features) returning to his ranch to find his family have been raped and murdered by a gang of cattle rustlers, with his daughter Suzy (Pannacciò favourite Susanna Levi) the only survivor. Vowing revenge, Burton soon encounters a mysterious bounty hunter, known as Kimble, (or Whistler to his friends, on account of his flute playing), who says that he knows who the culprits are. Burton, not realising that Whistler was part of the gang that killed his family, pays him $1000 to help him track down the murderers. From the grim, poorly shot/lit rape scene, that is repeated in flashback later in the movie, to the moment when Whistler unmercifully slits the throat of one of his bounty, the tone of this film is very dark with almost the only light relief coming from the Spaghetti Western regular – the elderly coffin maker rubbing his hands at more dead arriving at his door. Mixing with the wind whistling through the dry-looking, barren Sicilian hills is the superb soundtrack from Daniel Pattuchi, who also scored Pannacciò’s sleazy Sex of the Witch (1973).  This score, however is much more reminiscent of his score for Lenzi’s Man from Deep River from 1972.
 
A beautiful main theme runs through the score, broken up by strange atonal, guttural, cat-like screeching sound effects that give the film a disturbing undercurrent that matches the twisted character of Whistler, around whom the film revolves.  Half Indian, with long black sideburns, he could almost pass, on a very dark night, for Presley in Charro –  but he is certainly no Teddy Bear – he is a sadistic killer with a nervous twitch and childlike, neurotic giggle who indulges regularly in some sort of kinky sex (though what exactly it is we unfortunately don’t get to find out) with a prostitute who asks him “Why do you always want to do it like this?”  This guy has issues. But it is the bad in him that makes him an interesting character, particularly when teamed up with the more virtuous Burton. We know that at some point Whistler’s secret will out, and wonder if the bond developed between the two men during their adventures will save them from one another.
 
Points of interest – 1.  Pannacciò’s 1979 soft-core sex flick Porno Erotic Western, is reputedly made up of scenes from a number of westerns, including Death Played the Flute.  I did manage to find said Porno Erotic Western on a dodgy website, and, purely for research purposes of course, sat through it, but could not recognize anything from Death Played the Flute at all.  Nor did I spot Peplum and Spaghetti Western favourite Gordon Mitchell, who is supposed to be in the film.   2.  Ann Collin, singer of the fabulous title song from His Name Was King (1971) provides the vocals for Death Played the Flute with a song ‘A Man is Made to Love’, which unfortunately does not really fit the film at all, or the end scene over which it plays.
 
You can watch this on You Tube.

SAVAGE CINEMA: The Pink Angels (1972)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This movie originally ran on our site during our Biker Week event on July 24, 2018. It has perhaps one of my favorite trailers of all time. And seeing how it ended up on the Mill Creek Savage Cinema set, let’s take another look at it. 

I have no idea who this movie is for. I would imagine that gay folks would either find it camp or be offended by its horrible stereotypes. Then, I think that bikers would also be upset by the fact that it sends up their culture and points out the homoeroticism at its core. And then, I think that anyone looking for a comedy will be put off by the ending. Even worse, anyone who loves good filmmaking will wonder why they’ve suffered through the endless takes and torturous plot.

But fuck, that’s a great trailer. It has everything good about this movie, including some quotable lines. That’s what a great grindhouse or drive-in trailer is all about: action, baby!

Director Larry G. Brown only created two other films: An Eye from an Eye, a 1973 movie where a children’s television show host stalks and murders abusive parents, and 1986’s Silent but Deadly, which has a poster of a dog farting.

Producer Gary Razdat even posted this on IMDB about the film: “In the genre of cinema verite, I thought that the film was a pure attempt to make a movie and see if it could get distributed…I know that for sure as I am the one that produced the movie. It started out with the best of intentions and the money came and went…the best part was that we actually got it distributed and on the film circuit…The characters were picked from the USC school of film as were a couple of the women, one of which was an actual ‘hooker’ that just wanted to be in the film. It was a real effort to complete the film since the director was insane and had forgotten to film an ending – which we had to re-shoot after everything was wrapped…quite a story, eh?”

