Beast of Blood

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

A ship en route to Blood Island is left in total wreckage, after a hideous monster on board goes berserk and attacks the vessel’s crew. After the carnage has wound down, just the creature and a lone scientist remain alive and soon enough, the ship arrives on the shores of Blood Island. Back on the infamous island, Dr. Lorca (Eddie Garcia) is still as insane as ever and perhaps even crazier, given some of his latest experiments. As usual, Lorca has been working on some monstrous creations and while some of his plans work out, most fail and the results are gruesome beasts banished from Lorca’s domain. But he has removed the head from Don Ramon’s sickening torso, though he isn’t through with the monster just yet. No, he has stored the creature’s head in a special solution to keep it alive, while he experiments with the body in the meanwhile. He tries to attach different heads to the monster’s body, with unpredictable outcomes. At the same time, Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley) and the beautiful Myra Russell (Celeste Yarnall) venture through treacherous lands, in search of Lorca’s hidden cave, where he conducts his experiments. But can even they stop Lorca this time?

As with most of the films in the Blood Island series, Beast of Blood is a bad movie, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile picture. No, if you’re a fan of Sam Sherman style schlock, with poor production values, a slapdash cast, and oddball direction from Eddie Romero (Beyond Atlantis, Savage Sisters), then you should have a few laughs with this release. You can’t help but laugh at times, as the performances are simply awful and even the name actors can’t muster much, a sure sign of bad movie bliss. Here we have John Ashley (Beach Blanket Bingo, Hell on Wheels) and Celeste Yarnall (The Mechanic, Scorpio), as well as Filipino star Eddie Garcia (Woman Hunt, The Twilight People), all of whom seem embarrassed to be involved in Beast of Blood, which is understandable. Then again, you wouldn’t really want award level acting in this kind of flick, as the poor performances add to the fun of the experience. As you’d expect from a drive-in feature, Beast of Blood has some bloodshed, naked flesh, and cool monster makeup, but not enough of any of them, as the more the merrier in this instance. I can’t say this is even a decent movie, but it was fun to watch and never became dull, which is good enough to satisfy this reviewer. Image’s disc is terrific also, which leaves me to give this a solid recommendation.

Video: How does it look?

Beast of Blood is presented in a full frame transfer. This is a solid looking treatment, but don’t expect much beyond a basic, unremarkable visual effort. The print has some flecks and grain evident, but looks cleaner than anticipated, with minimal serious wear signs. I did detect some softness throughout, but nothing too extreme and given the material involved, its nothing to be concerned about in the least. The colors are bright, but a tad on the washed out side, while contrast is stable, but again, suffers from some softness. But even with these flaws, this is still a good looking visual presentation for Beast of Blood.

Audio: How does it sound?

This release uses the original mono track and while this isn’t a room shaking mix, it handles the film’s audio needs very well. This type of material doesn’t call for much in terms of dynamic sound, so the mono format is more than adequate in all respects. The dialogue is crisp, with no harshness or separation issues in the least. The sound effects have no problems either, as they come across in distinct and clear fashion. I found very little distortion present and the usual mono hiss is thankfully absent. You can tell this was a low budget production of course, but this soundtrack is still more than acceptable.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary with Sam Sherman kicks off the extras, a session in which Sherman talks about the entire Blood Island series, not just this installment. It is fun to hear his thoughts on the cast, director Eddie Romero, and the art of making low budget, drive-in schlock cinema, since he was so involved in the process. Not the best track I’ve heard, but a good one and a session that fans of bad movies should enjoy. Next is a pair of interviews, as Romero and star Celeste Yarnall were grilled about the film and the experience of making Beast of Blood. This disc also includes some still photos, a selection of “lost” scenes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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