Previously available last year as a long since sold out, limited signed edition of 500 from Grindhouse DVD, FANGORIA have wisely re-released this extras-loaded uncut release of David Durston’s cult 70s drive-in splatter movie for fans that missed it first time around.
The film’s minor plot revolves around a gang of Satanic hippies, led by Horace Bones (Bhaskar Roy Chowdbury) who are into sadomasochism, chicken sacrifice, and LSD who arrive at a small town to terrorize the locals. Following a vicious beating given to one of the town’s elders, young lad laces meat pies with infected blood extracted by syringe from a rabid dog and passes it onto the hippy commune. Within hours, they are running around foaming at the mouth, and on the rampage, killing one another, and passing the disease onto town folk in a series of very gory set pieces.
This 1970 gore-fest was obviously influenced by the Manson murder cult and references to the original Tate-LaBianca killings include an intended victim having the word “Pig” carved into their flesh, the cult’s Manson-like leader, and a minor reference to Manson despising spectacles.
Today, Durston’s film has achieved cult status for it’s exaggerated gore sequences originally considered too strong for audiences and found itself slapped with an X certificate by the MPAA (subsequent videotape releases in the US and UK were heavily truncated) that include hand severing, decapitation, and LSD tripping grandparents, goofy dialogue: “Satan was an acidhead”, and the fact that it features an early performance by an unaccredited Lynn Lowry (SHIVERS, THE CRAZIES, CAT PEOPLE).
For fans eager to see what the fuss about, this DVD is worth tracking down despite its obvious low budget origins; the severed head effects are distinctly laughable, as is the sight of bare-chested, rabid, construction workers chasing a group of survivors only to be repelled by the locals splashing water at them. The acting is above average for this type of fare; it’s cast consisting of seasoned theatrical artists, and the script, despite its brevity, is punctuated with some nicely developed characters.
A plethora of DVD extras include a 30-minute featurette, in which director Durston talks to Lynn Lowry who talks candidly of her role both in front and behind the camera, producer Jerry Gross and stars Jack Damon and Tyde Kierney whose hilarious reminisces obviously embarrass Durston. Bibliographies include Durston’s main work (but omit his alleged, pornographic past), and selected cast members, deleted scenes, radio spots, trailers, an extensive gallery of stills and promotional materials, and star Bhaskar performing a pitiful snake-dance. There are several hidden “Easter Eggs” too that include Durston singing about independent filmmaking, video footage of the commentary track being recorded, and credits for I EAT YOUR SKIN, the black and white feature that accompanied Durston’s film as part of a successful drive-in double feature initiated by Jerry Gross in the early 70s.
Notable for its realistic depiction of Satanic ceremony, LSD tripping, and rabies induced madness, (Durston apparently researched the subjects before helming the script), I DRINK YOUR BLOOD deserves to be seen by horror fans with a penchant for 70s gore, and its influential effect on latter horrors that included Romero’s THE CRAZIES, and Josh Becker’s THOU SHALT NOT KILL EXCEPT.
Carl T. Ford
Directed by David Durston
USA 1971 / 83 minutes.
SPECIAL DVD FEATURES
A Fangoria Midnight Classics DVD release
Region 1. NTSC. Mono.
I DRINK YOUR BLOOD