Blood Feast (1963)

A weird and grisly ancient rite horrendously brought to life.
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Blood Feast - A weird and grisly ancient rite horrendously brought to life

As the earliest movie on the video nasty list (1963) Blood Feast (also known as Feast of Flesh and Egyptian Blood Feast) is also surprisingly one of the most worthy. Although the movie is old and the effects are very unconvincing compared to many others in the list, the gore is quite extreme and the storyline is quite depraved considering the era and the wooden acting is more reminiscent of musically abundant movies from the fifties which make the whole scenario seem even more creepy and ill-fitting for a horror movie. Herschell Gordon Lewis is one of the first pioneers of extreme horror movies and is renowned for his excessive graphic depictions of violent death and is credited for creating the "Splatter" sub genre of horror as well as being a visionary in the world of exploitation flicks with movies such as The Gore Gore Girls and 2000 Maniacs. As can be expected from a low-budget B-Movie from the sixties, do not anticipate any Oscar winning performances from the actors and the storyline is comparable to a stretched out episode of the Twilight Zone but the influence of this movie on the horror world is undeniable due to its intrepid expedition into extreme gore.

Dorothy Freemont is a wealthy socialite wanting to throw the greatest ever party for her daughter Suzette. Knowing that Suzette has an interest in Egyptian history and having been recommended Fuad Ramses as a caterer that can cater for her needs, Freemont goes to Ramses store and enquires about hiring his services to produce the feast. Ramses explains that he has just the feast in mind, a feast that hasn't been served for over 5000 years and that he will need a couple of weeks to procure the required ingredients.

Ramses has a different motivation to prepare the feast; he plans to resurrect the Goddess Ishtar, The Mother of Veiled Darkness, with his bloody culinary delights composed of body parts of the local female population.

Meanwhile Detective Pete Thornton is investigating a series of brutal murders of young women in the area, all of which have been mutilated and are missing body parts. Having no leads on the motivations for the murders and no clue as to the perpetrator, Pete decides to carry on his normal life and attends his weekly Egyptology class with his girlfriend who just happens to be Suzette. After numerous clues about an ancient Egyptian ritual involving virgin sacrifice the slow-thinking detective finally pieces the puzzle together when one of Ramses narrowly surviving victims mentions the word Ishtar.

Now with all characters fully intertwined in Fuad Ramses diabolical home-economical scheme, Detective Pete must stop the barmy Egyptologist before Suzette becomes the final ingredient in the blood feast.

Blood Feast, amongst the other splatter-works of HG Lewis, manages to push the boundaries of horror to the next level with graphic depictions of eye-gouging, dismemberment and brain-extraction injected into the storyline simply for the sake of shock and revulsion in a story that could have possibly been dumbed down to reach a wider audience. Mr Lewis is an audacious horror director who looks upon his movies as a work of art, sticking to his blood-soaked vision regardless of the controversy caused. Blood Feast is a classic gorefest with boundary breaking nastiness and a nauseating story and the movie must be admired and respected for how and when it has influenced the horror that proceeds it.
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Categories: Video Nasties

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