Hey — is that Michael Pataki and Dan Haggarty as bikers? Yep. Sure is. They’re straight bikers who the Pink Angels ply with prostitutes. Yet when they wake up, they’ve been made up with hair accessories and makeup by our heroes. Oh, you guys. This scene probably only exists so we can get some female nudity and moviegoers could feel a bit more manly after seeing so much man lust. It’s also when one of the better scenes happens, as the future Grizzly Adams jumps on the black prostitute, who proclaims, “Black is not only beautiful, it’s good.”

There’s also a general who is trying to capture the Pink Angels for some reason. And he gets them in the end, as the film jump cuts to an ending with our heroes, the folks we laughed, love and fought with for over 80 minutes or so lynched in the front yard. I guess after Easy Rider every biker movie had to end on a downer note. That said, this is a real downer.

My advice? Just watch the trailer. You’ll be better off.

The Twilight People (1972)

Turns out The Island of Dr. Moreau is the next one over from Blood Island. This Filipino-lensed production was directed by the always dependable Eddie Romero and stars the equally trustworthy John Ashley. It’s everything you want it to be — trashy, goofy, transcendent.

Matt Farrell (Ashley) is kidnapped by Neva Gordon (Pat Woodell, The Roommates) and Steinman and taken to an island where her father Dr. Gordon is making a super race of animals and humans. He wants Farrell to be his next hybrid, but his daughter falls for him and they decide to let all the animal people — including Pam Grier as Ayesa the Panther Woman and a truly insane looking bat person named Darmo — escape.

Didn’t Eddie Romero already make this movie and call it Terror Is A Man? Ah, quit being a know-it-all and just enjoy.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

Repost: One Minute Before Death (1972)

Author’s Note: This review of Rogelio A. Gonzàlez’s Mexican-shot Poe-adapted horror originally ran as part of our “Pure Terror Month” (recap) of reviews on November 19, 2019, for Mill Creek’s Pure Terror box set. We’re reposting it for “Mexican Horror (two) Week.”

Leading lady Wanda Hendrix, a contract player in the ‘40s and ‘50s with Warner Bros. and Paramount, is best known to film historians for her marriage to WWII war hero-turned-actor Audie Murphy. The storybook marriage—on which the ‘50s gossip sheets thrived—was over in seven months; the controversy surrounding the marriage—Audie’s wartime PDST issues caused outbreaks of marital violence—instigated irreparable harm to Hendrix’s career from which she never recovered.

As did ‘40s starlet Veronica Lake, Hendrix made guest appearance on television series during the ‘60s, and then moved into horror films. While Lake made her final bow with Flesh Feast (1970) and Joan Crawford appeared in Trog (1970), Hendrix closed out her career at the age of 44 with this Gothic, Civil War tale originally released as The Oval Portrait.

Based on the Edgar Allen Poe short-story, this minor “old dark house” flick concerns a woman, Lisa Buckingham (Hendrix), who attends the reading of a will at her uncle’s home. She soon becomes “possessed” by the soul her cousin Rebecca, depicted—and trapped—inside an oil portrait.

While it meanders with a slowly unfolding plot awash in muddy cinematography (Are the prints bad or was the director attempting to achieve an “atmosphere”?), this Mexican shot and directed tale by Rogelio A. Gonzàlez has a José Mojica Marins-influence crossed with Mario Bava-styled horrors (Bava’s Lisa and the Devil comes to mind with its aristocrats dealing with the supernatural and necrophilia) as Lisa’s newfound behaviors—such as finding and wearing Rebecca’s old clothes—cause her cousin, Rebecca’s widow, Joseph, to go off the deep end and dig up Rebecca’s crumbly corpse for a little ballroom dance n’ romance.

Is Rebecca back from the dead for revenge? Is Lisa caught in a Let’s Scare Jessica to Death-inspired drive-her-crazy-for-the-money plot? Is the creepy, Paul Naschy-esque red-herring housekeeper giving Joseph the ol’ Henry James screw turn?

Released in the wake George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead—when horror was “hot” again—Wanda Hendrix was hoping for a big horror hit to revitalize her career. It wasn’t meant to be: three times divorced and childless, she died of double pneumonia at the age of 52 in 1981.

The film’s beautiful score is by Les Baxter, who also scored The Dunwich Horror, Cry of the Banshee, Frogs, and the Quentin Tarantino favorite, Switchblade Sisters.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.