Blood Mania (1970)

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You’ve got to hand it to the crazy crackpots at Crown International.  I doubt many other production companies could call a film “Blood Mania” and then get away with including almost no blood and even less mania. So what are we left with then?  A lot of very 1970’s sleaze and a soap opera plot that shoehorn’s in it’s horror elements to sort of half-assedly give the viewer what it wants.  I can’t really feel ripped off because all of those things are right up my alley as well…

After a rather trippy title sequence that, of course, has nothing to do with the rest of the film we’re quickly introduced to most of our main characters:
Ridgeley Waterman (what a name): A wealthy doctor now living out his last days in bed, cranking at everybody, when he’s not flirting with his nurse.
Dr. Craig Cooper: Dr. Waterman’s doctor. A troubled young man who ends up getting blackmailed by a total scumbag for 50,000 dollars  because he performed an illegal abortion several years ago. He also has a girlfriend but she’s not important and vanishes partway through the film. He’s played by writer Peter Carpenter, who I’m pretty sure wrote himself into this part just so he could have sex scenes with all three (!) of the film’s young female actresses.
Victoria Waterman: Dr. Waterman’s rather unhinged daughter who sleeps with everybody and shows her boobs a lot. Played with manic glee by Maria De Aragorn.
And finally the nurse, a rather plain looking woman that keeps complaining about not getting laid. Still, she so damn chipper that she becomes slightly annoying. One of only two female characters that keeps their clothes on.

Later on we’re introduced to Dr. Waterman’s other daughter Gail, who’s been living in New York. Gail is…not that bright. She can’t tell when she’s being used for her money, when her sister has lost the plot, or when she should probably take her inheritance and scoot back to the big apple. Of course she dies. It is a long time coming though.
Everything in this movie takes a long time. Not just the plot but everything.  Characters take forever to walk across a room, dialogue scenes go on and on and on, and sometimes the camera just sits there when there should be a cut. It’s bizarre and gives everything this strange fever dream quality.  Well, for most of the running time anyways.
Right smack dab in the middle of the film are two sequences of Dr. Cooper taking Gail out on dates so he can steal her inheritance. First they go to a 1970’s ren fair and then they go to the beach. These scenes feel completely different than the rest of the film. There’s no nudity, no sleaze, no rich snobs plotting against each other.  They almost feel like a mix between someone’s home movies and a 1980’s soft rock music video.  And they go on forever.  Uck, padding. My worst enemy.
Thankfully most of the film has enough sleazy soap opera shenanigans, random female nudity, and whacked out late 60’s psychedelia to keep this dude entertained.  Dig that Wurlitzer organ and fuzz guitar, man! Also dig that hideous furniture, which one character references as being “lovely.” Jesus tap dancing Christ.
I don’t have much else to say about this one. It just is what it is:  a scuzzy time waster with wooden acting and tons of nudity. They should have called it “Boob Mania.” I’m so clever…

Rating: C+

Random Things

  • Gotta love films that just kind of end. Like the script writer just threw up his hands and went “Well, I guess that’s enough of that.”
  • It probably says a lot about what I’m attracted to that I found the homely nurse character to be kind of cute.  I was sort of glad that she didn’t die, even though I also found her slightly irritating.
  • This film’s drug of choice is poppers. It leads to several trippy scenes and is even used as a murder weapon! Can’t say that isn’t unique.
  • For a DVD set called “Gorehouse Greats” there’s been very little gore so far (basically none).  The two films I’ve watched from it also both have “blood” in the title and include precious little blood. What the feck?  Oh, well.
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5 comments

  1. cliff

    I have a theory that the opening sequence is the sister, Gail, being chased by the father, who is going to rape her. This would explain her being estranged by him. A later, very quick flashback follow through on this. There are also some hints from Gail along these lines.

    This thing’s such a mess, though, so who really knows?

  2. Galaxy Jane

    Just saw this at a B-Movie festival and can find out almost nothing about it (hence how I ended up here). The most entertaining part was hearing the despairing cries of the audience as they begged for the movie to do something, *anything*, but just fer chrissakes get on with it! These started no later than the ten minute mark and continued, with increasing desperation, until it finally ground to its merciful end.

    • kurdt13

      That sounds amazing! It reminds me of Tom Servo watching Wild World of Batwoman. “END!!! EEEEENNDD!!!” A sentiment I’ve expressed way too many times in my years as a b-movie nerd, unfortunately.

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