First, a little background. In 1975 Joel M. Reed wanted to ,make a low budget S&M flick. He filmed The great Torture Show in SoHo. The film was a flop. Later it was purchased by Troma (of Toxic Avenger fame). Troma trimmed the film, and submitted it to the MPAA. It received an R rating. Troma then shipped the unedited version (that was deserving of an X rating) to theaters with the R attached. the MPAA sued, and won. Then Troma managed to get anti pornography groups to protest theaters showing the film. Troma made a fortune from a film that would have otherwise have vanished into obscurity.
So, what is this inflammatory movie about? Simple, Sardu (Seamus
O’Brien) runs a grand Guignol show in SoHo. Along with his partner
Ralphus (Louie DeJesus) he tortures and kills women on stage. This is
what Sardu does for fun. For money he trades in white slavery, selling
women to Arab countries. But, what Sardu longs for is artistic respect
and good reviews. Toward that end he kidnaps and tortures a drama
critic. He also kidnaps the famed dancer Natasha Denatalie, and forces
her to perform in his show. Her boyfriend (a football player, modeled
after that guy who did the pantyhose commercials) comes searching for
her, and everyone dies a horrible death. Along the way we see dreadful
acts of violence (mostly perpetrated against women). A “dentist” played
by Ernie Pysher pulls all of a girl’s teeth, so that she wont bite. He
then shaves her head, drills a hole in her skull, and sucks out her
brains through a straw. Herschel Gordon Lewis would be proud. So would
Mel Gibson. The plot is, of course, just a thin string to hang the
scenes of gore from. It makes little sense.
This film is photographed like a cheap porn, and has all the finesse of a snuff film. The sets are as cheap as possible. Even Plan 9 From Outer Space had better production design than this turkey.
The acting is preposterous (despite the appearance of real actors like Seamus O’Brien who appeared in real movies like Marathon Man,
and had a long career on Broadway). Not a single real emotion is ever
shown. Ralphus hamms it up, and the rest of the cast groans through
On a side note, Louie DeJesus went on to have a career in porn. Most notably in films like Let My Puppets Come, which may be the most bizarre thing ever put on celluloid.
This film is disgusting in every possible way. It is misogynistic,
anti-humanity, and badly made. It does manage some humor, although one
cannot be sure if the laughs were meant by the film makers or not. I
suppose it could function as lop sided satire, but I can’t tell what it
is meant to be satire of.
Really though, Blood Sucking Freaks is misogynistic on a scale that
is difficult to comprehend. There is barely a moment in the film that
isn’t difficult to watch.
This film is meaningless gore. Actually, it ranks just above The Passion of the Christ.
I cannot recommend it. But, I must say that it just possibly doesn’t
matter what I think. This movie seems to stand outside criticism. In
that way it is a bit like -Pink Flamingos. See it if you must.