In the late 1960s and early 70s, a bizarre alliance between the Filippino movie company Hemisphere and the American exploitation outfit Independent International yielded a series of weirdly interconnected horror movies, most of which work the word Blood into the title. The Filippino items are strangely fascinating vampire and mad scientist pictures with oddball colour effects and a mix of naive serial-style thrills and extreme-for-the-era sex and gore; the American efforts, from director Al Adamson, are shoddier, thrown together from offcuts of previous pictures, and... are lead-paced but nevertheless curiously appealing. Gaze in awe at mutant killer trees, slobbering hunchbacked servants, faded matinee idols, stripper-turned-actress heroines with concrete blonde hairdos, evil dwarves, John Carradine or Lon Chaney, footage cut in from completely different films, Dracula and Frankenstein meeting hippies and bikers, red filters when the vampires attack, chanting natives! Plus lots of exclamation marks! Plus lurid trailers! "The kings of horror battle to the death" in Dracula vs Frankenstein. The last of the Frankensteins (J Carrol Naish) works in a carnival horror house with his sidekick Groton the Mad Zombie (Lon Chaney Jr). A Frank Zappa-like Dracula (Zandor Vorkov) and a monster with a face like a big mushroom slug it out. The film also features Russ Tamblyn as a beach biker and a Vegas showgirl heroine on LSD. This Region 2 DVD is sadly bereft of the extras found on the US Troma Region 1 disc. --Kim Newman [show more]
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