Brides of SOME Blood......
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 09/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Native girls ae being sacrificed to a monster called "The Evil One" in this ULTRA-tacky Philipine made outing---part of the "Blood Island" series from the sixties. I liked "TERROR IS A MAN", the first of the series directed by Gerry DeLeon. I DID NOT like "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" and I havn't seen "The Blood Drinkers" so my point of view is rather limited. However, after some shaky credits, "Brides" becomes a low-budget but colorful exercise in perverted exotica. The characters are not defined enough to really care about except Carla(Beverly Hills) the scientist's over-sexed wife who is merely around for eye candy. "The Evil One" is a decidedly lumpy looking monster who tears the female victims apart to "satisfy humself"!!! There is virtually no blood or gore (save for a few limbs here and there) and the island seems to be alive with carnivorous plant life due to radiation exposure. There's a lot of running around and some scientific mumbo-jumbo that is none too convincing. However, I enjoyed it because parts of it were so damn ludicrous it was laugh out loud funny and it IS a colorful diversion from the 1968 drive-in period. Plus there's something to be said for the nice on location shooting that gives it that steamy feeling of being in the jungle. And, when all is taken care of in the end, you get a near orgy as the natives celebrate their freedom from the beast---sexed up to the max! As if they're saying "Great! We're free! Let's all have sex right now!" You've got to see this to believe it. Actually, you should see the whole thing to believe it. AND, in the "extras", Miss Beverly Hills is revealed to have been a stripper before she made this! What can I SAY?"
Here comes the bride...with a non-human creature by her side
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Planning on taking a vacation this summer? Perhaps a warm, sunny, fun-filled destination like the Bahamas? Maybe the Caribbean? Here's an alternative...why not give Blood Island a try? It's got most everything one would look for in a tropical vacation destination...friendly natives, beautiful sunsets, and miles of pristine beaches. I suppose I should mention there might be just a touch of residual radiation present from atomic testing performed in the Pacific on nearby islands in the mid 1940s, resulting in unsubstantiated reports of mutated man-eating plants and homicidal humanoids lusting female flesh roaming about...directed by Eddie Romero (Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Beast of the Yellow Night), Brides of Blood (1968) features Kent Taylor (The Day Mars Invaded Earth, The Mighty Gorga, Hell's Bloody Devils), former stripper Beverly Hills aka Beverly Powers (Kissin' Cousins, Invasion of the Bee Girls), and John Ashley (Muscle Beach Party, The Eye Creatures, Beast of Blood), who found a moderate amount of success producing and starring in a series of exploitive horror features produced in the burgeoning Filipino film industry in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
As the film begins we see three individuals arriving by boat to a remote, Pacific local known as `Blood Island'...catchy name...anyway, there's Jim Farrell (Ashley), a Peace Corp type, Dr. Paul Henderson (Taylor), a scientist of some kind, and his hot and exceedingly trampy wife Carla (Powers), possessor of the ever attractive scornful acid tongue. Upon leaving the boat they witness a native funeral procession of sorts, except there's no body, but only bloody pieces. The head of the tribe states this was a bad time for the trio to come (there's a lot of bad mojo about), as the natives have reverted to some ancient rituals, and offers his comely granddaughter Alma to the group for the purpose of translating (and most likely to become a future love interest to Jim the way he's undressing her with his eyeballs). After settling in, the foursome visit the local plantation owned by an individual named Esteban Powers, who, along with a disfigured manservant named Goro, also employs a small group of half nekkid dwarfs who always seem to be underfoot. On the trip they encounter some odd plant life, particularly a grabby banana tree that likes to fondle attractive blondes. On their return trip they stumble across a sacrificial ceremony where a couple of young, female villagers are strung up and offered to appease an evil spirit type who lives in the jungle. The ceremony's a success, and by success I mean a large, hideous, humanoid muck man appears from the jungle, ravages the woman, and then tears them to pieces before heading back into the jungle...later Paul, after being attacked by a man-eating butterfly, hypothesizes all the weirdness is a result of genetic mutation due to residual radiation from the nearby atomic testing so many years ago. Eventually Alma is chosen for sacrifice and Jim tries to rally the natives to fight the power, but to no avail...things get hairy, more people die, Paul postulates some more, and Carla continues her life long quest to become Queen of the Harlots...
Man, this movie's got everything...spear wielding natives, dwarfs, a goo monster, man-eating banana trees, a disfigured manservant, carnivorous butterflies, sacrificial ceremonies, cleavage up the wazz, decapitations, flare guns, machetes, a handsome hero type, an atmospheric jungle locale, dismembered body parts, a huge, goony looking idol, scantily clad females in distress, and so on...I learned a number of things while watching this film, including the following...
1. Peace Corp worker types don't do any actual work, but rather stand around and issue orders to the native population while pretending to write on their clipboards.
2. John Ashley had enough strength in his legs to crush a man to death.
3. A tramp is a tramp be it in the big city or the wild and wooly jungle.
4. Having a handful of half-nekkid dwarf servants to do your bidding isn't as cool as it sounds (actually, it's quite creepy).
5. Where normal men tend to grow sleepy after an intimate lovemaking session, mutated humanoid goo men like to tear the limbs, and heads, off the object of their desire.
