Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beast of Blood|
Actors: John Ashley, Celeste Yarnall, Eddie Garcia, Liza Belmonte, Alfonso Carvajal
Director: Eddie Romero
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Returning to Blood Island, a ship catches fire and explodes after its crew is slaughtered by the gruesome half-dead, green-blooded Beast of Blood. The horrendous creature washes ashore and terrorizes the island inhabited b... more »
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"Doctor, you're a sterling character and a brilliant scienti
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Where Brides of Blood (1968) was the first of the Blood Island trilogy of films, Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968) was the most popular, and this one, the third and final feature in the series titled Beast of Blood (1971) was actually the most successful, appearing in more venues and drawing in larger audiences due to the popularity of the previous two films. Produced, co-written, and directed by Eddie Romero (Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Brides of Blood, Beast of the Yellow Night), the film features John Ashley (High School Caesar, Muscle Beach Party, Hell On Wheels) and Celeste Yarnall (The Face of Eve, The Velvet Vampire). Also appearing is Eddie Garcia (Black Mamba, Sudden Death), Bruno Punzalan (Mad Doctor of Blood Island), and Beverly Miller (Beast of the Yellow Night), who also provided the story (a rather lame one at that, I might add).
Picking up directly where Mad Doctor of Blood Island left off we see Dr. Bill Foster (Ashley) on a ship heading away from Blood Island, but things go awry as the fungus man/beast with green blood and homicidal tendencies, who stowed away on the ship prior to its leaving, goes insane in the membrane (insane in the brain!), killing a number of crewmen with an axe before causing a fire that ultimately destroys the vessel. Both Bill and the creature escape, the former knocked unconscious and later rescued while the latter returns to the island, slightly crispier from the fire and soggier from the water. Sometime afterward we see Bill returning to the island (God knows why), along with a plucky reporter named Myra Russell (Yarnall) who's just itching to get the scoop on the not so groovy happenings on the island. The natives don't seem all that happy to see Bill, probably due to the fact that whenever he shows up, things tend to go down the tubes. If'n it were up to me, I'd probably kill his tainted ash and be done with it, but whatever...another thing I've noticed...there aren't as many attractive native women around as there was previously, probably due to the fact a good number of them were either killed of sacrificed in the past. Well, at least there is one that stands out, a slightly pudgy, scantily clad woman named Laida, whom I'm sure Ashley's character will get an opportunity to bag later on...anyway, events lead up to Bill discovering Dr. Lorca, played by Eddie Garcia here, along with his bald. Mute, machete-wielding manservant Razak (Punzalan), managed to survive the last film (a little worse for wear in Lorca's case as besides a limp, he now sports an eye patch and the entire left side of his face had been melted). Not only that, but he's been continuing his `green blood' experiments in a secret laboratory set in the mountains, having captured the fungus man after it washed up on the beach. Poor fungus man...not only is he singed and subsequently quite a bit funkier than before, but now Lorca has gone off and removed his head, keeping both parts alive while conducting vile and nasty experiments on various prisoners. Eventually Lorca kidnaps Myra, Bill mounts a rescue, yadda, yadda, yadda...
It's interesting as in the previous two Blood Island films, there wasn't so much an actual story, but a series of loosely connected events leading up to climatic finales. In Beast of Blood, there is a bit more of a structured story, so it's a little easier to follow, but the downside is so little actually happens. The film opens with a bang, followed by an excessive amount of tedium, capped off with decent ending. Seriously, so much time is spent watching the main characters traipsing around the jungle doing a whole lot of nothing. I was disappointed how little creature action there was in this movie, compared to the previous films...the main monster, who actually looks decent compared to the previous film, spends most of its time with its head on a tray and its body on a gurney, connected to an assortment of electronic gizmos (as I mentioned earlier, Lorca removed the head and managed to keep the separate parts alive). The creature make-up looks a bit more sophisticated than in the previous films, indicating perhaps a slightly larger budget was allocated, but, like I said, there's not much creature action, so it all felt a little pointless. You know what's really funny to me in these films is how Ashley, a poor man's Elvis (besides an actor, Ashley was also a rockabilly singer) was portrayed. Ashley was a modestly handsome man, I'll give him that, but if you were to believe the characters in these films you'd think no creature, woman nor beast, with a pair of ovaries was able to resist Ashley's manly charms, oozing machismo, mutton chop sideburns, and duck tailed hairdo ala Fonzie from the sitcom "Happy Days". Seriously, in each one of these movies he's got like at least two women throwing themselves at him, begging to be shagged by this 1950s throwback. Oddly enough, Bill declines to get it on with the busty native woman Laida (he probably saw how handy she was with a knife), but does manage to pull it together to put it to Myra (Ms.Yarnall had quite the attractive figure, and we do get to see a bit of it during the shagging aka bungle in the jungle sequence). As far as the gore content, there is some spurting blood as we see one hapless schmuck get tossed into a tiger trap (a hole covered in leaves, the bottom populated by sharpened, wooden stakes), while another gets riddled in the chest by a machine gunner with a twitchy finger (Lorca's mercenary army was less than capable). In another sequence we actually see Lorca in an operating room, cutting (more like hacking) into the flesh of something with a scalpel (it was meant to be a human, but I suspect it was a deceased goat). While entertaining, I just didn't get the overall sense of filthy fun I had gotten from the previous films. The potential was here (I liked the headless fungus man bits), but sans the sleaze this comes off as just another jungle adventure flick with the occasional appearance of a monster.
