Mondo Macabro Blu-ray Review: Bloodlust (1977)

This week’s classic horror release is conveniently, for the Countdown, one I’ve never seen…

Written by Mario d’Alcala
Directed by Marihan Vajda
Starring Werner Pochath, Ellen Umlauf, Birgit Zamulo
Released March 18, 1977 (West Germany)
RT 90 min.
Home Video Mondo Macabro (Blu-ray)
Classic Horrors rating = 5 (out of 10)

Bloodlust_Red3

WHY I’VE NEVER SEEN IT

Vaguely aware of Bloodlust (1977), I don’t think I ever would have watched it unless…

WHY I WATCHED IT

…Mondo Macabro sent me a screening copy.  (Hint: if you send classic horror screeners, I will watch them!)

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT

At first, Bloodlust (aka Mosquito) evoked for me George A. Romero’s Martin (1978).  They’re similar in that both feature young men who become unconventional “vampires” due to the way they were raised.  The similarities end there, though.  While Martin paints a masterpiece with a character that is sympathetic, Bloodlust uses only a few brushstrokes with a character that is just pitiful.

I wouldn’t say Bloodlust doesn’t have a story arc or come to a satisfying conclusion; it’s just a very simple tale.  Events start in the middle for The Man (Werner Pochath), a deaf-mute accountant who does exceptional work, but is ridiculed by co-workers and is called a “faggy dork” by his violent neighbor.  We flash back for the beginning (his abusive childhood) and witness him facing responsibility for his actions at the end.

The movie focuses heavily on his actions, which include increasingly gory mutilations of female bodies at a mortuary to which he gains access at night.  Before that, though, he experiments with his desire to drink blood by using ketchup and ink.  Later, he cuts a dead woman’s breast, removes a dead woman’s eyes, and cuts off a dead woman’s head.  When he suffers a personal loss, he invests in a straw-like advice to drink dead women’s blood and to eventually kill.

The deeper into a rabbit hole The Man falls, the more intense the fever dream of Bloodlust becomes.  Near the end, I wondered how much we were experiencing was real instead of a shared view of a deteriorating state of mind.  It’s unsettling, but not involving.  Like the other characters in the story that take The Man for granted despite his disability, I remained unemotional while watching.  There’s not quite enough happening for me to recommend it.

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Disc content:

  • Region free
  • HD transfer from the original negative
  • English and German language tracks, with optional English subtitles
  • Interview with director’s son and assistant director Marijan David Vajda
  • Interview with star Birgit Zamulo

Limited edition contents include an exclusive cover, a 12 page booklet written by Michael Gingold with lots of fascinating information about the film and how it came to be made, and 14 full color, postcard sized reproductions of lobby cards, posters and promo materials.

ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN

We all have them… stacks of movies we’ve purchased, but never watched; or, movies on the DVR, filling them to capacity.  This year for the annual Countdown to Halloween, I’m going to make a dent in my “stack,” watching one movie a day for the month of October that I’ve never seen, then writing about it.

Well, I’m going to cheat a little.  Assisting me this year are a number of “guest bloggers” that I’ve invited to participate by commandeering classichorrors.club for a day.  These are all people whose blogs I read, whose podcasts I enjoy, and/or whose existence I simply appreciate.  It’s an experiment, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading some new perspectives.

Of course, bloggers everywhere are participating in their own Countdowns, so be sure to click here to find other “Cryptkeepers” on their Countdowns to Halloween!

TOMORROW

Mike Perry and Premonition (1976)!

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