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If you consider yourself a person who worships "bad" movies and I assume you might since you have wound up here, you might of heard of this treat. I am talking about Blood Freak. Many people might have seen it mentioned on other web sites, some compare it to Plan 9, as possibly the worst film ever made, many find it laughable, some I am sure, find it unwatchable. When you become jaded as many of us have, you look for that "something" in all the movies you watch. That undeniable nugget that really is reduced to the correct answer to this question "Does the fucker pay off?" If you get a "yes" many times you can leave smiling. Well with Blood Freak, you will have the have the damned grin sand blasted from from noggin, cuz payoff it do and Prof. Tread is not shitting you.

The years I had to wait to see it had not prepared me for how bizarre the premise of a Anti-Drug, Pro-Christianity message colliding with a mutated monster on a motorbike movie might actually be. Like a sort of Jack Chick tract come to life, Blood Freak can only be described as "out-there" no matter where you try and categorize it. Not intentionally funny, it seems at its best a morality play that is trying desperately to leave the viewer with a "message." What is that message? Well, more on that later.

CO-director Brad Grinter decided to tie this story together by playing narrator. As a chain-smoking, one eyebrow raised, hip (for the early 70's) Rod Serling-type, Grinter (also responsible for the equally bizarre Flesh Feast) sets the stage for the bizarre events that are about to take place. To say the least, Grinter's "performance" lacks any sort of natural human cadence. He tries desperately to use a unfiltered Lucky Strike as a device to, I am assuming, build a sort of drama to his "all-knowing orator-speak" but it comes off less as a sinister warning of things to come and more merely laughable in its ineptness, multiplied by the fact that Grinter has found it impossible to remember his own lines and repeatedly refers to the pages lying in front of him for back-up. Literally reading directly from the page on more than one occasion during the opening sequence.

Grinter introduces the viewer to the protagonist of Blood Freak, Herschell, who is writer and CO-director Steve Hawkes. Hawkes was a former Mr. Canada, a long distance swimmer and eventually played a post-Weissmuller Tarzan in a couple of jungle stinkers. Herschell is a former-Nam dude looking for a little action down Florida way similar to another Herschell (the Lewis variety). If ever a guy looked awkward on a motor-sickle, poor Herschell does, not to mention the fact that the focus is soft, the camera is handheld by someone with a nervous twitch, and Herschell outweighs his bike by a good 100 pounds, yet he seems slightly mismatched. Believing that Herschell is a "biker" is a stretch, but just the first test of believability in what is an unbelievable film.

Herschell's "Born to be Wild-ness" is briefly slowed down as he stops to help an attractive young lay on a this stretch of highway that he is cruising. Angel is her name and Christianity is her game. After Herschell over hauls her engine or whatever it is he does in the brief time it takes to repair her vehicle the couple are on their way to Angel's sister, Ann's crib, where she is having a pot party. Angel takes time to warn Ann about the evils of Marijuana by reminding her that her, "body is the temple of the holy spirit - you shouldn't defy it!" So it kinda goes like this, if you are not paying attention Sister #1 Angel is a Bible-touting priss-pot Sister #2 Ann is more of your libertine, beer-swilling, dope-smoking party girl. Ann inevitably tries her hand at wooing Herschell, but he is smitten with Angel and with the good Word of the Lord and is not having any part of it. Ann stunned, as any party girl might be from not getting her way, decides then and there to seek revenge in a sibling rivalry that has obviously has reared its head before, and beat Angel using poor, goofy Herschell as the pawn in a game of family deceit. Okay, maybe that is a little too deep. She is pissed and decides that Herschell is stupid enough to "get to" and it'll piss off here preachy sis.

If Herschell is going to hang around this burg he is going to need a job and since he is a former Mr. Canada, the girl's Pops recognizes he might come in handy around his poultry farm. There are things to lift and clean and fresh turkey meat to test. After all, is there a better way to test any sort of food product that an actual former bodybuilder eating tons of it before releasing it on the populace? Well, hell no, so Herschell is hired on and with the assistance of a couple of scientific technicians, who are my favorite 2 characters in this film, he be working and eating as much turkey as he can handle. Given his stature, it is safe to assume that Herschell will be able to handle quite a bit of the extensible tailed holiday favorite.

