Written by Cesar Amigo
Directed by Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero
Starring Kent Taylor, Beverly Powers, John Ahsley, Eva Darren, Mario Montenegro
Released May 29, 1968 (Lima, OH)
RT 97 min.
Home Video Alpha New Cinema (DVD)
Classic Horrors rating = 6 (out of 10)The poster for Brides of Blood (1968) promises a lot of sensational things and, in a rare case of truth in advertising, the movie actually delivers each one of them. That’s not to say that it delivers them well. However, by avoiding adjectives that make its promises virtually impossible, it succeeds in what I assume it’s hoping to accomplish.
My favorite is: SEE Carla, the Girl Who Would Love Anyone. I guess this one is a little misleading. At nearly 30-years old, actress Beverly Powers is more a woman than a girl. She would love anyone, though, including a crewman on the boat taking her and her husband, Dr. Paul Henderson (Kent Taylor) to a tropical island where he plans to investigate radiation from nearby testing of atomic bombs.
While staying at the home of Esteban Powers (Mario Montenegro), she’s also prone to knocking on doors to see who’s available to satisfy her sexual urges. If no one answers one, she goes to another. Then she’ll throw herself on top of someone, even if he’s writhing on the bed in pain. Why is she married then? In an attempt to answer that nagging question, she later asks Paul if he’s ever thought of getting a divorce. He doesn’t really answer, but says he gave up on her a long time ago.
SEE The Butterfly That Attacks Men. “Attack” may be too strong a word; however, a buzzing moth does change shape in the air before biting or stinging Paul. This seems to have no critical effect except that he wears a bandage around his hand for the rest of the movie. The significance of this event is that it causes him to draw a conclusion about what’s happening on the island. He says, “It seems some living organisms on this island are undergoing drastic mutations.”
SEE Trees That Eat Human Flesh. Here, I’m glad the poster tells us what these trees are doing. Their flexible branches and sometimes roots (?) certainly grab people and, in close-ups, the special effects aren’t bad. However, in one long shot where you see the entire tree holding two or three people, the effects are a little less special. Since this usually happens at night, it’s all very murky, anyway, so it doesn’t distract too much from the real headliner of this show…
SEE The Incredible Creature. Something else stalks the island at night and it doesn’t look much different on screen than it does in the drawing on the poster. It’s a bulbous, rubbery monster with a face that doesn’t appear to move and looks remarkably similar to the totem of him that the natives have built. Yes, Brides of Blood is ultimately a good, old-fashioned monster movie with a good, old-fashioned silly monster. This is not a bad thing.
SEE Pagan Rites. See Beautiful Girls Sacrificed to The THING! This happens. The natives tie two women at a time to altars so that the incredible creature aka “the thing” can waddle up to them and give them big, deadly hugs. During the climax of the movie, Jim Farrell (John Ashley) from the Peace Corps rescues his translator and potential love interest, Alma (Eva Darren), from one of the altars, which causes chaos by interrupting the ritual.
I don’t know that there’s much to be accomplished by critiquing the movie. It should be clear what you’re going to get, if not by the poster, then by what I’ve already said. I don’t think I’d watch it again anytime soon; however, I am inspired to watch the other two “Blood Island” films: Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968) and Beast of Blood (1970). All three take place on Blood Island, star John Ashley, and were directed by Eddie Romero.
Today’s passport stamp:
Part of the Countdown to Halloween. Tomorrow… India!