Blood Thirst (1971)

Those of you who sat through the wretched Blood Suckers that headlined this double feature DVD from Something Weird Video and figured that at least you still had another movie to go and that it might be able to justify your purchasing this, let me ask you one question that will bring your situation into focus: Are you really hoping that a Filipino movie starring nobodies and featuring a wisecracking hero who merely comes off as obnoxious is going to do anything for you except make you wonder how it is that one of the only other two movies the director made was Jean Claude Van Damme’s Bloodsport?

Though Blood Thirst was smelling up drive-ins back in the early 1970s, the grubby black and white photography and the Ford Fairlanes with their shark fins betray its mid sixties origins. What this guarantees is that you will not be getting to see any of the over-top horror movie goodies you might normally get from a movie really made in 1971.

I’m talking about stuff like gore, drug scenes, bikers, orgies, and mutton chop sideburns. You know – the kind of stuff that make most of these otherwise low rent tax write offs bearable.

Instead, the movie adopts the technique that many of those early to mid sixties Italian movies used where everyone seems to think that sheer terror can be achieved by standing around stiffly delivering horrifying quantities of dialogue.

There aren’t any haunted grottos or dusty run down castles here though. This is the exotic locale of the Philippines and that means that most of the movie takes place inside the Barrio Club where gals who work there are turning up dead, mysterious wounds on their wrists the only clue as to their killer.

The pudgy cop in charge of things is befuddled by these killings and God knows he’s not in any shape to hit the streets and bust some heads in the local blood cult to flush out the perp.

Luckily, he has a good buddy who’s a homicide cop from New York who just also happens to be one of the foremost experts on sex crimes and has nothing better to do than fly halfway around the world to get into bar fights and hit on his good buddy’s adopted sister.

His name is Adam Rourke and he’s the sort of guy who might rub you the wrong way if you haven’t been in the murder-solving biz as long as he has. Sometimes outsiders don’t get the kind of gallows humor that all us guys with shields have to use to stay sane.

When Captain Miguel says that all the killings have the exact cut marks and that it was impossible for there to be more than one killer, Rourke fires back “not unless they were Siamese twins!” Let me wipe the tears from my eyes, Rourke! That didn’t make a lick of sense, but God was it funny!

Captain Miguel’s white sister (the explanation provided for how she got adopted is just another example of all the aimless babble that takes place in this movie) is offended by Rourke’s cavalier attitude which means that she’ll be banging him before he can catch the killer. Never mind the fact that Adam forcibly kisses her a couple of times against her will and even slaps her! (Well, she did slap him first, but then again, it was after one of those unwanted kisses.)

But aren’t we on vacation in Manila to solve some murders? You wouldn’t know it since Adam uses his expertise to hang out at the Barrio Club bothering the owner for no apparent reason.

Eventually, we get information on the owner (Calderon) about how he fled from Peru after some monkey business with the wife of a plantation owner, but it wasn’t even Adam that turned that clue up.

In addition to hanging around pretending to be a writer working on a story about the death of one of the girls (he promises Calderon that the story will be good for business), he also leers a lot at the belly dancer who works there.

As hideously stupid and uncouth as Adam is, he enjoys the happy coincidence that the persons responsible for the murder spree are even stupider.

Somehow, instead of leaving the Philippines when they realize the heat is on them, the killers decide to kill Adam (don’t get your hopes up – he survives) and resolve that in the future they won’t leave the corpses of their victims hanging from trees where anyone could find them. And maybe you could also stop killing people that work at your freaking bar!  That might help, too!

I dozed off while it was being explained to Adam all about why the killings were happening, but I heard the words “Aztec” and “eternal life” so you can pretty much guess the deal here.

This is one of those of movies where you spend your time trying to decide whether it’s more dull or dull witted. It really does a good job of balancing both with interminable scenes of the android-like Captain Miguel giving his philosophy of life to his sister and scenes of Adam using the mannequin he travels with to throw off assassination attempts.

What saves this movie from total obscurity though is the fact that it’s the first time I can remember seeing the monster (a guy in a lumpy mask) being shot several times with no effect, only to be finally defeated when one of Captain Miguel’s men hits him in the head with his artificial leg!  You just know that Adam was kicking himself for not heaving his mannequin at the creature earlier. The only way this movie could have been worse is if it had been Siamese twins!

© 2017 MonsterHunter

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