31 days of horror day 7 and I'm onto the good stuff.
It's quality all the way from this point on.
Brides of Blood (AKA Brides of Blood Island, Grave Desires, Terror on Blood Island 1968).
Dir: Eddie Romero, Gerardo De Leon.
Cast: Beverly Hills, John Ashley, Kent Taylor, Mario Montenegro, Eva Darren and the fantastic Bruno Punzalan.
|Lusting for women it terrified the land! Which is also an apt description of your uncle Pete.|
Slick haired and snake hipped Peace Corp volunteer Jim Farrell (Filipino fright film fave Ashley) alongside the cut-price Clark Gable-a-like Dr. Paul Henderson (Psycho à Go-Go's Taylor) and his wife, the classy chassised bleached bimbette Carla (Beverly Hills...not her real name) are traveling to the spookily named "Blood Island" for a six-month stay.
But why would they do such a thing? I hear you ask.
Well, Henderson is heading there to study the effects of atomic testing on local flora and fauna (as you do) whilst Farrell's going to build stuff for the natives (and hopefully score with a few of the grass skirted sex kitens that live there).
Well she's accompanying her hubbie in order to show off her arse in in a variety of Capri Pants three sizes too small.
Just like your mum when she goes to Spain with her mates.
|Your Auntie Jean, up the casino, Brighton, 1967....YESCH.|
Upon arrival our heroic trio are surprised to find the usually friendly locals glumly carrying a couple of dead bodies towards the beach, which either means a burial at sea or they've gone to the wrong island and stumbled across Joe D'Amato filming another of his cannibal porn epics.
There's no time to check tho' as one of the body-bearers trips, dropping a cloth covered corpse onto the ground with a rubbery thud and our merry trio are shocked to see that the body has been literally torn to pieces.
Well I say shocked but Ashley - with his cinematic back catalogue - is kinda used to this sort of thing by now and dear old Beverley is too busy concentrating on walking and talking at the same time to notice.
God bless Kent Taylor tho', who gives it his all, twitching and grimacing exactly like your dad at the point of climax.
Trust me I know.
Luckily Frank Arcadio the English speaking, tea cosy hatted tribal leader (and buddy to Henderson) is on hand to helpfully explain that the two girls were involved in an "accident" and that there's really nowt to worry about.
Especially not radioactive monsters.
Before anyone can ask any awkward questions Arcadio mentions that he's prepared a slap up meal of crisp sandwiches and fizzy pop back at his hut so our trio, hungry from all that traveling and corpse gazing excitedly follow him home.
Everything is going swimmingly (if a little stilted tho' that could just be the acting) until Arcadio - handing out fun size Twix's for dessert whispers in a hushed tone that things are a wee bit mental on the island at the moment and, for their own safety that they should really leave.
Right now if not sooner.
Dr. Henderson looks on concerned and nods thoughtfully but Jim is otherwise engaged as he gazes longingly at Arcadio's beautiful granddaughter Alma (the dusky beauty that is Eva Darren, currently doing Stirling work as Thelma in the hit TeeVee soap Magpakailanman) whilst sweating like Jimmy Savile opening a girl guides camp.
|Eva: Not green.|
Ignoring Arcadio's warning the group head off to bed with Henderson particularly excited about beginning his research the next morning much to his wife's chagrin who decides to sit up all night smoking whilst seductively flashing her ankles at any tribesfolk who wander by.
Jim by this point is already in his tent, searching his backpack for tissues and a Pot Noodle.
As dawn breaks Henderson is already up and about searching for samples in the jungle whilst a bored looking Carla lies wistfully against a tree, her frankly terrifying breasts pointing skywards like silk covered weapons of mass distraction, her scarily pointed bra barely holding their awesome power in check.
The beauty of her surroundings seems to have a calming effect on Carla tho' as she decides that rather than attempting to seduce the locals she'll try to rekindle the Doctor's love for her and to this end starts poking around in the bush for something nice to give him as a present.
It says a lot about Carla that she decides that a massive mutated land crab would make a perfect romantic gift and excitedly hands it to her hubbie.
Rather than trying to shag it as she has everything else that moves.
