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Blood Mania (1973)


Blood Mania really wanted audiences to think it was a horror movie. What it actually was, was a combination of soft core porn and bad drama. The soundtrack often sounded like it was lifted from the Emmanuelle movie franchise. When it didn't, it sounded like outtakes from a Vanilla Fudge album. The cinematography sometimes looked like someone was using a home movie camera to film the actors from afar without their knowledge. The story was so slow that I was really looking forward to the blood mania getting started and all these assholes getting wiped out.

The movie begins with a fake-out, a blond in a see through nightgown being stalked by a killer with the shots freezing and opening credits being superimposed. But it turns out this is just the nightmare of a doctor who is bed ridden with a heart condition. He is being cared for by his daughter, who seems to hate him as much as he despises her. His doctor is a young protégé of his, who his daughter also has her eye on. This doctor has a girlfriend who seems pretty serious, but he also has a blackmailer who has the goods on the fact that young Dr. Hunk used to perform abortions. (The movie was made before Roe v Wade when performing abortions could get you sent to prison. The more things change...)

The daughter, Victoria, is supposed to be a nymphomaniac I guess. We are to surmise this from a couple of comments and a scene where she takes of her top and jumps in the pool with the pool boy. Then the pool boy, who is obviously in his mid-twenties, says something about his mom expecting him home and runs away. So right away they veer away from realism, unless maybe he was gay. Actually a closeted gay pool boy in 1970's L.A. isn't too big a stretch, so I take back my criticism of that scene. It makes perfect sense now.

Anyway, Victoria finds out that Dr. Cooper (the hunky doc who takes care of her father) needs $50,000.00 to pay off a blackmailer. This is after he has just finished boning her, putting up very little resistance to her advances. During their weird pseudo-psychedelic sex session, she pops an amyl-nitrate under his nose. He warns her that these can be deadly, especially for people with heart conditions. You can almost see the puzzle pieces snapping together in her mind as she tells the doc that she will get him the money that he needs. Later she sneaks into daddy's room and pops an amyl-nitrate under his nose, then takes of her top and stares at her hard nipples in the mirror while he dies.

After she coerces the good (?) doc to cover for her, they find out that before the will can be read Victoria's previously completely unmentioned sister has to be brought back. Oh, before I forget, somewhere in all of this the doc's girlfriend, one of only two characters in this movie who isn't a complete piece of shit, allows the blackmailer to rape her in exchange to leave the doc alone. After he has violated her and she lies traumatized and whimpering on the couch, he says that she wasn't that good, so she can forget the deal. That's the last we see of her.

Now the other daughter shows up along with her lesbian friend. This isn't conjecture, at one point the older friend makes it quite clear that she is all about the pussy. The younger daughter, Gail inherits everything. Victoria flips out and the doc has her sedated and locked in her room. Gail's lesbian friend Kate warns him not to try his seductive shenanigans on Gail, because Kate has enough influence with her to stop him. The doc then asks Gail to spend the day with him, Gail accepts, and Kate promptly gives up and bails. When Victoria learns that not only is the doc making the moves on sis, but he might actually be into her, she murders Gail. Dr. Cooper shows up and it looks like he's going to help Victoria cover up yet another murder. Then we see the blackmailer, who has somehow shown up at the house he's never been to before and seen Gail's body. Then we flash to a painting that Victoria was working on, that was a picture of the doc cradling a skeleton, which might be the coolest thing in this movie. The End.

The movie falls far short of the promise of its title and opening credits sequence. But it does have lots of boobs, so if you like boobs as much as I do there is that. Speaking of the opening sequence, when Gail and the doc are making love she flashes back to that sequence for some unexplained reason. Apparently there was another version made for television where they cut out the boobs (BOO!) and the 15 seconds of violence, and made the home health nurse an accomplice of the blackmailer (which at least would explain how he ended up at the house). Speaking of the house, apparently the actual house was once owned by Bela Lugosi. That bit of trivia is really the only thing other than boobs and a psychedelic ambience that make this movie at all interesting.




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