I Drink Your Blood

February 19th, 2010 by Severed Survival

I Drink Your Blood   cover1 90x120 reviews horror Director: David E. Durston
Writer
: David E. Durston
Release Year
: 1970

And together, we’ll all freak out.

1970. The United States was at the height of the Vietnam War. The Ohio National Guard were sent to Kent State University after the ROTC building was burned down; opening fire on students protesting U.S. invasion of Cambodia. Four students are killed. A similar event happened at Jackson State University which claimed two lives. The Apollo program was abandoned. Charles Manson released his album “Lies” to finance his criminal defense. The Ford Pinto was introduced. Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in one day…making 1970 the deadliest year in California law enforcement history. Monday Night Football premiered. And a movie was released to unsuspecting grindhouses and drive-ins that would change exploitation forever… I Drink Your Blood.

(Spoilers follow…)

I Drink Your Blood   title screen3 300x225 reviews horror

 

I Drink Your Blood   drinkot92 300x219 reviews horror A motley crew of satanic hippies – calling themselves The Sons and Daughters of Satan descend upon Valley Hills, a town being evacuated for a dam project. Led by a Manson-like leader named Horace Bones (Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury), the cult settle on the town’s outskirts and perform a ritual sacrifice. Sylvia (Iris Brooks) becomes witness to their devil-worshipping hijinks . She is pursued, raped off-screen and manages to stumble her way to town the next morning. The cult comes to town like a circus parade and takes shelter in one of Valley Hills’ many empty houses. Sylvia’s grandfather, Doc Banner (Richard Bowler) confronts them only to fail and be dosed with LSD. The grandson Pete (Riley Mills) rescues grandpa and decides to take matters into his own hands. He sets out in the night packing heat …getting attacked by a rabid dog-all according to his grand scheme which defies all logic in the space-time continuum. And here is where the film takes a turn to the bizarre and drives over the cliff. Little Pete collects the blood of the pooch in a syringe and injects a bit of the red stuff into meat pies that he later serves to the longhairs. The best laid plans of little boys and rabid hippies often go awry. One of the female Satanic flower children gets picked up by some of the frisky dam construction crew. She is gang-raped (gang-groped, rather) and spreads hydrophobia like a STD. Shit really hits the fan for the uninfected as they try to survive long enough to be saved by civilization.

I Drink Your Blood   l 6786d280a43d5431435deb7a62e12375 239x300 reviews horror I Drink Your Blood is most infamous for being the first film rated X for violence by the MPAA. While the film is rather tame by today’s standards, it was still ahead of its time compared to other expliotation efforts. The performances are adequate and Carrie, the deaf mute (an uncredited Lynn Lowry) is quite unsettling. Indian dancer and artist Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury is over-the-top as Horace Bones and does a pretty decent job… but he kind of looks like Apache Chief from the Superfriends cartoons. The movie’s score is unique… using bits of distorted Moog but some parts toward the end have a Scooby Doo feel to them. The gore holds up fairly well considering that it was made forty years ago. It features self-immolation, violence against live and dead animals, decapitation, limb severing, gang rape, and infanticide. To get around the X rating, semi-legendary producer/director/distributor Jerry Gross allowed projectionists to cut objectionable material (about 8 minutes) from as many as 280 prints of the film as they saw fit for their market; director David Durston edited the prints released in Los Angeles and New York (I was told by a friend who had seen the film in Times Square in 1971 that the R-rated version was still pretty strong stuff). This resulted in different audiences being subjected to possibly different versions. David Durston was upset that his original title for the film, Phobia, was retitled to I Drink Your Blood by Jerry Gross despite the fact that there is little blood drinking anywhere to be seen. The film was released on a double bill with the 1964 black and white zombie flick I Eat Your Skin, which made for a rather interesting marketing campaign and iconic movie poster.

I Drink Your Blood   idrinkyourblood 300x245 reviews horror Despite the fact that I Drink Your Blood was quite progressive,  its downfall is that the film’s message will be lost to blind eyes. Unlike George Romero‘s similarly themed but innocuous The Crazies (1973) (which is more of a statement on the abusive behavior of  the U.S. military), David Durston‘s effort can be interpreted as conservative backlash to a decade that ended in an empowered American counterculture movement which would eventually wane. I Drink Your Blood is really a product of its time, ahead of its time and ultimately a slave to its time. Despite some of its obvious shortcomings, the film manages to hold its own as the rabies-epidemic psychedelic schlocker that it attempts to be and the grindhouse classic it is. Last year, David Durston announced plans to remake the film which would star Sybil Danning. I have a feeling that if they get the remake off the ground, it will still be better than The Crazies (2010) remake… wannafighaboutit?


Rating: I Drink Your Blood   star reviews horror I Drink Your Blood   star reviews horror I Drink Your Blood   star reviews horror I Drink Your Blood   star reviews horror I Drink Your Blood   blankstar reviews horror

 

Click to expand double bill poster & VHS art»

 

Trailer:

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