A remake the godfather of gore should be proud of?
By Lola Josephine
The original 1963 movie Blood Feast gave rise to the ‘splatter-film’ genre, and is among the first films to use shock and gore as its main selling point. The film was shot in 6 days for $24,500, but ultimately, in terms of filmic quality, it’s complete shit.
The scripting is so poor that it sounds like it came from an online generator titled “Egyptian cult cannibal story,” and they added the names in later. No matter how bad you’re thinking the acting is right now, it’s worse, I guarantee, it’s much worse. But this is film is the first of its kind, the Godfather of Gore, and it became a cult classic that went on to inspire the visual style of films like Romero’s eerie classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968.)In BBC documentary ‘Fear in the Dark’ (1991) John Carpenter praises the film for making us “look at this stuff,” this is still the oldest film on the UK’s DPP (director of public prosecutions) list, and the 2005 uncut release remains on the list today.
The director, Herschell Gordon Lewis, uses cut-aways to imply violence; eyes are ripped from sockets, and tongues from mouth, but we only see the aftermath of prosthetic gore made from cheap offal and dollar store fake blood – low-budget gold!
The remake is by director Marcel Walz, a German director known for producing a particular breed of sadistic European slasher-style horror, and is probably best known for the films: La Petite Morte II (2009) and his first international film Seed 2 (2014) – neither of which I’ve seen, but that are probably worth a watch on a dry day.
The director currently has two films in post-production Blood Feast and #funnyFACE (release date TBA.) The script for the Blood Feast remake comes from barely known screenplay writer Philip Lilienschwarz, whose only other notable release is a German film called ‘Absolutio –Erlösung im Blut’ (2013) which he both wrote for and directed.
The plot takes us out of the Florida area and into Europe as Fuad Ramses and his family, as wife and daughter (who do not feature in the original) move from America to France, where they run an American style diner. Fuad has to work nights at a museum that exhibits ancient Egyptian artifacts, and it is here, while desperately slaving to put food on his table, that he becomes infatuated with the evil, murderess, cannibalistic goddess ISHTAR. The goddess seduces Ramses, and he becomes the instrument of her will. She visits him in visions until he eventually succumbs to her charms. Fuad’s life is changed forever, now murder and cannibalism are his daily bread, and as he begins to prepare the ritualistic BLOOD FEAST blood, bodies and organs pile up on the sacrificial alter.
As he is further and further consumed by his madness, more and more he is seen to be Ishtar’s human puppet. Now the goddess thirsts for the blood of Fuad’s daughter and wife… With the surge in popularity for gore-porn cinema a re-release of Blood Feast (the very year of its half centenary) is right on schedule! The teaser trailer (which aired during film fest season last year, alongside the film which held its European premiere at the UK frightfest event) uses the original audience warning that aired alongside trailers for the original 1963 film, if only to highlight how far splatter cinema has come since the 60s.
The FRIGHTFEST UK Review calls this film a: ‘a crazed, bloodrenched, reworking of the splatter classic.” The cast is packed with horror actors, from films such as: Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (1985), Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Hills Run Red (2009), and Wrong Turn 6 (2014.) The film is still seeking funding via it’s indiegogo page, and for $10,000 you can get the title of ‘Bloody Producer,’ your name will be on the credits, IMDb, original poster, and all press releases. Or for the frugal sum of $5.00 you can get an online add from the character of Fuad Ramses, and he’ll even endorse you on Linkdin. Ultimately I don’t think this film will disappoint you, as long as you’re watching for the pure pleasure of horrendous violence, and copious lashings of blood and guts – lashings that will no doubt be on-screen in this new revamp. If however you’re looking for a filmic experience that includes: artful direction, a clear cut vision, a well constructed plot, or any of the hallmarks of well-rounded film making, you may want to sit this one out. I don’t think that this film will deliver in the same way as Leatherface (2016,) Rob Zombie’s new film ’31’ (2016,) simply because I do not have the same faith in the production teams ability to write and make good films. The cast is probably the one thing that this film has going for it on paper; at the very least they’re experienced in the art of slasher/splatter horror. But I’m up for being proven wrong, and with the original being such a classic, I kind of hope that I am.
words by @lolajosephine