Blood Sucking Freaks - Joel M. Reed (1976)

New York based director Joel M Reed started to make adult movies in the late 60s (like Career Bed or Sex By Advertisement) before directing his first exploitation movie called The GI Executionner in 1971. While trying to work on a new project about a rockstar haunted by a groupie, he assisted to a S&M theatre night. Marked by this show, he decided to start a movie about a sadistic ballet company playing on stage. That's how the set of BLOODSUCKING FREAKS begun, shot essentially at night, with actors from porn, theatre, or having day jobs.

Master Sardu runs every night a little grand guignol theatre called Theatre of Macabre, where he presents scenes of extreme violence and torture where the audience is convinced that everything is just magic or tricks. They're wrong. Sardu and his little henchman, Ralphus the midget, are kidnapping women to abuse them badly. But Master Sardu wants more, he's sick and tired of seeing the bad ratings of his show in the newspaper, so he captures one of the critics who dare to mock him and a well known ballet dancer to convince her to play for him and to become his 'star'. But the thing is... She refuses. That's about the time where the tortures and the violence increase to the top, always more inventive, resourceful and brutal. You want some examples? Well you can witness nipple electrocutions, a hand cut, eyeball eating, or this sick scene where a laughing Ralphus is spanking hard with a stick a girl on her knees, head and hands stuck in a good old pillory, holding the rope that keep the blade of a fucking guillotine high in her mouth. When she starts screaming, the rope falls down and so is the big ass blade. Then Ralphus gets a blowjob from the severed head. Yes, this movie is this offensive, and definitely NOT for everyone.

This is a macabre farce influenced without any doubt by THE WIZARD OF GORE (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1970), and the director even said he was highly influenced by the two first ILSA movies (She Wolves of the SS from 1975 andHarem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, 1976), for the cruelty and the sexual abuses on the women. I can totally feel an atmosphere close to the MARQUIS DE SADE, Salo in particular. Bloodsucking Freaks has this real sleazy 70s vibe but all the S&M scenes, the atrocities and the misogynistic attitude reminds me of Sade also. Women are used as tables, chairs or are there only for decoration. They're considered as animals or objects, depending on the situation. But the thing that saves the movie to me is that there is this dark humor, really brutal and gratuitous. Fuck, you have some incredible scenes happening in front of your eyes and you're just like ''shit, is this really happening?''. I'm thinking of the dentist scene where a doctor is pulling teeth out from a naked girl tied to a chair, then he cuts her hair, drill a hole in her head and sucks the blood from the brain with a straw. Or when a busty blonde's ass is used as a dartboard by Ralphus and his master drinking beers, hilarious! I was also laughing when you learn that this sadistic dandy Master Sardu loves as much wipping women than being wipped by amazones! Speaking of this, I don't know where they find all the women, but they're all georgous as hell, real beauties.

Anyway, Bloodsucking Freaks was originally titled 'The Incredible Torture Show', and that made sense. It's when Troma re-released the movie in 1980 that the name became 'Bloodsucking Freaks'. Troma should have distributed the film in a cut version, but they in fact shipped the uncunt version to theaters telling them it was the R rated version. It was a shocker back then when it was released in the 70s and 80s, and it is now still disturbing because of all the atrocities, but I guess it can also be easy to watch it just the way it is meant: a big joke. A really nasty flick, in bad taste, totally demented. This is fucking sick AND fun, that's why I love Bloodsucking Freaks!

Just for the anecdote, Luis DeJesus (credited as Louie DeJesus in BSF), the midget playing Ralphus, had been a circus performer and was quite infamous around New York in the seventies for his roles in some stag movies, most notably The Anal Dwarf (1971). A regular attraction in 42d Street peepshows, especially for freaks, and people looking for hardcore stuff or something different. He also played with the famous porn actress Annie Sprinkle in the porn movie Call Me Angel, Sir(1976). Their scene was insane, DeJesus appearing in a frog costume and then fucking with smile a hot Annie Sprinkle! On the last day of shooting Blood Sucking Freaks, director Reed was shocked to see Luis DeJesus and other members of the cast staging an orgy! DeJesus kept doing porn for a while and then tried to appear in more mainstream movies. He was an Ewok in Return of the Jedi (1983)... (RG)


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