Saturday, November 12, 2016

I DRINK YOUR BLOOD (1971) 2-Disc Deluxe Edition (Grindhouse Releasing Blu-ray Review)


2-Disc Deluxe Edition 

Label: Grindhouse Releasing
Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 83 Minutes I 88 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1)
Director: David Durston
Cast: Bhaskar, Jadin Wong, Rhonda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon, Lynn Lowry, Tyde Kierney, Richard Bowler, Riley Mills, Richard Bowler, Iris Brooks

A cult of satanic hippie weirdos known as "Sons and Daughters of Satan" roll into a small town and squat in a dilapidated old hotel that is infested with rats. In between invoking Satan and dropping acid the evil-hippies rape a local girl named sylvia (Iris Brooks), and soon after grandfather Doc Banner (Richard Bowler)comes gunning for revenge with his shotgun in hand but is instead roughed up and dosed with acid, which sends him on a nightmare trip. All this angers his young grandson Pete (Riley Mills)who has had about enough with the hippies raping and drugging his family members, to that end the little shit comes up with the deliriously awful idea of tainting the hippie's morning meat pies with the tainted blood of a rabid dog he killed the night before. Of course all this backfires on the whole town when the Satanic hippies become rabid lunatics foaming at the mouth who descend upon the town with murderous and lunatic intent. 

I Drink Your Blood is a nice slice of 70s drive-in awesomeness loaded with goofy satanism, murderous hippies, bloody gore, an acid-tripping grandpa and a scene-stealing performance by the young actor Riley Mills as the revenge-driven Pete, I love this kid! Viewers will no doubt recognize a young and fresh-faced Lynn Lowry (Radley Metzger's Score, George A. Romero's The Crazies) as a deaf mute who appears in a memorable hand-severing scene, in her first ever movie role. Bhaskar is mesmerizing as the long-haired cult-leader Horace in the movie, and actor George Patterson as the cultist Rollo has the face of nightmares, something about his bone structure and piercing eyes, strange stuff. 

There's also a horny rabies-carrying nymph who gang bangs a construction crew, infecting each of the hard hats with the virulent strain of rabies - this movie has a little bit of everything that was naughty about 70s cinema and it makes for one heck of a fun watch. Everything about this low-budget cult classic is just fun and over-the-top with a nice array of severed heads, severed hands, self-immolation and rabid satanic hippies causing trouble for small town folks - what's not to love? 

Audio/Video: This riotous drive-in classic arrives on deluxe edition Blu-ray from the good folks over at Grindhouse Releasing who continue to astound and amaze with their HD releases. The HD transfer has been re-framed it in 1.66 widescreen and it looks absolutely gorgeous with nicely managed grain, an abundance of fine detail and nicely saturated colors, this is a very nice HD upgrade in all respects. Audio on the disc comes by way of an English DTS-HD MA 1.0 track that sounds great with crisp and clean reproduction of dialogue and cool psycho-tronic score, for a low-budget slice of 70s drive-in cinema this looks and sounds top-notch in HD! 

Grindhouse carry-over all the extras from their 2006 DVD including the commentary from Director David Durston and star Bhaskar, the four deleted scenes which includes an extended scene of gramps freaking out on acid, and the The I Drink Your Blood Show (29 Mins) featurette with interviews from actors Lynn Lowry, Tyde Kierney, Jack Damon and ad-man Barney Cohen, all hosted by the charming Durston himself. They've even included the film of Bhaskar performing "The Evil King Cobra Dance" which is tucked away within the filmographies on the second disc along with some other fun video gems. Grindhouse also include two options for viewing the movie, the shorter X-rated 83-minute cut or the expanded 88-minute director's version which adds in some deleted scenes and outtakes with a different ending, which I love. 

Of course Grindhouse wouldn't think of upgrading an older release without adding some new stuff for fans and they again go beyond expectations for I Drink Your Blood, beginning with a brand new audio commentary from stars Jack Damon and Tyde Kierney who provide loads of information about the making of the movie in Upstate New York and working with the cast and crew. On disc one we also have about 3-mins of outtakes and a 6-min piece wherein the Mahoning Drive-In screens the original double-bill for the movie along with I Eat Your Skin.

