I'm bringing the PSYCHOTRONIC MOVIE OF THE WEEK back to the Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban blog and I'm kicking off version 2.0 with my own favorite Thanksgiving cinematic tradition, Brad F. Ginter's BLOOD FREAK.
Ginter's filmography as a director includes just five titles, and it's three that he's primarily remembered for today - the awful biker flick DEVIL RIDER (1970), the bizarre Veronica Lake swan song FLESH FEAST (1970), and today's feature, BLOOD FREAK (1972).
Steve Hawkes, whose previous acting resume was highlighted by two low-budget, shot in Florida Tarzan movies, co-wrote the screenplay with Ginter and stars as Herschell, a Nam vet biker who gets invited to a party by a beautiful young lady and well, one thing leads to another and before we know it, Herschell is addicted to the pot! He ends up eating some chemically altered turkey and when he wakes up he's become a monster with a giant turkey head who needs to feast on the blood of drug addicts to satisfy his cravings. In the end, the only thing that can save him is turning to God - the film was described by Shock Cinema's Steven Puchalski as "the world's first Christian, anti-drug splatter movie!" And if that plot wasn't enough of a trainwreck, wait until you get a load of Ginter himself as the narrator, sitting at a desk in front of faux wooden paneling, talking about "the human body as a mixing bowl," spewing Reefer Madness-style anti-drug rhetoric while smoking a cigarette. At one point he breaks into a coughing fit that only adds to the delicious (unintentional?) irony. You would think they would have done another take, but I guess it wasn't in the budget.
BLOOD FREAK was released on VHS in the 80s by Video Treasures, which promised "A Dracula on Drugs!" Something Weird Video released the ultimate special edition DVD in the early 2000's which is now out of print but can be found on Amazon and eBay. I highly recommend seeking it out, but in the meantime, here's the entire movie as posted on YouTube, DIG!
EDIT: YouTube has already removed the video I originally posted, but you can still watch it broken down into six parts.