⭐ (1 star out of 5)
I Drink Your Blood (1970) Directed by David E. Durston
What could go wrong if you feed some ignorant, promiscuous, Satan-worshippers hippies a scrumptious pie contaminated with the blood of a rabid dog? Well, pretty much anything horrendous you can imagine. Now I rephrase the question, what could possibly go wrong if a movie is made about it? Well, I Drink Your Blood is what could happen. This smutty film made during the golden era of Grindhouse theaters religiously obeys the stereotypical manual for making an exploitation film, it meets all the conditions to be pigeonholed as a product of its time, yet it belongs to the worst productions distributed by the prolific celluloid atrocity factory, the memorable Cinemation Industries. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy its barbaric exhibition of violence and incompetent performances articulating something typically exploitative at the expense of its spectacular stupidity, it’s just that I find the manner in which this colossally idiotic narrative is configured quite erroneously miscellaneous. Originally released as a double feature with the infamous I Eat Your Skin, this 1970 film directed by a savant in sexploitation and hardcore pornography is about a multi-ethnic group of hippies who terrorize a small, quiet town with their diabolical cults and experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs, rape and beat a local girl, inhabit a rat-infested abandoned house, and spend their time talking balderdash, performing rituals on LSD, and intimidating the unassuming villagers. The cultural context and its crass anti-aestheticism emanate a sense of social decadence and paranoia that is hell-bent on capture the fears but also the fascination of American society with the figure of Charles Manson and his repulsive crimes. The crude direction by dilettante filmmaker David Durston has all the instruments to provide spectacle of violence and twisted sexuality, yet it is too bland and inauthentic to successfully conceal the obvious; the execution is excruciatingly terrible. The ugliness of I Drink Your Blood translates into a cacophonous sound design that plays like you’re making a mix of music from different Arcade games (especially pac-man) with intermittently funky and discombobulated music, with cuts so thick that it feels like an avant-garde film mindlessly edited by an inept person mishandling a Moviola. Indian actor Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury as the satanic cult leader contributes momentary perverse amusement to the film, but not enough to sustain the whole mess.