Giving it a quick once over he decides that the creature is irrefutable evidence that radiation has affected the island.
Hmmmm....you think so?
With the (stock footage and filtered) sun setting, the Henderson's return to the village (with the crab in a shoe box) only to stumble across what appears to be the tribes own version of the National Lottery draw, except this one features purple smoke, drums and a couple of scantily clad laydees crying in a corner.
Which actually sounds pretty exciting.
Well it'd make me consider buying a ticket.
|Inside John Leslie's mind.|
With some poor old guy from the local unemployed group dragged up like Mystic Meg he totters about on a pair of homemade Cha-Cha heels for what seems like an eternity before angrily pointing none too happy native girls and gesturing to a couple of hunky, spear wielding warrior types to carry them off into the jungle.
Our dynamic duo (with Jim close behind -he can obviously smell distressed female from a mile away) give chase but before they can catch up with the procession they are accosted by the bald, cod-eyed Goro (Black Mama White Mama's Punzalan), servant of the enigmatic Mr. Esteban Powers (Mario Montenegro), owner of the islands only brick house and winner of the Butlins Skegness Dezi Arnez look-a-like competition a record breaking 5 times between 1955 and 1961.
It appears that Goro has been skulking about in the trees since they arrived on the island in the hope that they'll accept Mr. Powers invite of dinner and offer to use of his estate for the duration of their stay.
Which sounds as good a reason as any for hiding behind a bush watching scantily clad babes being carried away screaming, so the party (totally forgetting about the sobbing girls as soon as free food is mentioned) accept heartily.
|Dominic Littlewood goes undercover as a genie to report on dangerous garden centres and terrifying things.|
Arriving at Powers' estate (after a slight fright involving a killer bush...yes really) the Henderson's and big Jim fail to notice (but not me, oh no sir) that not only is the entire house staff made up of dwarves, scurrying and leaping around the kitchens whilst Goro chases down then whips them but also that Powers has the face (and firm tight buttocks) of a 12 year old even those he alleges he's over 50.
To be fair tho' they're probably distracted by the fact that the promised slap up meal actually appears a plate of huge green bananas and jugs of weak piss.
Good to see they have their priorities right.
Making the most of a bad situation (and even worse script) our heroes tuck into dinner, enjoying Goro's dwarf baiting in between Dr. Henderson tediously giving everyone a lecture on the effects of atomic radiation whilst using the croissants to represent tumors, which is nice.
This may be important to the plot later tho', you never can tell.
Excited at the prospect of staying in a house with real beds and hot and cold running water (as opposed to weeping sores) Carla persuades her husband to let her stay over at Powers' House, he agrees that she can stay but explains that he must return to the village to fetch some 'special equipment'.
Jimbo too needs to stay in the village to 'assist' the new building work so the pair make their farewells and head off once more into the jungle.
|Beverly Hills Cop (a feel of these babies).|
Heading back to the village, they again cross paths with the sobbing girls, only this time they are both naked and tied to crosses in front of a giant paper mache statue of TeeVee funnyman Phil Cool.
Which if I'm honest is one of the most erotic things I've ever seen committed to celluloid.
Jim and the Doctor look on worriedly as they discuss whether to jump in and free the poor girls or just sit back and enjoy the show.
Luckily that decision is made for them when Arcadio, with the help of his silver tongue and a spear carrying posse turns up, diffusing the situation by explaining that they've just come across the local drama group rehearsing the village Christmas panto before taking the boys back to the village mightily impressed by the bound babes convincing acting.
You'll be surprised to know that Arcadio was in fact lying and that the girls are actually going to be sacrificed to 'The Evil One' an ancient spirit returned to wreak havoc on this idyllic paradise.
Jim and Henderson are barely tucked into bed (separately obviously) when strange Animalistic grunts, groans and farts suddenly begin to fill the air.
Melting under Jim's salacious gaze she's about to spill the beans (and out of her top by the looks of it) but runs away sobbing as soon as she hears the screams coming from the women in the trees.
Jim tries to follow her but is stopped by Arcadio brandishing his massive weapon, the shiny tip glistening in the moonlight.
