Blu-ray Review: Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)

February 16, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

After an opening explaining the evil machinations of a surviving race of Druids known as Sangroids to resurrect their queen via blood draining shenanigans (all provided by a voice over that sounds like an unholy union between James Mason and Dr. Frank N. Furter) we learn just where this evil rite is to take place…no, not at Stonehenge or some other ancient place of pagan worship…nope this thing is going down in the cradle of ultimate demonic terror…Westchester County, New York (shivers).

Who can stand in the Druids way as they kidnap the townsfolk and harvest their blood? Well hopefully Don (Bruce Detrick), his girlfriend Jenny (Tanna Hunter), and her father, Dr. Roy Anderson (Norman Kelley) ‘cuz that’s all we got. We’re doomed.

Man Invasion of the Blood Farmers has it all. You like overly dramatic stock music that plays as characters merely talk or change their clothes? How about ADR that sounds like it was recorded via a tin can in a bathroom and doesn’t even attempt to match the movements of the actor’s mouth? Certainly you dig scenery chewing so intense that I swear you can see bite marks at the edge of the screen…yeah, it’s got all that and more!

Honestly, it’s that last point that brings the most enjoyment, in particular the “subtle as a sledgehammer to the balls” performance of  Kelley as Dr. Roy Anderson who seems to be emoting for the cheap seats in the house…too bad this isn’t theater…and holy shit Paul Craig Jennings as the villainous Creton to whom I can only say “Bravo good sir for bringing all of your High School Drama Club Shakespeare experience to the screen.” (though to provide balance, Detrick as Don makes for a decent leading man)…crap I just remembered the “performance” of  Frank Iovieno as Police Chief Frank Spano who has the range of a pile of dried out dog turd, and a New Yawk accent so thick it defies description…honestly nearly every performance is just absurd in the best possible way!

While these things may seem like negatives, the entire flick is a haunted hoot and a half, I mean it’s hard to resist a film that deals with tainted blood causing people’s blood to explode (don’t get excited…it just involves spitting stage blood around), Druids, evil rites, dodgy science…readers of this column know I absolutely eat this kind of shit up with a sinister spoon and this fright flick is no exception! But along with all of that comes something that makes most underfunded horror pictures shine; a ton of heart. No one cared that shit was (catastrophically) flawed, they just did the best they could, and doubtless had a great time doing it; and that makes the entire affair a great time in the ol’ horror biz!

Along with all of the insanity listed above, you also get some eerie extras courtesy of ol’ Severin films! First up we get an audio commentary featuring Director Ed Adlum and Actress/Costume Designer Ortrum Tippel, moderated by Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women. This is one hell of an entertaining listen; full of information, anecdotes, and absolutely no illusions of what they have created…and Janisse keeps things moving! Following that we get interviews with Adlum, Actor Jack Neubeck (who plays the Druid Egon in the film), and cinematographer Frederick Elmes, and the film’s trailer.

If you are looking for a low-budget slice of fright flick lunacy then Invasion of the Blood Farmers will satisfy like few others can; it’s inept, ridiculous, and thoroughly entertaining!



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