Representing a brainless union of horror and melodrama, this interminable flick depicts the nasty exploits of a young woman who uses deceit, extortion, seduction, and murder while trying to seize control of her ailing father’s fortune. Despite the lurid title, Blood Mania only occasionally lapses into plasma-splattered excess, because most of the screen time is devoted to lifeless dialogue scenes and to sexual interludes that feel quasi-pornographic even though they’re not the least bit explicit. Director Robert Vincent O’Neill has a pervy tendency to linger on breasts, so whenever he gets a woman naked, he contrives myriad angles and lighting schemes to showcase the anatomical features with which he’s clearly preoccupied. The only name-brand actor in Blood Mania is Alex Rocco, a fine character actor who appears briefly in an inconsequential role as a lawyer. Excepting Rocco, however, the performances in Blood Mania are laughably bad. For instance, stars Peter Carpenter and Maria De Aragon have such difficulty forming facial expressions that it seems as if they shot most of their scenes while heavily medicated. The drab story concerns Victoria (De Aragon), a twisted rich bitch who can’t wait for her loaded dad, Ridgley (Eric Allison), to croak. Victoria’s also a tramp who strips every time she sees a muscular dude, whether it’s the pool boy or Ridgley’s doctor, Craig (Carpenter). Speaking of Craig, he’s got bad money troubles, which makes him susceptible to Victoria’s overtures. Meanwhile, Craig’s dim-bulb girlfriend, Cheryl (Reegan Wilson), tries to save her man’s hide by sleeping with a lowlife (Arell Blanton) who’s blackmailing the doctor. Director O’Neill and his writers (including leading man Carpenter, who penned the story with as little skill as he brought to his acting) consider every narrative thread a mere prelude to a topless scene or a violent murder, if not both. Accordingly, Blood Mania is the kind of boring and misogynistic sludge that gives drive-in cinema a bad name, although the production values and technical execution are slightly above average for a grade-Z movie.
Blood Mania: LAME