Threatening to kill our slick-haired hero if he tries to interfere, Arcadio admits that he may have been a wee bit economical with the truth before breaking down in tears and exclaiming that the infamous 'Evil One' has returned.
Jim, finally realizing that being the only male cast member under 40 (just) he must actually be the films hero and donning his best Hawaiian shirt decides that it's his job to combat the terror threatening the village.
And how does he decide to do this?
By showing the villagers how to build an irrigation system for their fields and smiling seductively at Alma in the hope of getting information regarding the Evil One's plans from her.
And hopefully a wee cuddle too.
Luckily the latter part of the plan works and she tells him how the Evil One's violent urges can only be placated by the sacrifice of young virgin tottie.
But not as food for the beast oh no.
You see the hapless young (and firm) girls are given to him in order to quell his bizarre sexual urges.
Yup, the Evil One literally shags the sacrifices.....
|"Put it in me!"|
No idea what swung it for him....was it the mutant crabs, man eating banana trees, giant killer moths or the horny man beast prowling around the forest?
We can but imagine.
There's a wee bit of good news tho' because it turns out that the resulting mutations are - kinda - reversible and only manifest themselves at night.
There's just one thing bothering Henderson tho' - well two if you count how his missis manages to squeeze into those blue hot-pants at this point of the movie - and that's the fact that the villagers themselves aren't affected by the radiation.
Powers, never one to let tension build, informs him that they were all brought in as part of the US government’s resettlement program for peoples displaced by the atomic bomb tests.
And he should know, because he was on the island all the time nursing his radioactive wife.
Not to worry tho' the only side effects Powers has ever shown is bouts of migraine and a habit of waking up in his garden covered in blood, egg and semen.
|Fuck me....it's Fred Titmus!|
Will Carla realize before she chases him into the forest (at night) wearing only a seductive Baby Doll nightie?
And will Alma win the island lottery?
Farrell and Henderson have only hours to put the pieces of the puzzle together before more innocent women (and Carla) become BRIDES OF BLOOD.
This second film in the late great Eddie Romero's cult 'Blood' series - co-directed with his long-time partner Gerardo De Leon - invites viewers on a return journey to the notorious Blood Island made (in)famous in The Mad Doctor of Blood Island for an exciting tale of terror that features equal amounts of brutish beasts and bare breasts - the natives must strip the girls naked to be sacrificed as no doubt the beast can manage to tear them limb from limb but not remove their bra's - much to the delight of the delinquent drive-in crowds it was so obviously aimed at.
'Brides' is a no nonsense shoestring 'B' flick that despite it's low budget, still manages to deliver it's quota of scares and sexiness (take a bow John Ashley) that personifies perfectly this period of Filipino film-making mayhem.
|Your wee sister will be OK then.|
Plus if you do manage to get bored - tho' how is beyond me - you can always marvel in awe at the amount of highly coiffured hairstyles on show.
|What your girlfriend really gets up to when she says she's working late.|
No doubt cast for reasons other than her thespian skills, she lights up the screen like a large, tacky plastic glitterball from the pound shop every time she appears - her pneumatic breasts and gravity defying arse a true feat of engineering of which engineers everywhere should be forced to study.
My only disappointment is that after shagging and flirting her way thru' most of the male cast she never bothered to get in on with Mr. Powers' dwarf home help.
|The shy, wallflower Beverly Hills in a rare non-posed shot.|
But what of the films big selling feature?
The nightmarish Evil One?
In a classic case of enthusiasm over budget the beast is a joy to behold, looking as it does like a wart ridden swollen left testicle with chubby arms and legs, pointy cardboard teeth and torches for eyes it exudes menace and animal sexuality in equal doses.
Well it does if you find the thought of a drink sodden tramped up Mr. Blobby with scabs makes you damp with joy.
Just me then?
But fair play to the film makers who, rather than hide this stunning creation in the shadows come straight out and have it take centre stage.
|"Not my wanking hand!"|
Maybe not the best Filipino shocker ever made but definitely not the worst by a long stretch (that still has to be Super Beast), Brides of Blood is the perfect Friday night thriller.
Especially if like me you have no pals.