Herschell becomes the regular "man about the house" doing various jobs that include being pool boy, and the same fate awaits Herschell the pool boy as most pool boys in film history. He is seduced, not only by the nubile Ann in her bikini but by the Devil weed that Ann offers Herschell Herschell refuses her attempt to get him high, but Ann uses that tried and true peer pressure method of calling Herschell a pussy, not in so many words but you get the point, he is a coward unless he partakes and partake he does in some of Ann's Super-PotTM. I refer to it as this trademarked product because it is either that damn good or Grinter and Hawkes culled their collective Marijuana research from my grandmother and Art Linkletter. The couples reaction sends them reeling with hysterical laughter ending up with Herschell bedding down with Ann in a moment of THC bliss. That is some Super-PotTM. Personally smoking pot is something I am not into, but I have been around a lot of heavy duty tokers most of them end up either eating all my Ho-Hos or falling asleep during whatever movie we are watching, overwrought laughter and horniness rarely is the modus operandi. But given what we have bared witness to thus far in Blood Freak, at least something is happening. Thank goodness Grinter shows up to 'splain what just took place and of course, it is a perfect opportunity to light up a smoke and deliver your lines Mr. Grinter, because that is a highly effective tool you can never utilize too much.

Herschell lays down so much loving and pot that he has to hurry to his first real day on the job with Lenny and Gene, the aforementioned scientific technicians. Almost late for work, my favorite pair explain to Herschell that because of government regulations they "need a human to eat the meat to see if there's any side effects." The stupidity of the dialogue is overshadowed by the way the lines are delivered. Mumbled, fumbled and with their eyes darting towards the camera Lenny and Gene are a couple of b-moviedom's real heavy hitters. It would not be possible to overanalyze the brilliance of their performances together for Grinter and Hawkes. I'm sure it was unintentional on the directors' part, but I have never believed more wholeheartedly in a couple of characters than Lenny and Gene. Lenny and Gene surely worked on a turkey farm, maybe they were not turkey scientists in real life, but they surely had been on the business end of the Butterball industry, or quite possibly decided in their preparation for their roles in true "method" fashion to hang out at a gobbler establishment soaking in atmosphere, the phrasing of such insider terms as "government" meaning of course the Department of Agriculture or "side effects" meaning sleepiness or something worse. So goes this study of two professionals in the all-white meat trade of turkey "farming." Real or simply aptly researched, Lenny and Gene are turkey scientific technicians.

Herschell, once home from the first day at the Turkey Institute of Technology (okay I made that up) begins to get the itch for more marijuana-type product and like watching a documentary about heroin addiction, Herschell, sweat, grimaces and is in serious withdrawls...his body needs more SuperPotTM. He is jonesing man! He needs smoke! Must have Smoke! As I said, I have been around some rather heavy dopers, but I have never witnessed such an outright Betty Ford Clinic inducing reaction to one tiny bit of marijuana that Herschell is experiencing. Keep in mind, I live in Kentucky, need I remind you the reputation this state has for harvesting Snoop Dog's favorite libation. Herschell soothes his savage beast and gets high, sheesh, better Hersh? But the next day at work when Lenny and Gene give Herschell one of the turkey experiments to wolf down, Herschell makes short work of the bird leaving just the remnants of a once proud animal. This reality of this gluttonous act unfortunately runs head-on to Herschell's new found addiction to the pot and send him into a Grand Mal on the grounds of the farm. This scene is not actor Steve Hawkes best work, I've seen better seizures on Soul Train reruns. But our plot is now fully in place, let the Blood Freaking begin.

With a head from someone's idea of a homecoming parade float centerpiece for the Waukeegan Gooblers, Herschell comes to Ann to explain what has happened to him in the last day or so. But words are replaced by gobbles and he causes Ann to faint dead away only to reawaken and find a note that Herschell has left her. What will they do? What about their future plans (they have know each other a few days), the kids, what about their kids?! They have to turn all of this over to someone who can help, they have to go to a higher power and well they should, who might save a young couple from a former Mr. Canada with giant turkey head if not our Lord Jesus, Amen. Not to mention this Super-PotTM and this biologically enhanced turkey they are fooling with down on the farm. Thank goodness our narrator is here to remind us of the lengths man will go to before turning to God in our moments of despair. Did I mention he is smoking?

