Review by Carson Hearne
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
MPAA Rating: X for graphic violence
Directed by: David Durston
Written by: David Durston
Starring: Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadine Wong, and Rhonda Fultz
The film that is notorious for being the first movie to receive an X rating purely on violence, I Drink Your Blood is a great place to start for someone who is interested in diving into grindhouse films. The backstory and idea of the film is honestly much greater than the film is present. But, you don’t put in a grindhouse film and expect it to be well made. If you want a mainstream, interesting horror film, this is nowhere near your ball park. So, I must review this film in a completely different way than a mainstream film.
A small town is terrorized by a group of satanic worshiping, acid tripping hippies who take over a hotel and destroying anything in sight. After a young boy is harassed and his sister is raped and grandpa is beaten, he decides to take it upon himself to get back at the hippies. The boy shoots and kills a dog who is infected with rabies, then he retrieves the dog’s blood in a syringe. The next day, the boy injects the blood into all of the hippies meat pies, and soon they’re all foaming at the mouth and trying to rip everyone to shreds!
I am gonna start this off with a warning to all the people who want to see this, there is a good amount of animal cruelty (chicken getting it’s throat cut, dead rats being put over a fire, a dog presumably lying “dead”, and a dead goat being dragged around). The director, David Durston, has been quoted saying “the only animal that was harmed during the making of the film was the chicken at the beginning of the film”. I expected this film to be much more balls to the wall than it was, but I gave it a second spin and some thought and I think I Drink Your Blood is pretty balls to the wall for the decade it was released.
The story behind the theatrical releasing of I Drink Your Blood is actually very interesting. The producer, Jerry Gross, had sent out all the reels to the theaters across the nation and upon arrival, a huge uproar came forward about it being X rated and the theater’s were rejecting the reels. So, Jerry Gross told every theater that they could have the projectionist cut the film for how they deem it fit for their community. Which means that everyone saw different cuts of the film during the original release of this film and is what gave I Drink Your Blood a lot of it’s publicity.
Bhaskar, who plays one of the main villains, is great at acting with his body but seems to fall short with his vocal acting. The dubbing in this film isn’t great but adds to the charm of a grindhouse film. The film keeps the pace steadily going and you don’t really ever get lost. Some sequences are laughably silly and the use of funk music in the more intense scenes makes for a few laughs. The biggest complaint that I have for this film is that the synthesizers that play constantly throughout the film get really annoying, especially if you’re watching it while people are trying to sleep.
The biggest thing about a grindhouse film that I look for is if I had fun or not. There’s really no point in watching a grindhouse film other than to have fun with it. With I Drink Your Blood, I personally had a blast watching it and would recommend anybody wanting to dive into this gritty side of cinema to check this one out. This film isn’t for everybody but it certainly entertained the hell outta me.