• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Blood Feast

TITLE: Blood Feast

YEAR: 1963

GENRE: Horror

Herschell Gordon Lewis is one of those film makers that was a visionary for his time. Many film fans will not even know who he may be, but die-hard splatter fans admire and know Lewis as the man who invented the gore horror genre. Lewis was the first director to use extremely generous portions of blood, brains, and body parts to his drive-in horror productions, and for several years was the only director who painted the screen with a broad, gore-soaked brush. After wasting several years in creating forgettable nudie films for exploitation audiences, Gordon unleashed Blood Feast onto an unsuspecting world. Blood Feast is a historically significant movie for nerd cinema fans due to the fact that it is the first over the top blood fest, but other than that the film is just a smidgeon above horrible.

Fuad Ramses (played by Mal Arnold) is a caterer who is also obsessed with Egyptian mythology and performs sacrifices to the goddess Ishtar. In order to dispose of the bodies for the sacrifices he includes body parts in his meals and sells them as part of his business. Detective Pete Thornton (Thomas Wood) is investigating the rash of murders but is also involved in booking a celebration for his girlfriend Suzette (Connie Mason), and in the process actually hires Ramses as the caterer for the event. Detective Thornton’s investigation leads to Ramses, but he also comes to the harsh realization that he may have delivered his own significant other to be the psychopath’s next victim.

Blood Feast is well known for its blood and gore effects, but it is also equally known as including some of the worst acting in independent film history. An urban legend about this film is that Mason, a June 1963 Playboy Playmate, had such a terrible time learning her lines is that she actually had her script taped to props such as chairs within her eyesight and would read them during actual takes that made the finished product. A future Playboy Playmate, April 1964’s Ashlyn Martin, serves as a victim in the film and her thespian skills are on par with Mason. Other aspects such as filming and sound are also sub-par, but the story here is the squeamish blood and gore effects that were revolutionary at the time. Tongues are ripped out, people are dismembered, and Martin has her brains sucked out on a beach, all done in detailed, excruciating Technicolor using the sickest effects available at the time. Every death in Blood Feast is completely ridiculous in its execution and was designed to shock the audience, and in its day was tremendously effective.

Blood Feast filled drive-ins and grindhouse theaters all over the country for its shock value and took in over $4 million in its original release which was fantastic for the investors considering its $24,500 price tag. This was the first film in the “Blood Trilogy” that followed the formula of gore before substance or production values and Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red were completed within two years; after these films Lewis ventured into low budget children’s films and his career sank faster than a gutted corpse even after a return to nudie and exploitation films a few years later. Lewis did reunite with original producer David F. Friedman with a sequel called Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat almost forty years later. Virtually all aspects of film production with this film is absolutely terrible, but Blood Feast is important in that it demolished taboo boundaries in the 1960’s and is important in film history in that respect. Blood Feast was the first film where the blood ran rampant and plentiful, and all gore hounds should give thanks to Lewis for his vision. After the historical significance, Blood Feast is a pretty rotten production.

* * 1/2

–Mark

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