Monday, November 19, 2012

Bloodsucking Freaks (DVD Review): Where For Art Thou Joel M. Reed?

As a kid the cover of Bloodsucking Freaks in that great big horror VHS section at Long Valley Video was like raw pheromone to my adolescent, impressionable mind. What’s for dinner? A bloody human head! Who’s coming for dinner? Bikini Girls and some schmuck holding a wine glass. Then of course there’s the giant bleeding, semi-Mongoloid face behind the whole scene. The boisterous title strewn across the front cover and drippy, bloody letters. The back was equally fun. Who’s that man tightening that vice on that poor girl’s head? When you see a cover box like that you don’t even need to read the synopsis on the back. You instinctively know what it says… It says AWESOME.

Years have passed and I have enjoyed Bloodsucking Freaks and numerous occasions. I’ve always thought that cover art completely misleads you as to what you’re about to watch, and yet somehow it prepares you for it just the same. Where’s the lidded serving dish with disembodied cranium? More or less I watch this film to freak the fuck out of newbie horror fans who think they like the strange and unusual. It really does test the limits on your gag reflex. I have turned away some of the meanest horror fans just at the sight of some of the torture sequences (after all Bloodsucking Freaks is also known as the Incredible Torture Show). Ralphus always makes them laugh. Then of course someone has their cock turned into the hoagie du jour and well… most people can’t get that image out of their heads. I just showed my sister the cover of the DVD box and she recoiled (she’s a horror nut too). She said she thinks the movie is disturbing; seeing women without control freaks her out.

So a few years back Troma put out the DVD release for this groundbreaking stomach churner. They labeled it the Director’s cut and added all their Troma goodies and previews and tried to make it an extra special release. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz know how to market a movie, but first and foremost they know how to market Troma. Now I don’t always associate BSF with Troma, but it has been distributed by that company for some time. Is it that same as Toxie? No. It is not of Troma. It is not a Troma brainchild. So why then did Troma see fit to make it “feel” like a true Troma release as in having been created under their watchful eye?  Distribution deals make strange bedfellows, but in this case I believe the association with Troma somewhat detracts from the overall effectiveness of the film and of the marketing presentation (Troma Logos a A-Go-Go).

The problem with this release of Bloodsucking Freaks isn’t the film print. I can safely say that it’s just not going to look any better than this. We probably don’t need a Blu-ray unless someone can attach some butt-tacular special features. The movie is as gory and fun and funny and semi-sexy and Sadomasochistic as it ever was. The problem is the overwhelming abuse by Troma to attach ever piece of propaganda to a release that should be celebrated for the film itself and not truly as a Troma release.

Let’s walk down the special features:

Intro by dear Uncle Lloyd Kaufman… expected, although I’d much rather see a Joel. M. Reed intro.

Digitally mastered feature… does that mean someone took a VHS copy and ripped it? In all seriousness this film hasn’t changed quality in years. It’s a fine release though. You won’t need another one.

The first-ever interactive Tour of Troma… who cares? Why is it on this release? This belongs on a Toxie movie or on the old Troma TV show release not on BSF.

The interactive Troma Intelligence Test… was fun. Not sure I want it on the BSF release, but you’ll enjoy it.

Original theatrical trailer of this and other Troma favorites… standard issue.

Link to Troma website… um… why?

Troma Public service announcements… where’s my Joel Reed interview?

Audio commentary from Eli Roth… Good for horror fans. His interviews do not include “major” cast members though… I think they’re mostly dead though… where’s Joel Reed again?

The Aroma du Troma… ?

Do you get what I’m saying? Of course you should buy this release. It’s fantastic. It’s a great digital version of the shock film that had us laughing until we puked and then eating our puke off the back of some sexy naked broad candle wax running down her rear. I just think that this film needed a little more Bloodsucking and little less Troma-ganda.

You can pick this one up HERE. Check out Troma’s website HERE (see I can include a website too) and make sure to check out the entire CAV Distributing cataglog HERE (they’re currently at the helm of this release).

Make sure to buy it and above all… share it. Sharing it is the key. You have to make people watch it, get grossed out  and then let yourself have a good hearty chuckle at their expense.

-Dr. TERROR, I ain’t Ralphus’ bitch no matter how big his Afro may be. 

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