Monday, June 28, 2010

Blood Sucking Freaks (1976)

So, I followed up Combat Shock with a, much more offensive, little gem of 70s sleaze called Blood Sucking Freaks (aka Sardu; Master of the Screaming Virgins which was then re-titled The Incredible Torture Show).  Apparently, Troma (them again) picked it up for distribution and slapped on the title that eventually stuck, Blood Sucking Freaks.  Whereas Combat Shock was completely lacking in the nudity department, Blood Sucking Freaks, from what I can remember, didn't have a scene without nudity.  Unfortunately, almost all of the nakedness onscreen is of the tied up girls being humiliated and tortured variety.  Beggers can't be choosers. Sorry if I've used this line before.

What we got here is a look into the world of underground S&M shows that took place in the basement theaters of New York City.  One such theater, the one the picture focuses on, is run by Master Sardu (a fu manchu looking mother fucker) and his perverted dwarf assistant, Ralphus.  Ralphus looks, and behaves, similar to that sinful dwarf you may or may not be familiar with, Olaf.  In fact, these two deviants might be related.  Perhaps Olaf faked his death at the end of The Sinful Dwarf and escaped across the pond (Brit term for the Atlantic) where he got a job doing what he really loves.  Hint:  that job involves raping and torturing young women that are tied up against their will.  Anyway, if this is true, Olaf (now calling himself Ralphus) has found the perfect life partner in Master Sardu.  They share laughs, and the occasional cigar, while whipping and mutilating young women.  Good times, am I right?

The picture opens with one such show, set before a captive audience, where a girl is bound to a chair and has her eyeballs gouged out and eaten by Ralphus or something.  Also, the girl is naked.  Master Sardu announces that what they are witnessing is real.  One guy, a critic who somehow was admitted to the show, calls bullshit and says "I've been to the Grand Guignol theaters in Paris and you sir, are no Grand Guignol".  I'm not sure if this guy works for the New York Times or not, but I can imagine that if any form of entertainment would be critic proof then this kind would be it.  Also, guy is a torture snob.  Fuck him.  Anyway, Sardu is offended and plans to kidnap the critic in the hopes of forcing him into writing a good review. He also plans to kidnap the pretty ballerina sitting in the front row whose boyfriend thought a show where young, completely naked, women are being tortured (real or fake) would be a good first date.  Having a ballerina in the show might lend them a little more artistic merit or something. Sardu licks his lips in anticipation. Ralphus licks some girl's lips.

Lots of 70s type nudity in this thing which is to say plenty of bush shots and natural breasts and also welt marks from the constant whipping these poor girls are subjected to in the name of entertainment.  Also, in a sub basement there is a cell where lots of insane hairy naked women are locked away.  Every now and again, Sardu throws them some food (people) and these broads go to town.  If naked women fighting over who gets to eat what part of their screaming, writhing (also naked) victims, well....  

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about some of the methods of torture.  I think one such scene involved a rat but that might have been a different movie.  There's a scene where Sardu and Ralphus enjoy a game of darts with the dartboard painted on the backside of one of their slaves.  They enjoy smokes and single malt scotch while throwing.  Not sure who won, but Sardu hitt bullseye at one point.  Couldn't figure out if they were playing cricket rules or not.  One poor girl is put in a guillotine, naked of course, and the rope keeping the blade in position, is placed in her mouth.  Then Ralphus starts whipping her on the backside.  A lot of torture involving backsides in this one.  If she screams.....well, if she screams I can only imagine that Ralphus will do something unsavory with the decapitated head which would be years before High Tension had a similar scene.  If she screams, but I don't know, she looks like a tough girl, so I'll give her a puncher's chance. 

Thankfully, the picture manages to maintain a somewhat campy tone.  Otherwise, it would be unwatchable by most people.  Ralphus and Sardu are simply too ridiculous to take seriously.  The treatment of women, while horrendously exploitative, is not that uncommon for the time period. I can't imagine anyone watching this thing and saying something like "I need to start me a sex slavery ring/torture show".  Also, the villains get what's coming to them (of course, I'm struggling to remember how it happens, was probably tacked on to secure distribution) so there is that.  Oh wait, I think their demise involved the animal-like women locked up below?  Anyone seen this thing? Help me out.

There's a sideplot involving the ballerina's boyfriend and some detectives trying to find her.  There's some hilarity involving the chained up critic.  The picture is gritty looking.  Can't remember the music so I'm assuming it was subtle.  Once again, I'm devolving into a typical boring review.  That's what happens when you can't remember the story.  There's a scene where a poor girl has her brains removed that is downright wrong.  The character of Ralphus shows, once again, why dwarfs, in horror pictures, can fucking go to hell.  So, the picture moves along at a brisk pace, there are lots of naked women, plenty of gore, some funny shit happening for, you know, the kiddies, and a final comeuppance for the devious duo that makes us feel it was somewhat worth our time.  I probably wouldn't display this in my collection (at least not proudly) but I'm not upset I watched it.  I think this is a breed of film they don't make anymore and I feel it's my duty to watch it for, you know, research and stuff. 

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