Widely considered the first “splatter” film, 1963’s Blood Feast achieved legendary status due to director Herschel Gordon Lewis’ sheer audacity (and no small amount of showmanship). It certainly wasn’t because he made a good movie. Lewis himself would’ve admitted as much.
Cheap, crude and amateurish, Blood Feast was notorious for its on-screen gore, breaking taboos all the way to the bank and essentially paving the way for the type of big screen bloodletting horror fans have long since become used to.
All of which means this 2016 remake largely depends on brand name recognition from its intended audience. Blood Feast tells a similar story on a bigger budget and has the same agenda…graphic depictions of murder and cannibalism. However, since trying to shock viewers with vivid gore is largely a fool’s errand these days, it mostly comes across as a respectful homage.
Taking place in and around Paris, the story features Fuad Ramses (Robert Rusler), a struggling restaurant owner who moonlights as a museum security guard. During one graveyard shift, he has visions of the evil Egyptian goddess, Ishtar, who promises eternal love if he offers her feasts consisting of sacrificial victims. He finds plenty of ingredients around Paris…prostitutes, vagrants and the obnoxious friends of her young daughter, Penny (Sophie Monk). Also hanging in the periphery is cult heroine Caroline Williams in a fairly thankless role as Fuad’s wife.
|Guess who just gave his cat a bath.
…and people die very badly in Blood Feast, which is good news for gorehounds. Within the context of the story, some of these murders don’t make a whole lotta sense, such as one poor rube whose skull is torn open at a park in the middle of the day (with his buddy sitting just a few feet away). However, the practical gore effects are pretty spectacular, sometimes nauseating and generally realistic. But while certainly impressive, none of it is particularly shocking.
Still, those scenes of mutilation and murder carry the film, making it worth checking out for fans of this sort of thing. The rest of Blood Feast is comparatively bland, with characters and performances that are serviceable at best, but at least it doesn’t reek of the same backroom amateurism as the original film.
MAKING-OF FEATURETTE - Running about a half-hour, this mostly consists of on-set footage, along with the occasional interview.
MUSIC VIDEO - “Tonite,” by Chili Con Curtis.
RED CARPET PREMIERE 2018
BLOOD FEAST SCARE CAM