There's also a new sit down interview with the now-late David Durston lasting a full hour, he speaks about his early life and career on Broadway, knowing horror legend Bela Lugosi and making his movies, including I Drink Your Blood, going into the origin and retitling of the movie, originally titled "Phobia", which angered him, and the various re-edits and cuts the movie has endured through the years at the hands of local movie houses who feared angering community standards of the time. It's a great interview and he covers a lot of ground with his usual wit and youthful charm. There are also video clips of Durston and Lynn Lowry at Cinema Wasteland in 2004 and a cast and crew reunion of the movie after a screening at the New Beverly from 2003 also featuring stars Arlene Farber and Tyde Kierney.

Grindhouse also pack in two full-length movies on the disc in HD, the first being I Eat Your Skin (1964) which the movie shared an infamous double bill with in cinemas back in the day, plus David Durston's long-lost X-rated psychedelic shocker Blue Sextet (1969) also in nicely rendered HD. 

Extras are finished up with the usual selection of trailers, radio spots, two German language super 8 versions of the movie, and tucked away in the filmographies you can find trailers for the doc They Came from the Swamp (4 mins), the Jerry Gross produced movies Africa Blood and Guts(2 mins, Zombi (2 mins), a 9-min video clip from the 2002 Cult Movie Awards, a radio spot for the movie Stigma (1 min) and the aforementioned video of Bhaskar performing the serpentine King Cobra dance. There are also at least two Easter Eggs tucked away on the first disc I've been able to find, there might be more.

Special Features:
Disc One
- Spectacular new HD restoration of the original uncensored director's cut of the film!
- 4 controversial deleted scenes including the original blood-drenched ending deemed too disturbing for '70s audiences with optional audio commentary! (6 Mins)
- Out-Takes (3 Mins)
- Mahoning Drive-In show (6 Mins)
- Provocative Audio Commentary by Director David Durston and star Bhaskar
- New Audio commentary by stars Jack Damon and Tyde Kierney
- 2 Hidden Easter Egg (18 Mins)
Disc Two
- The I Drink Your Blood Show (29 Mins)
- Going For The Jugular - New Interview with David Durston (60 Mins)
- I Drink Your Blood Reunion at The New Beverly Cinema (2003) (25 Mins)
- Cinema Wasteland Oct. 1st 2004 (17 Mins)
- Cinema Wasteland Oct. 4th 2004 (4 Mins)
- Trailer (3 Mins)
- Radio Spot (1 Mins)
- Still Galleries: Production Stills (37 Images), Cast and Crew (43 Images), Theatrical - US (45 Images), Theatrical-Foreign (33 Images), Video releases (34 Images), Blood-Horrors (51 Images)
- Bios and Filmographies: David E. Durston, Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury
- German Super 8 Versions: Hauser Des Blutigens Schreckens (16 Mins), Die Satansbande (24 Mins)
- I Eat Your Skin (1964) - Presented for the very first time in HD (81 Mins)
- Swamp Man - Exclusive interview with 2nd unit director William Grefe (18 Mins)
- Blue sextet (1969) - David Durston's long-lost X-rated psychedelic shocker - presented for the very first time on home video! (89 Mins) HD
- Liner notes by David Szulkin (Wes Craven's Last House on the Left: The Making of a Cult Classic)
- Grindhouse Prevues: An American Hippie In Israel, Pieces, Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, The Tough Ones, Scum of the Earth, The Beyond, Cat in the Brain, Corruption, The swimmer, The Big Gundown, Ice House, Massacre Mafia style, Gone with the Pope (34 Mins)
- Beautiful embossed slipcover
-I Drink Your Blood Horror Hypo! Inject your friends with rabies! Limited to the first 3000 copies!

Proving yet again that no low-budget movie is too weird or too wild for the deluxe treatment from Grindhouse Releasing, Bob Murawski and company have put together the definitive version of the movie in a loving and dynamic 2-disc package. If you're one of the first three thousand to snag this you might have received the limited edition Horror Hypo, which is your very own hypodermic needle to draw blood and infect your friends with rabies! I think this might mark the last of the original Grindhouse releasing DVD releases to be upgraded to Blu-ray, I'm curious to see what comes next, if anything. I seem to recall hearing somewhere that with the sad passing of co-founder Sage Stallone a few years back that the mission was to finish upgrading the original releases to HD and to wrap it up, I hope I am wrong about that. We've seen Grindhouse reach out and beyond with their Blu-rays of the Spaghetti Western The Big Gundown with Lee Van Cleef, the psycho-thriller Corruption with Peter Cushing and the poignant melancholia of The Swimmer with Burt Lancaster, they can pretty much do anything, and as a cinema fan who loves their commitment to the restoration and preservation of the weird and wild side of cult cinema I think it would be a serious loss, for all of us as film fans.