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The Incredible Torture Show

Blood Sucking Freaks
The Heritage of Caligula: An Orgy of Sick Minds / The House of Screaming Virgins

USA 1976
produced by
Alan G. Margolin, Joel M. Reed
directed by Joel M. Reed
starring Seamus O'Brien, Viju Krem, Luis De Jesus, Niles McMaster, Dan Fauci, Alphonso DeNoble, Ernie Pysher, Helen Thomoson, Saiyanidi, Carol Mara, Linda Small, Illa Howe, Lynette Sheldon, Janis Beaver, Karen Fraser, Michelle Craig, Erica Wolfe, Gail Renay, Rita Montone, Judy Best, Carol Henry, Athena Anderson, Joann Friedman, Sharani Gomez, Juliet Graham, Suzanne Wall, Arlana Blue, Evalyna Wade, George Davalos, Robert Kirsh, Jennifer Stock
written by Joel M. Reed, music by Michael Sahl, special effects by Bob O'Bradovich

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sardu (Seamus O'Brien) runs a live S/M-show that features some really cruel torture - but certain members of his audience don't approve of his kind of entertainment, especially theatre critic Creasy Silo (Alphonso DeNoble), who even criticises him, during his shows ... which is why Sardu eventually orders his dwarf assistant Ralphus (Luis De Jesus) to kidnap the critic. In his private dungeon, Sardu tortures Silo in various ways to break his will, but to no avail. But even apart from torturing him, Sardu does a lot of actual torture and even some killings in his dungeon - including an infamous scene in which he and his assistant use a girls butt to play darts. Plus, for money, Sardu runs a white slavery ring on the side ...

Eventually, Sardu decides he wants to stage a live S/M-musical, so he has star ballerina Natasha di Natali (Viju Krem) brought to him who is supposed to star in his ballet. But the big Broadway star has no intention to star in a filthy SoHo theatre - so to his delight, Sardu has to torture her a little, then have another dancer beheaded and yet another cut her feet off ... finally, Natasha gives in, and soon becomes her master's willing slave.

Thing is, Natasha has a boyfriend, Tom Maverick (Niles McMaster), who soon notices her absence and notifies the authorities - but the only one he gets help from is highly corrupt sergeant Tucci (Dan Fauci), who even has to be bribed into helping him. Eventually, Tucci can track her down to Sardu's theatre on the day of the big premiere, but instead of freeing her he now bribes Sardu, then tells Maverick everything is alright. It is only after the show during which Natasha does a topless dance and kills critic Silo live on stage that Tucci tells Maverick the truth about Sardu's operation, but won't call in reinforcements because he knows Sardu has a fortune hidden somewhere in his dungeon.

Soon enough, Tucci and Maverick have tied up Sardu and his helpers, but while Maverick brings Natasha to safety, Tucci goes looking for Sardu's treasure - which unfortunately is hidden in a cage full of cannibal women, who effectively tear him apart.

During their escape, Natasha hits Maverick over the head to return to her master, but alas, he and his helpers have already been torn apart and eaten up by the cannibal women, who have taken over the operation ...

 

As you might have guessed from my synopsis, this film is about torture, and there's lots of it in the film, all shown rather explicitely and mostly featuring naked women (by and large, most of the women in this film are naked even when they are not tortured actually. But to simply say Blood Sucking Freaks is torture porn and therefore a bad movie does not really do the film justice. Firstly, the film is way less cynical than its storyline might suggest, secondly many scenes are played primarily for laughs and especially Seamus O'Brien and Luis De Jesus play their roles as nothing short of parodies, and thirdly much of the actual violence in the film is so over-the-top it simply can't be taken all seriously but is comparable to Herschell Gordon Lewis gore-comedies like Gore Gore Girls. That said, the film is far from Lewis' best films, the direction is purely functional, the film lacks any true fascination for its subject, and the gore scenes are by and large less than convincing.

Still, if you have a weird kind of humour, you might find this one amusing.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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