The restored picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1) format, on this Image Entertainment release looks very good. It does show signs of aging (some lines, white specking, etc.). The Dolby Digital mono audio comes through very well. As far as extras included, there's a short audio commentary track featuring distributor Sam Sherman, an interview with director Eddie Romero, an interview w/ Celeste Yarnell conducted by Sam Sherman, a `lost' opening sequence, a "House of Terror" live horror show promo, a still gallery, liner notes by Jim Arena, a Beast of Blood essay by Christopher William Koenig, and a trailer for this film, along with ones for Brides of Blood (1968), Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Brain of Blood (1972), Blood of the Vampires (1971), The Blood Drinkers (1966), Raiders of the Living Dead (1986), and Horror of the Blood Monster (1970).
By the way, if you're interesting in getting this DVD release, I'd suggest trying to find the four DVD set titled The Blood Island Vacation, released by Image Entertainment, which includes the following...Brides of Blood (1968), Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Beast of Blood (1971), and Brain of Blood (1972). It appears significantly less expensive than buying the titles separately.
Classic Drive-In Wonder, Okay DVD
ProEvil | MA | 01/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This no-budget wonder from Eddie Romero (The Orson Welles of the Phillipine Islands) and Hemisphere studios is a great throwback to the Drive-In era. 'Beast' is the third entry in the 'Blood Island' series (fourth if you count 'Terror is a Man'). This one has a well concieved monster, surprisingly gory kills (for its' day), 'mondo' jungle ambience, silly sub-Bond intrigue and yes, even some topless babes going for it. The DVD has some nice extras, but I do have some complaints. First, the print used for this DVD transfer is hurting. They claim it's been restored, but I just can't believe it. This thing's riddled with scratches and artifacting and is so dark in places, it's hard to make out what's going on. Also the commentary by the producer is a real snoozer. He goes on and on about the minutae of Hemisphere's history and repeats himself endlessly, not really giving much insight into the making of 'Beast'. That said, I got the impression that Image really was trying to do the best they could with this DVD and that's more than can be said of most genre DVD releases. Even with the drawbacks, this disk is a welcome addition to any schlock-fiend's library and I especially enjoyed the interview with Romero."
A HEAD Of It's Time!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 07/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Beast Of Blood is a sequel to Mad Doctor of Blood Island, and the last of the Blood Island trilogy. Therefore I certainly wouldn't recommend it unless you've already seen Mad Doctor. Like Halloween 2 or the Phantasm sequels, this film begins almost immediately after the events of the previous film.
That pesky chlorophyll monster has survived and has made it back to Blood Island after massacring everyone aboard the boat back to the mainland......everybody except for John Ashley that is! Ashley returns to Blood Island after recovering from the boat explosion in the hopes of hunting down and killing the chlorophyll beast....THE BEAST OF BLOOD! Now he's teamed up with a blonde reporter named Myra(she's kinda got the hots for him, and that's understandable coz who in their right mind wouldn't have the hots for John Ashley?). Once on Blood Island, Ashley finds out that not only has the Beast survived, but so has his nemesis, Dr. Lorca(now played by Eddie Garcia). Lorca's keeping the Beast in his lab. The Beast has somehow lost his head, and now the head and body are kept separate as Lorca tries different experiments with the body. Lorca kidnaps Myra to lure Ashley, and the final battle of Blood Island is fought.
This is probably the least entertaining of the trilogy. A good chunk of the film pretty much consists of John Ashley wandering around the jungle and his plan to find Myra and free her. There's very little monster action. The film begins with a bang as the Beast grabs an axe and goes to town aboard the boat, hacking folks into coleslaw. But aside from that bit of nasty fun, he spends most of the time strapped to a examination table(his body does anyway). I guess it could have succeeded as a kind of quirky adventure film if the scenes in the jungle in pursuit of Myra were in the least bit exciting, but they're not. The film only really comes alive when the Beast is onscreen which is too rare. The Beast has been given a modified and cooler look now. His eyes are more defined and he has a nasty set of fangs, which looks much more sinister than the mossy blob of a face he had in the previous film.
