Now as you should all know, for the most part anyways, movie rednecks are usually divided into two categories: families who supplement their diet with human flesh, and entire towns who torture and humiliate visitors before killing them for fun. Rednecks in exploitation flicks are almost always bad. Oh sure, maybe a couple of friendly ones crop up from time to time on TV, such as in The Beverly Hillbillies or The Dukes Of Hazzard, but on the big screen they're as rare as rocking horse shit. Still, in any form, they're always thick as fuck, just like the young boy in the Jerry Gross production I Drink Your Blood. Come on, y'all?
A bunch of long-hairs has moved into town. Despite being a multi-racial group, comprising of blacks, whites, Orientals and Asians, they sure ain't preachin' no love and peace. No siree. Instead, they're all devil-worshippers. Their leader, Horace (no, I'm not taking the piss!), proclaims himself to be "The Son Of Satan" (he's a Capricorn, too) and keeps a straight face when he informs us that, "Satan was an acidhead." Needless to say, things are gonna get a little crazy round here. First, local girl Sylvia is assaulted and goes into a coma. Then a rat-hunt at the town's very own haunted hotel leads to ritual torture. And when Sylvia's Gramps gets his rifle and goes to sort these degenerates out once and for all, they dose him with acid! (Lucky Gramps...)
If you're reading this then you should already know the good old fashioned hillbilly ways of dealing with outsiders. You either greet 'em, eat 'em and then decorate your shack with their body-parts, or you subject them to degradation, rape and recreational violence in front of a baying crowd. But Sylvia's obese younger brother don't know any better, and in a moment of boyish inspiration contaminates the meat pies at Mildred's Bakery with rabies! Look, I told you there was something funny about that kid; his beady little eyes are way too far apart....
So the hippies tuck in, and soon they start sweating and frothing at the mouth, not to mention suffering from severe gut-ache, a little like eating a damn fine Vindaloo really. They repeatedly stab one of their own, and then cut off his leg for good measure. When the local construction workers can't keep their dongs in their jeans, things start to get really messy. We're treated to scenes of hanging, stabbing, a hand cut off with an electric carving knife, biting, strangling, self-immolation, animal sacrifice and decapitation. In a moment of callous tastelessness a pregnant hipster stabs herself in the stomach, fearing for the future of her unborn baby (she should have done that in the first place; living on the road listening to Hawkwind and protesting against the Vietnam war is no life for a child...). A huge game of cat and mouse ensues, which all comes to a happy end in a moment of wholesale slaughter. There ain't no problem that can't be solved with a gun.
I Drink Your Blood is one hell of a fucked-up movie. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Snuff, what with Mansonite hippies, sacrifice and excessive foot torture. And speaking of Manson, the Charlie-influence is even more apparent when the hippies write 'PIG' on a potential victim. (Yeah, Manson killed the sixties alright. More power to him!). The crazy electro-noise soundtrack by Clay Pitts just adds to the insanity, liquifying your mind into moonshine, or turps as we call it nowadays. The chase scenes, set to happy-go-lucky sounds (the only 'proper' music in this picture) look positively slapstick, and you keep wondering when the Hill's Angels are gonna show. The special effects are positively abysmal; that papier-mache head is a real hoot. And the sight of millions of crazy dudes running around with white stuff dripping from their mouths brings to mind the old rumours about Marc Almond....
Still, it's hard to see why I Drink Your Blood became such a cult classic. Oh sure, when it used to play on a drive-in double bill with I Eat Your Skin it made for a killer ad campaign, but there's something missing from the film. An opportunity for a great freak out scene is wasted when Gramps is doped; all he does is sit there and cry (Cry? Over free acid? That shit's like gold-dust these days!). No colours, voices or insane music. Nothing! The acting is mediocre at best, neither competent or incompetent enough to hold the viewer's interest for very long, not that it matters, because the characters are fairly dull anyway. Plus the gore just isn't sick enough to elevate it up to the high standards of, say, H.G. Lewis. A great plot is sadly wasted; rabies movies are very hard to come by. It is worth a watch however, if only to say you've seen it, and it's a good name-drop when talking to fellow splatter-nerds. Right I'm off now to git me a breath of fresh air. Y'all come back now, y'hear?
American trash director who made a handful of films in the late sixties/early seventies. Best known for the psycho-hippie opus I Drink Your Blood, and also gave Miami Vice’s Philip Michael Thomas his first starring role in Blaxploitation thriller Stigma.