Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

Join the fun!... Human dart boards... Home style brain surgery... Dental hijinks!
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Bloodsucking Freaks: Join The Fun!... Human Dart Boards... "Home Style Brain Surgery"... Dental Hijinks!

The title conjures up images of a vampire movie but, as with any Troma flick, you rarely get what you expect. Bloodsucking Freaks (aka The Incredible Torture Show) is not a trademark Troma slapstick comedy horror but an extremely depraved and embroidered exploitation flick that is not without it's very darkly humorous charms. As expected the movie is massively over the top, filled with gratuitous amounts of excessive gore, startlingly sadistic acts of abuse and evil and an abundance of nudity and perverted sexual acts. No other entertainment company would release a movie incorporating and glamorising slavery, kidnap, rape, torture, S&M, cannibalism and a midget named Ralphus.

The movie caused a fair amount of controversy (which is always good movie marketing), struggling to get released the movie was heavily cut so that it could gain an "R" rating but was shipped to theatres uncut. Troma was sued by the MPAA for improper uses of the "R" logo when a woman complained that the movie had upset her little boy (!!!) and the deception was uncovered.

Director Joel M. Reed does not deliver a complex or sensible plot as that would get in the way of the depravity and would go against the Troma code. Master Sardu and his faithful and diminutive assistant Ralphus run a theatre of the macabre where they put on sadomasochistic torture shows to entertain the general public but little do the general public know that there are no special effects or magic tricks involved in the show. The participants are brainwashed kidnap victims and the torture and dismemberment is real. Sardu obviously loves his work and indulges in his twisted fantasies in all aspects of his life with his indoctrinated sex slaves satisfying his whims at all times whether it be around the home or in his dungeon where the cannibalistic caged girls live.

Creasy Silo, theatre critic extraordinaire, questions the artfulness of Sardu's show and soon gets a more detailed insight into the work of the master of the macabre as he is encouraged to give a more positive review in a not too subtle way and is given a starring role in the show. Although Sardu is obviously a sick and twisted individual he is still willing to take Silo's criticisms on board and decides to kidnap famous ballerina Natasha DeNatalie to give a more respectable level of artisticness to his show.

With the help of corrupt cop Detective Tucci, Natasha's footballer boyfriend, Tom Maverick, is determined to uncover the truth behind Sardu's operation and rescue his lover.

A bizarre and irreverent plot which is seemingly just an excuse to exploit every taboo in a movie and take it to its distasteful extreme, Bloodsucking Freaks has to be seen to be believed. With the usual histrionic characters that are expected in a Troma movie and the excessive lengths that the plot evolves to shock and disgust, this is not a movie to take seriously. Fans of hardcore exploitation movies such as Last House on the Left and I Spit on your Grave may find Bloodsucking Freaks a bit difficult to digest with its campiness and farcical interpretation of the genre but would have to appreciate the depths of distaste that the movie is willing to sink to in order to achieve the desired reaction from the audience. A definite cult classic and a defining moment in Troma history in the guise of a sadistic and torturous voyage into the brainwashing and slavery industry where women are used as dartboards before being fed to their feral sisters.
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