The movie has the same look and feel of the previous movies, so it has that good ol' feeling of familiarity if you'd enjoyed the series.
Beast of Blood isn't terrible and will surely be a must-see if you saw the previous two films. Though a bit of a letdown, it does have it's moments. So, if you dig wacky Filipino John Ashley movies with headless green blooded monsters and sexy island chicks, you could do worse than this one."
Early Action Heroine: Liza Belmonte as Laida
Robert Payne | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/08/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw Eddie Romero's Filipino horror film "Beast of Blood" on TV, on a local station's late-night "Creature Feature" when I was in high school in the 1970s. The film was lots of fun -- if a bit cheesy in places -- and it stayed in my memory for 30 years or more. It did so for one reason: the saronged, machete-slashing character of Laida, played by Liza Belmonte. Because the movie inhabited my brain for so long -- and was embellished by my imagination as it did -- I've recently sought it out on DVD. Having now seen "Beast of Blood" again, I'd like to write something about it. Only I'm not sure if I want to write about the film that actually exists or the film as I remember it.
Although I can recall watching the TV shows "Honey West" and "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E." in the 1960s, I can't recall any images of female heroism from them. "Beast of Blood's" blade-flashing Laida was the first time I remember seeing a woman struggling against the bad guys as an equal with the male heroes. She wasn't just a damsel-in-distress allowed a single act of heroic agency (a role filled in "Beast of Blood" by Celeste Yarnall's Myra Russell). Instead, she was a woman warrior who stood shoulder to shoulder with her male comrades and who went into battle as unblinkingly as they did. As a teenager in the mid-1970s, I had never seen a character like this before.
I don't remember if it was because my local TV station had cut out her introductory scene or because I missed the beginning of the movie, but Laida seemed to come out of nowhere in the story. The purported hero of the movie, John Ashley's Bill Foster, is chasing one of the monsters through the jungle, when Laida steps out from behind the trees and slashes the baddie to bits. "Whoa," I remember thinking to myself, "where did she come from?" Laida riveted my attention for the rest of the film, as she totally overshadowed both Ashley and Yarnall. By the end of the movie, Laida was the most heroic character, dispatching the majority of the arch-villain's henchmen and freeing his prisoners.
Now that I've seen "Beast of Blood" again for the first time in 30 years, I realize just how different my memory of the movie has been from the movie itself. I remembered Laida as being a much more lithe figure, when in fact she's rather non-athletic. I remembered her dynamically leaping out of the jungle, when in fact her body movement is quite minimal for an action hero. I remembered her as being more fluent in English, when in fact Liza Belmonte seems to struggle with the language almost as much as Laida struggles with the bad guys. My mind had also blocked out that stupid floral lei that she wears around her neck in every scene. But the character still held my attention. She still easily outshone the two romantic leads, Ashley and Yarnall. Indeed, I was puzzled why the character wasn't called by a name at all during the film (I got the name "Laida" from a cast listing of the movie on another Internet site).
Needless to say, when I first saw "Beast of Blood," the TV station cut out its nudity, thus excising Laida's unsuccessful seduction of Foster. (In fact, there's more nudity in "Beast of Blood" than you would expect from a film rated PG.) This explained a later scene, where Foster tells Laida why he couldn't make love to her, a scene which seemed to come out of the blue without its censored set-up. But by putting Laida in the role -- however momentarily -- of Foster's love interest, "Beast of Blood" seems to be trying to rein in her hard-to-control female energy, and the scene seems forced. Strangely, Laida isn't a character in the film to which "Beast of Blood" is a sequel, 1969's "Mad Doctor of Blood Island."
I suppose that unflinching, no-nonsense heroines like Laida have become commonplace by now, from the vampire-slaying Buffy to Uma Thurman's Bride to super assassin Mrs. Smith: heroines who show off as much butt as they kick. But I hold a special place in my personal pop-culture pantheon for the woman who beat them to the punch (or at least to the machete slice). And I'm a little bewildered why more commentaries about "Beast of Blood" give the character such short shrift. In fact, I think it would be a terrific idea to make an action film today with a Laida-like character as its central heroine: a stoic-faced, blade-wielding, sarong-clad, cinnamon-skinned goddess of the jungle. Only this time around, the character could be played by a more athletic actress and given flashier fight choreography. And she wouldn't need a John Ashley to help her defeat the bad guys.