Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blood Harvest (1987)

Sometimes a movie confounds you not because it's strange or mind numbingly bad, but because of it's casting choice. Many of them are just actors in roles before they got big (Mark Ruffalo in "Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance", Tom Hanks in "He Know You're Alone"), but some are puzzling not because of stature, but because of who it is. The Amazing Kreskin in "Horror", Uri Geller in "Sanitarium" and David Copperfield in "Terror Train" are examples of this, but none are as confounding as Tiny Tim in Bill Rebane's final movie, the 1987 slasher film "Blood Harvest."

Poor Jill Robinson (Itonia Salchek) isn't having the best time coming back home. Her parents are missing, her house has been defaced, everyone hates her father and nobody likes her. Well, one person likes her. Unfortunately, it's a 50 something creep in clown make-up named "The Marvelous Mero" (Tim). And if that wasn't bad enough, somebody has been killing people in a barn.

On the plus side, we do get some decent gore considering it was most likely shot for less than $100,000, and Tim does a decent (not great) job at being creepy, which isn't saying much because he's Tiny Tim. Everything about him was creepy. It also manages to capture a somewhat creepy atmosphere at times, which is shocking considering that this is from the director of such "classics" like "The Giant Spider Invasion", "The Demons of Ludlow" and "Monster A Go-Go."

That's all it's got going for it. While it has some creepy moments, most of the film is poorly edited and directed, with little flare or skill showing at all as if the director is uninterested in the whole affair. It also doesn't help that nobody in this can act worth a damn. Sure, Itonia can get naked, but she can't deliver any of her lines with conviction. Hell, none of the characters in the movie are likable, especially Mero. I'm sorry, but it's hard to like someone whose a middle age stalker in clown make-up. The biggest problem though is that it seems caught between eras. It certainly feels like a bad 80's slasher movie, it's also a little reminiscent of the kind of cheap regional exploitation fair Rebane and co. made back in the day. The problem though, is that it can't capture the feeling of the latter as well, making it feel a bit dated by the standards of the time. Most people had moved on past this kind of fair in the day, yet Rebane doesn't seem to realize it.

Apart from a few creepy moments and the novelty of casting Tiny Tim, there's nothing to recommend, as it's too dull and generic to enjoy. For 80's compilists only.

Rating: 3/10

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