Wednesday, April 17, 2019

'70s Trash: Blood Mania (1970)

A great Title does not always a great Film make.  Blood Mania is a 1970 Film that is famous among a hardcore group of people.  Basically, you either have never heard of the Film (like me) or own multiple copies of the Film for whatever reason.  There is no middle ground here, folks!  The Film tells the tale of blackmail, intrigue and murder.  It sure sounds like the Title should fit.  It really doesn't until the end though.  Before that, you get what is basically a Soap Opera Story that is constantly-threatening to turn into a Porn.  You think I'm joking, but I'm really not.  It comes to us from the Writer/Director of such classics as Angel and Avenging Angel.  The other two Writers have such Credits as only this Film and another Film by the same Director.  Our Star is the other Co-Writer and he seemingly-died before his Career could really get started.  Information on said death is very vague, so who knows?  To find out what is going on with this love it or hate it Film, read on...
The Titles play out as a woman runs around bathed in red light and scared by stuff.

This...isn't part of the Film- at all.  It's just BS for the Title Sequence.  No, really.
The actual Story involves this woman watching over her sick Father.  He's unhappy.  She's awful.
His Doctor is good, but has a problem- he's being blackmailed.  A fellow Doctor has proof that he performed an Abortion some time in the recent past.

Another Film where I have to be reminded that this basic medical procedure was banned until the '70s- what are the odds?!?
The Daughter wants Dad dead and finds a way to do it.  She happens to take a drug to get high- leading to a psychedelic Sex Scene- that is good for causing heart attacks- what are the odds?!?
She confesses to the Doctor, who gets mad...but also needs $50,000 from her, so goes along with it.
The Will does not go in her favor as the money goes to the previously-unseen Sister.  She takes it poorly.
Now that the other Sister has the money, Doc goes after her.  His big plan- romantic date at the Renaissance Festival.  No, really.

To steal a bit from Rifftrax/MST3k...'Flirting at the Renaissance Festival- Blood Mania!!!'
Seeing them together drives the Sister even more crazy and that night- after the Nurse and Aunt leave-, she straight up kills her!

All of a sudden, blood appears in Blood Mania!
Doc comes over to find the body and...doesn't take it well.

Things get worse as the Blackmailer- who raped the Girlfriend is a Subplot I skipped- shows up with the body and...the End?  Just...the End?  Alright...I guess.
A surprisingly-dull and generic Film all things considered.  This Film really took 3 Writers?  Best I can guess, someone came up with the Ending bit of 'person paints with blood.'  Granted, H.G. Lewis did this first in 1965, but alright.  Another person- maybe our Lead- came up with the 'Doctor blackmailed and working with Daughter' thing.  I guess the 3rd guy had to take both ideas and stick them together like some sort of kid's Art Project gone awry.  Whoever named this Film gets the real credit- it is a great Title.  I wish that it was on a better Film.  To be fair, Blood Mania is *not* a Film that you'd ever put in the same category as Citizen Kane regardless of the Plot.  I really wish that I could recommend this one to more people.  The Soap Opera Plot is a bit cliché.  The fact that they keep almost setting up Sex Scenes- at least 3 times in the first 20 minutes- is another issue.  The fact that everyone is pretty much unlikable- save for the good Sister- is yet another issue.  If you come for the crazy name, lower your expectations.  This is from the same time that people turned a bad Spy Film into They Saved Hitler's Brain or turned a generic Film based on Charles Manson into Snuff.  There are enough moments of insanity snuck in here to make the more hardcore fan of this stuff happy though.  Plus, the Artist seemed to really capture this guy's ability to 'ugly cry'...
Next time, another Film with blood in the Title.  It has to be better and/or less deceitful, right?  Stay tuned...

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