Herschell the Jive Turkey, hoohoo, I've been dying to use that one, is going now on some sort of Super-PotTM/tainted turkey frickin killing spree. Yes, Herschell is not only addicted to Super-PotTM, but now he is addicted to blood! Herschell has done gone plum Turky-nuts. We, the viewers are on a trip with Herschell as he tries to satisfy his blood lust. I could not figure out why exactly it was blood and not, say a Southern States turkey feed rampage, I did not know that turkeys were know for their carnivorous appetites, and for humans blood, as well. Was Herschell's character the "every-turkey"? Seeking revenge for the fairy tale which had led Americans every last Thursday in November to broast, roast and bake Herschell's "relatives?" Was Herschell's plight a deeper statement about our consumption of products and our willingness to let scientists tamper with our foodstuffs to make bigger breasts and leaner rump roasts? Or was it just Grinter and Hawkes trying like the dickens to turn a buck in the drive-in market with a monster movie and they access to a turkey farm, some dope, a bevy of willing hippie helpers and possible financing from a church as long as there was a pro-Christian slant to the proceedings. I'd like to think there was a nobler cause only because Herschell's final death blow is by far something that will steer you from ever wanting to hunker down in front of a drumstick. Edits of a deathblow to Herschell's neck and a real turkey loosing his noggin abruptly end with the giant Herschell head on a platter next to a oven-baked goobler as hands rip and tear into the cooked bird, all vegans should find cause to unite because you may never want to eat turkey or any other poultry after watching squeezed through the fingers of our detached revelers. Pass the Triptophan, I'm sleepy.

Grinter delivers the final axe by tying a ribbon around the boxed-up, anti-drug statement of the film by inhaling his Lucky, choking, wheezing and ultimately coughing his lungs out while reminding us that any sort of drug can be dangerous to our health. No doubt Nicotine has hindered Brad Grinter's ability to use a second take and we are left with his dry hacking as the final word rallying against casual use of drugs.

The familiar with the twist in one particular Dallas cliff hanger will probably be somewhat unfulfilled at Herschell's experiences but so damn good this Blood Freak, the means to the end is more than worth it. It will leave you with many things to think about. Steve Hawke, when asked about Blood Freak referred to it as a sad chapter in his life, he had burnt over 90% of his body while filming "Tarzan and the Brown Prince" and had spent tons of cash trying to repair his beautiful body, so he took the Herschell roll to make some extra cash. In the middle of filming the producers went bankrupt, Steve had to rewrite and re-shoot scenes all just to collect $140,000. HE FUCKING MADE $140,000 ON BLOOD FREAK. THIS MOVIE HAD TO HAVE COST $17.25 TO MAKE, MOST OF THE LATER HALF IS 8 MM, GADDAMN, STEVE HAWKE. Sorry. Wow, that sort of cash on a film like Blood Freak and I bother showing up for work everyday. Shit?!

Blood Freak does work and I am a true testament to its message. This did it for me , no pot, no turkey, just a healthy diet of prayer from now on for Old Prof. Tread. Gobble, Gobble. If you want a more detailed plot synopsis and a great review of Blood Freak be sure to check out Greywizard's Unknown Movie Page which my previous review borrowed extensively from inadvertently via a xeroxed fanzine titled Dope. I gots to give Greywizard props, his extensive plot synopsis is upper-tier.

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Yowsa...now that is some art! Oh, it's mine nevermind.

Former Tarzan and current wildlife reservationist.

Vrrrrrm, Vrrrrrm. Hey Laaaadyyy!

Look at them white cotton panties! Now that is entertainment.

The Blood Freak. Now are you happy?

Brad Grinter...our narrator.

Herschell the Turkey Man needs blood and THC! Just like you.

A real-life amputee gets his come-uppance.

Blood Feast Fuck You, this is Blood Freak!

i can't bear to watch this hideous goobler!

PETA wouldn't like this much.

God, this guy is so good.

The Blood Freak getting his freak on.

Right there is why I wouldn't eat a damn piece of turkey ever again in my life...

Some of this I really made look great.

Blood and turkey.

The first time ever Isaw your face!

Now that's some good turkey!

The smartest guy in Blood Freak.
Brains On Film 2003