DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Blood Feast (Blu-ray)
Blood Feast (Blu-ray)
Arrow Video // Unrated // October 24, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted December 8, 2017 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Blood Feast:

Blood Feast is a true Bronze Age horror film, both in its position after the great Universal Horrors and what came after, as well as in its rudimentary technical merits. (If the original Frankenstein represents when the monkeys first started using rocks as tools, H.G. Lewis' protean Splatter Film represents the film maker figuring out how to forge a knife with which to stab you several times while cackling with glee.) Newbies who have missed the film to date will find this Arrow Video Blu-ray combo the definitive release, so step on up for a bucketful of blood!

At a brief 67 minutes, Blood Feast nevertheless manages to feel a bit long. One wonders how its slate of atrocities would have fared as a half-hour short, but at over an hour (long enough to get first billing at the Drive-Ins) the movie feels lethargic and episodic. This is due to the fact that it has no plot. The desire is to showcase several loopy gore scenes; the conceit is that a woman wants to throw a unique dinner party. Her mistake is that she hires a 5000-year old caterer who puts together his Egyptian Feast menu with the body parts of several young woman intended as sacrifices to the goddess Ishtar. Worse still, the guest of honor at the dinner party is meant to be the final sacrifice!

Lewis cobbles together the bare minimum plot-wise, with some mild intrigue, as a pair of detectives hopes to unravel the murderous mystery whilst being inexorably dragged in. But Lewis, late of a series of Nudie Cutie movies, just wants to maximize profits by making salacious (and fun) films that will sell maximum tickets for minimal investment. Feeling cheated by the lack of graphic content in Psycho, Lewis figures punters would like to see all the gory goods! Legs hacked! Tongues ripped! Brains scooped!

Despite the rudimentary effects, (Lewis claims to have wanted people to know everything was just a put-on) Blood Feast to this day, and in this pristine Blu-ray release, remains ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. The camera leers at bloody piles of offal at every opportunity, with a highlight including chunky grue dribbling out of a woman's mouth after she's lost her tongue, among other savory bits.

If that's your bag, you have only to wade through bits of possibly intentionally bad performances for hacking and slashing every ten minutes. It does get old quickly, as Lewis' self-composed score plods along, and actors either chew the scenery or clumsily read off cue-cards in an ode to first-take ineptitude.

As an historic horror artifact, there are few exploitation films as important as Blood Feast. It ushered in a wave of gore-for-gore's-sake that continues to splatter viewers today. By all other metrics, the movie (and most of Lewis' output) is a dud, suitable mostly to watch for laughs with friends. But this extras-packed 2-disc release is truly the definitive version, and for collectors it is Highly Recommended.

The DVD

Video:
Arrow Video brings us this gorgeous 1080p hi-def transfer of Blood Feast in a 1.85:1 Aspect ratio. Film grain is present throughout, of course, which at times leads to a slightly soft image, while details levels vary from scene to scene. Nonetheless, the film looks surprisingly rich and mostly more detailed than one would expect from a movie of this particular vintage, if you catch my drift. Colors are smashing, with garish, shiny red blood and other richly saturated yet poor decor color choices. Guts-in-hand are sometimes crystal-clear, at other times the camera couldn't pull focus, but either way the images are rendered quite faithfully.

Sound:
Most likely the best possible was done in bringing you this LPCM Mono Audio Track, but in following with the original production values of the movie, it doesn't sound great. A poor dynamic range, distortion and damage are all easy to find if you're listening with anything more than a half-hearted effort. The dialog is generally clear and understandable, however, and Lewis' gloomy, lumbering score comes through loud, if not clear.

Extras:
Arrow Video packs in the Blood Feast extras in this 2-disc Edition, with all features on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions. Blood Perspectives is a 10-minute interview with filmmakers Nicholas McCarthy and Rodney Ascher, Herschell's History is a 5-minute 2007 archival interview with Lewis, and there is also a great 1987 Interview with Lewis and David F. Friedman.

For more fun, try the 20-minute short from 1959, Carving Magic, which isn't about what you might think, and stars Lewis regular Bill Kerwin, plus Harvey Korman! You of course also get Outtakes, 45-minutes worth, which extend scenes or offer different takes, and are scored with musical cues and snippets of dialog. Something Weird Video's Mike Vraney moderates a Commentary Track with Lewis and Friedman, which is interesting but suffers in the audio quality department. Three Blood Feast Promos, plus three from other Lewis movies, and Reversible Artwork unite the package.

Oh wait, you also get Scum Of The Earth, a 70-minute 'Roughie' directed by Lewis, a grim, salacious film which, while taking the obvious moral stance, is still a tough watch, even coming from 1963. Both Scum and Blood Feast come with Optional Introductions from the director.

Final Thoughts:
As an historic horror artifact, there are few exploitation films as important as Blood Feast. It ushered in a wave of gore-for-gore's-sake that continues to splatter viewers today. By all other metrics, the movie (and most of Lewis' output) is a dud, suitable mostly to watch for laughs with friends. But this extras-packed 2-disc release is truly the definitive version, and for collectors it is Highly Recommended.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

Find the lowest price for 'Blood Feast (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Battle Of The Sexes
2. Wuthering Heights (1970)
3. Matinee
4. The Other Hell
5. Teen Titans: The Complete First Season
6. It
7. One Million B.C. (redux)
8. Kameradschaft: Criterion Collection
9. The Snowman (2017)
10. Men in Black Trilogy: 20th Anniversary 4K Edition


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use