The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, is a true pioneer in cult carnage. Running wild in the 60's nudie-cutie craze with producer David F. Friedman, this team went on to compile several other films. While filming Bell, Bare and Beautiful in a seedy Miami hotel, they developed an idea for something new that would grab audiences attention. With their depart from the nudie film culture, Friedman and Lewis created Blood Feast. All shot in the same location as Bare and Beautiful, they finished this splatter fest in under a month. With under $25,000 invested into this film, they doubled their money in only one showing.
Blood Feast is centered around the macabre slayings of several women in a quiet well kept suburban neighborhood. Interesting enough, each murder becomes more grisly as we come to the climax of the film. The main character is an Egyptian caterer named Fuad Ramses who busies himself by collecting body parts from young maidens in sacrifice to his God Ishtar. Meanwhile, cop Pete Thornton played by William Kerwin, develops a niche for Egyptology and becomes aware of the ancient Egyptian cults who not only practice these bizarre "Blood Feasts" but also worship Ishtar. Kerwin's girlfriend in the film is Suzette Fremont played by the 1963 Playboy Playmate of the Month (June), Connie Mason. Mason who also shares an interest in the cults of ancient Egypt, is surprisingly thrown an Egyptian theme party by her mother.
Lyn Bolton (Mrs. Fremont), Mason's mother chose author of "Ancient Weird Religious Rites", Fuad Ramses to cater the party. Ramses, played by Mal Arnold humbly agrees and assures Mrs. Fremont that the feast will be rather authentic and he feels it necessary to prepare all elements of food himself. In preparing the meal Arnold gathers a leg of blonde haired woman, brains a la carte, tongue of drunken whore, and blood of busty brunette. Lastly one ingredient still remains. The final sacrifice that wont be prepared until the moment of the ceremony on the sacrificial altar. In this, a kitchen island.
Kerwin, who discovers that all victims were woman who ordered Ramses book develops a hunch. Upon ordering the illegal unwarranted search and seizure of Ramses Exotic Catering store, they discover the mutilated body of the most recent victim. At that moment, Kerwin realizes that Ramses is catering the dinner party at the Fremont estate, and that a true Blood Feast is the main coarse. In the final stages of the film Arnold convinces Mason to not break the heart of an old man by lying on her back with her eyes closed and to give herself up to Ishtar. Luckily mother Fremont walks in, and in sheer terror uncovers Ramses with a machete in hand and a moment from slicing the life out of her daughter. Luckily Arnold makes a run for it, only to be followed by a group of dimwitted cops who couldn't catch up to him if he had no legs let alone a limp. As he enters the vicinity of a garbage dump he hops inside one of the trucks in hopes of a getaway. Unfortunately, for his sake, he is compressed by the dumpster along with all the other trash floating along inside.
Friedman and Lewis thought that by adding not just Blood to the picture but to make "gore" the basis of the film, that they would develop a new form of exploitation picture far more profitable than their former nudies. It was with the release of the 1963 shocker Blood Feast that a new culture in film would develop on the horizon. Lewis was a true innovator. With the production help of Friendman, they went on to make 2 following pictures that would complete their "Blood Trilogy". Those films were 2000 Maniacs, and Color Me Blood Red.
Blood Feast will always go down in history as the movie that started it all. Adding buckets of blood to a black and white film screen and tarnishing the image of wholesome family entertainment.
"Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror! You'll recoil and shudder as you witness the slaughter and mutilation of nubile young girls--in a weird and horrendous ancient rite! Box Office Spectaculars presents BLOOD FEAST--more grisly than ever in Blood Color!"
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