Blood Diner

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"We get a lot of killers in here "

March 6th, 2013

There are a lot of amazing out there moments in cinema which compel you to return to a movie time and time again. These WTF sequences are rare occurrences and usually have you jumping to share them with your friends (uploading them to YouTube in modern times) revelling in the joy of the inane. Blood Diner is a treat when it comes to the above. Rather than having just one brilliantly bizarre moment the entire movie is composed of them. Welcome to your new favourite movie.

As a kid I watched a multitude of late night horror movies but due to my young age I usually fell asleep before they concluded. As such there are many scenes from horror movies that linger in my memory but I have no knowledge of where they came from (without the internet or TV guides this used to happen a lot) or if they were fabricated leftovers from my dreams. Some were so outlandish I was convinced I made them up (Naked Karate, Deep Fried Heads, A hobo repeatedly run over in a van) until I watched Blood Diner recently and realised that I wasn't crazy and that all those moments not only existed but could be found in 1 movie.

Following on from a recent 80's movie vibe I've been working my way through as many retro flicks as I could get my hands on. Like a lot of my choices rather than worrying about the actual content I've been picking them out based on a quite shallow criterion, awesome posters.

Blood Diner follows the exploits of two cannibalistic brothers who perform ritual sacrifices (in the name of an Egyptian goddess) in preparation for a cannibalistic feast. Sound familiar? It should, originally intended as a sequel to Blood Feast the film developed into an homage of Herschell Gordon Lewis' splatter filmography.

"Suspect last seen with a meat cleaver in one hand and his genitals in the other" – this quote was spoken as part of a news broadcast within the first couple of minutes of the movie. It was such a hilarious line I had to rewind the feature to make sure I had heard it correctly. What better way to set the tone of all that is to follow? It was at this point that I realised this was not a straight horror movie (That may sound odd but I really didn't know what I was sitting down to), the dialogue was intentionally absurd and cheesy this was a comedy and a bloody good one at that.

The plot never moves too far away from our protagonists (It feels odd calling them that but I suppose they are the main characters) main goal of resurrecting Ishtar (the Egyptian goddess) but ist doesn't need to as everything we are presented with is entertaining. After digging up the corpse of their uncle Anwar (who looks very similar to Fuad Ramses ) they plop his brain stem and eyes into a jar who guides them into their journey of the macabre.

It's amazingly rare to run across movies that follow the villains that isn't a dire biopic (Ed Gein,Ted Bundy) or grimy realistic portrayal (Henry,Maniac). If any movie was to compare to the style it would be Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (which just happens to be my favourite chainsaw flick) of which a lot of the humour is similar (Blood Diner just goes to an extreme that Texas never does).

Michael Tutman (Rick Burks) and George Tutman (Carl Crew) manage the impossible and bring life and likability to characters who are pretty much irredeemable. While we are not meant to take things seriously it's a bizarre position to be in where you find yourself rooting for the bad guys to win (especially considering the vicious crimes they commit with such glee).

One of the things I hated about Blood Feast was the dull plodding of the police force and the uninteresting dialogue. This is an element that pops up frequently throughout all types of movies and police drama is usually shoehorned in to deliver exposition or set up an end game to the movie. Even though Blood Diner uses them for the same function it's aware of this and pokes fun at typical cop movie conventions. The physical abuse handed down by the chief of police for incompetence or contradictions is perfectly inappropriate and at the same time on the nose with its depiction.

The special effects are practically created (something that I adore over CGI) and are impressive even with the unrealistic reasons for their use (decapitation by mop). By mocking Herschell Gordon Lewis situations and effects (that look as dated then as these movies effects may look to teens today) the movie could have come off as mean spirited or lazy but with top notch make up and prosthetics its clear this is a loving pastiche.

Of course there are many reasons why this film will stick with you but mostly you'll be showing your friends the random strange events that make up the entire film. The term WTF was made for this movie and many moments deserves to be as notorious as internet memes such as Garbage Day. I could sit here and list various occurrences that had me reaching for the rewind button but it would take away from discovering them all for yourself.

I need to make clear that this is not a film to make fun of (unlike Blood Feast) but to laugh along with. The reason for this is due to a well written script (for such a simple storyline) and great comedic timing on behalf of the cast. I feel credit should be given where it is due, this is not a 'so bad its good' (a lot of the moments do come off this way) film but just a good film (for what it was intended as) that just happens to be batshit crazy.

Personally I struggle to find fault with a film of this calibre (I've watched it 3 times this week) but I have to admit I can see this is not a film for everyone. This is defiantly a niche market (made smaller by the amount of violence) and will not be everyone's cup of tea. Humour is subjective but if a film can elicit a smile on my face for its entire runtime is defiantly worth a watch on the potential happiness it may hold.

Now it's time to drop the bad news. If like me this is the type of film that is your bread and butter I'm sure your itching to own a copy but unfortunately that is a hard task in and of itself. Blood Diner has received very few releases from its original VHS release (and horribly butchered it was in the UK) to its inclusion as part of a limited 8 pack DVD release (which can work out expensive for overseas purchase). Fortunately it has been doing rounds on Netflix and there is a German DVD release out there. Let's hope the future holds a Blu ray release.

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Movie Details

Movie Poster Here
Director:Jackie Kong
Screenplay: Michael Sonye
Rating: 18/R
Starring:Rick Burks
Carl Crew
LaNette LaFrance