Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blood Diner (1987)

I've been wanting to do this movie forever. Hell, I've been waiting for this movie - Jackie Kong's "Blood Diner" - to come to DVD since I first saw it. I still remember when I first saw it, and that when it ended I was absolutely slack jawed. Who on Earth was Jackie Kong (Who from my knowledge, it sthe only Asian-American woman to direct exploitation movies), and what the hell had she made? Why did it feel like it was made under the influence of all kinds of drugs - okay, there's an easy answer to that question. Needless to say, I've been asking for a DVD, and a special edition was announced a while back, but so far, it's been delayed (dammit Lionsgate.) Still, it is on DVD nonetheless, as one of six movies featured in a collection of horror movies available for cheap at Walmart DVD bins, and it comes in pristine anamorphic widescreen, so I can't complain too much.

When they were children, George and Michael Tutman saw their Uncle Anwar gunned down. As (very stupid) adults, they've dug his brain up, and what do ya know, it talks! Oh, and they need to perform a ritual that will awaken an Egyptian goddess called Shitaar. To do this, they must kill a variety of women (virgins, whores, topless aerobics instructors) for their parts, so Shitaar will have a vessel to live in and for a "blood buffet." Thankfully, there's plenty of girls around, and they run a vegetarian restaurant, so there are plenty of ways to get ready. However, they run into trouble when a New York Cop (who inexplicably has an Australian accent) and her would be playboy partner are trying to solve the mystery behind the rash of murders. Oh, and there's a wrestler named Lil' Jimmy Hitler.

I could go on and on about the flaws in "Blood Diner" (little of it makes any sense, most of the performances range from wooden to terrible, a few of the jokes bomb), but I just don't care: "Blood Diner" must be seen to be believed. It is one of the most insane blends of horror and comedy ever made, and is so jovial in it's efforts to gross out, offend and all around entertain that I can't help but love it. To say it has a plot would be somewhat inaccurate, as it mostly feels like a series of vignettes loosely stitched together so that it will resemble a movie. Oh, but what scenes they are! Among the highlights:

  • George and Michael try to get into a club, and when the bouncer says no, they shove him aside. A hydraulic car then crushes said bouncers head - and everyone laughs. One guy even asks "Hey, are you alright?"
  • The boys bring two girls home. Michael offers one of them a sexual favor called a "Battered Girlfriend." He proceeds to slather her naked body in batter - and dunks her head into a frier. She tries to escape, but her head now resembles a large, fat broiled nugget, which is then decapitated via a broom.
  • George finds a fat bum in the street, and runs him over with the boys trusty van. It doesn't work the first time, so he tries again. It still doesn't work, get the idea. I think it's worth mentioning that mambo music plays during this.
  • A naked girl who knows Kung-Fu.
  • A rival diner owner has his hands chopped off. He proceeds to try to escape via trying to drive away. It doesn't go well for him.
  • The conclusion, which has weird rock music, exploding heads, zombies and Shitaar herself, who has sharp fangs, shoots lightning bolts from her fingers and has a vagina like orifice on her stomach.

As you can tell, this isn't a movie concerned with narrative and deep social commentary. And that's just fine. This is from someone who wants to give exploitation fans what they want, and who mostly delivers without offering anything resembling unnecessary exposition. Also, special mention should go to Carl Crew as the adult George Tutman. His performance is so over the top and hilarious that I laughed my ass off at just about everything he does. It's a shame he hasn't gone on to do much else, as he has a lot of what it takes to be a fun character actor in horror.

I can't say that you'll enjoy "Blood Diner" as much as I do. Hell, I can't say if you'll enjoy it at all. I however, love it, and hope for that special edition someday. Hell, it's a pipe dream, but I'd love to write linear notes about the thing. Or at least appear as a fan in a documentary.

Rating: 8/10

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