6. Beverly Powers has a rack (and mouth) that won't quit.
7. No matter how attractive a woman is said attractiveness is significantly diminished when combined with a condescending attitude and an overly smart mouth.
8. Shooting a man-eating banana tree with a pistol has little effect, other than wasting ones ammunition.
9. Disfigured manservants are loyal to a fault.
I enjoyed this classic drive-in feature a lot...it may have lacked in areas like a strong plot, capable writing, and believable acting, but it excelled in lurid jungle sleaziness. It's got horror and science fiction elements combined, with a dash of drama. I've spoken a lot about dismemberment and such, but there's actually very little in the way of blood and gore, at least compared to today's standards. We do see a decapitation at one point, but it is far off in the distance...I suspect this was mainly due to the inability to present a realistic looking prop that would appear to be a woman having her head ripped off, a result of the limited budget. This isn't a complaint on my part, as I don't necessarily dig on loads of the extreme visceral in my films. Give me a clear idea what's going on and I'll take it the rest of the way. The performances weren't great, but they were good enough for a feature like this...I especially liked Ms. Powers in her role as she was just fun to watch in all of her sardonic, caustic, licentiousness. I thought Ashley did well in the standard hero role, but I was a little surprised his character wasn't more prominent as it was... Kent Taylor, who looks quite a bit like Vincent Price, was a nice addition to the cast, but I never understood exactly what was the purpose of his character coming to the island. He was a scientist, for sure, but was it was never made clear the specific purpose of his coming to the island, or who sent him. Oh well, it's generally not wise to get hung up on such plot points when watching a movie like this...you're better off just strapping yourself in and hanging on for the ride. One element this film had in spades was jungle atmosphere, but given where it was shot, in the Philippines, it wouldn't have been that difficult.
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.), but compared to some of the murky VHS copies I've seen, this is about as good as you'll probably get. The Dolby Digital mono audio comes through very well. As far as extras included, there's an audio commentary track featuring distributor Sam Sherman, an interview with director Eddie Romero, an original Brides of Blood wedding ring giveaway promo, a "House of Terror" live horror show promo, a Beverly Hills pinup gallery, a Blood Island image gallery, liner notes by Jim Arena, a Brides of Blood essay by Christopher William Koenig, and a trailer for this film, along with ones for Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Beast of Blood (1971), Brain of Blood (1972), Blood of the Vampires (1971), The Blood Drinkers (1966), and Raiders of the Living Dead (1986).
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, 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.
"Consider that a divorce!"
Bill W. Dalton | Santa Ana, CA USA | 09/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The brides of blood are the young women of an isolated island who are being sacrificed to The Evil One, a fearful monster who tears them apart to satisfy his blood lust. To the island comes scientist Kent Taylor, who wants to investigate mysterious radioactivity that is causing the plant life to mutate in strange ways, and Peace Corps worker John Ashley, who has been sent to help the natives improve their lot. The natives are not too appreciative of his interference in their primitive ways at first, but he convinces them to band together and fight the beast. This DVD has good sound and image quality and several interesting features. There's a sexy pictorial layout of stripper Miss Beverly Hills (who became an ordained minister in 1986 and now has her ministry in Hawaii!) There's an interview with director Eddie Romero and a short commentary that has little to do with this particular movie and eight trailers for other Hemisphere movies, some of which are quite hilarious! I recommend this DVD to "blood island" completists, and all fans of outlandish horror."
Monster Movie Fun From The Philippines
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 02/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brides of Blood is the story of salvation, fornication and radiation on a plantation located in a foreign nation...at least that's my interpretation. A scientist and his adulterous wife journey to Blood Island to check for remaining radiation from the atomic blasts. Along for the ride is Peace Corps worker, Jim, played by John Ashley(also providing eye candy and hunkery for the teens). They find that the islanders are acting different than they had on previous visits and find out that they have gone back to their "primitive ways". "Primitive ways" meaning they now have a lottery to decide which two young girls are offered to the hideous and horny monster lurking about. Horny because a character says the monster uses the women to "satisfy himself". That could mean different things, but the clothes must come off before the monster has a go at them. I know some women like it rough, but this monster literally tears women to pieces like an order of KFC hot wings. If that wasn't bad enough, there are some mutant trees around that attack folks with their branches(an influence on Sam Raimi?). Just what they plan on doing with their victims, who knows? There's also a Spanish plantation owner who lives with a bunch of midgets(I'm sorry, short people) and his midget beating henchman. He knows more than he's telling. So what's the cause of all this madness? Radiation of course. Yup, that lousy radiation is to blame once again. After Jim falls for one of the island girls and then she's chosen by the lottery for VERY rough monster sex, he decides enough is enough. A war is waged by Jim and the islanders on the monster, and when the smoke clears they all dance the night away with a sexy party that looks like an erotic Frankie Avalon beach movie. This Filipino production was everything a good low budget drive in movie should be. It had an exotic setting(islands are always good monster movie settings), a bit of skin, a bit of gore(not much though), a very fake and silly looking monster(it looks like rejected prop from Alice Cooper's Welcome to my Nightmare stage show or maybe a rejected member of Gwar), and radiation. Enjoy! I sure did."