The Curator of Schlock #379: A Taste of Blood

The Curator of Schlock #379 by Jeff Shuster

A Taste of Blood

Stick with Uncle Herschel’s Favorite instead.

So my new BFF Larry and I were trying to break out of a prison in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The two of us were hugging the outside wall, planning to scale it using a rope made up of used pairs of prison underwear. And I’m talking about used Fruit OF The Looms with questionable stains! Larry tied it to some iron bars outside a prison window. “You first?” Larry asked.

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s normally around this time of year I share a cannibalism movie with all of you, but it would seem my humble collection of Arrow Blu-rays does not contain such fare. However, I do have another Herschell Gordon Lewis classic in the form of 1967’s A Taste for Blood to share with you. I guess it’s blood consumption rather than flesh consumption, but that’s close enough.

By the way, the sub-head up at the top is in reference to a breakfast entree at Cracker Barrel restaurants. You get two eggs any way you want, grits, a choice of breakfast meat (usually in the form of ham, chicken tenderloin, hamburger steak, or catfish), and fried apples or hash brown casserole. Why am I wasting time talking about a breakfast entree? Well, my time was wasted watching another Herschell Gordon Lewis movie so there.

The Arrow Blu-ray gives you the option of watching this Blu-ray with an introduction from the director himself. He says that most budget horror movies of the period had to be at a minimum of 80 minutes run time and that most directors stopped there, but not him. A Taste for Blood clocks in at nearly two hours. You know what was 80 minutes? Terror in a Texas Town. I liked that movie!

What’s the plot? A man named John Stone (Bill Rogers) gets a letter of inheritance in the mail along with two bottles of brandy. The gist of it is his Romanian ancestor owned a lot of property in London and John must drink a toast to his ancestor with the brandy provided to inherit. And then John gradually exhibits some strange behavior like shying away from crosses and sucking the blood out of go-go dancers. And it turns out his ancestor is the one and only Count Dracula.

John sets about murdering the descendants of those who defeated Dracula back in the day. He murders a wealthy oil heiress who is a descendant of Quincy Morris. All of his victims have to die in the same way Dracula did, with a wooden stake through the heart. This attracts the attention of Dr. Howard Helsing (Otto Schlessinger), descendant of Abraham Van Helsing. And of course, no one believes him when he suggests that John Stone is a vampire and blah, blah, blah.

I’m sorry, but mid-1960s Miami, FL ain’t that scary. This is not the setting you use for your gothic horror movie. Also, I need to complain about the score or rather the three tracks the director licensed from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop that he insists on having played over and over again in every single scene! Still, those of you looking to get into Herschell Gordon Lewis, but are wary of the splatter in his films, there isn’t so much splatter in this movie. Happy Thanksgiving! I think I’ll watch Ronin again.

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, and episode 496) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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