Monday, February 29, 2016

Hell’s Bloody Devils (1970)



Even by the bottom-feeding standards of director Al Adamson’s usual fare, Hell’s Bloody Devils is unwatchable garbage. Apparently a slapped-together compendium of footage from two (or more) incomplete features, the movie is part biker flick, part espionage caper, part romance, and part brain-melting sludge. Watching this picture is like staring at a TV that changes its own channels, because scenes stop abruptly, characters drift in and out the picture, and the vibe toggles between clean-cut ’60s (some of the footage was shelved for years) and sleazy ’70s. At its weirdest, the movie stops dead when two characters visit a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise for lunch and Colonel Sanders himself enters frame to ask the characters how they’re enjoying their meal. Familiar actors John Carradine and Broderick Crawford make fleeting appearances in Hell’s Bloody Devils—or, to put a finer point on it, in The Fakers, the espionage picture that Adamson commenced in the ’60s and repurposed for about half the footage of Hell’s Bloody Devils. Whatever. Hell’s Bloody Devils cuts from pointless vignettes of bikers festooned with Nazi regalia to a truly bewildering storyline about an Israeli secret agent teamed with a U.S. operative to do—something. Eventually, the spy stuff leads to a chase scene through a theme park, which comprises drab shots of people running through crowds to the accompaniment of overbearing music. Presumably, diehard schlock archivists have catalogued the components of this disastrous film’s ironic appeal, but for mere mortals, this is about as wretched as grade-Z cinema gets.

Hell’s Bloody Devils: SQUARE

4 comments:

Marty McKee said...

Ha. I just happened to watch this recently. I think it may well be Adamson's most watchable movie. It's sloppy and incoherent, but at least it moves quickly and isn't boring, which is more than you can say about 75% of Adamson's oeuvre. And there is some fun in watching poor Vicki Volante's wardrobe and hairstyle change, sometimes within the same scene.

greg6363 said...

I hate to sound like a broken record but how many more Al Adamson movies are left to review?

By Peter Hanson said...

Sadly, he was prolific. No Terrence Malick-style creative hiatus for Mr. Adamson.

William Blake Hall said...

Oh, I don't know -- perhaps Adamson needed all of 1973 to rest up to provide the first few minutes of animation for Dynamite Brothers. But Peter is right, Greg, he has only scratched the surface of Adamson's output. Technically we may all still be in for titles such as Black Heat, Brain of Blood, Doctor Dracula, The Female Bunch, Girls For Rent, and Mean Mother. Frankly, I'm not even sure how Peter can pass up Death Dimension, featuring George "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" Lazenby, Harold "Oddjob" Sakata, and Jim Kelly. (Oddly enough, this would mark the second movie with Dimension in the title that Sakata starred in, the other being Dimension 5 from the Sixties, starring the guy originally intended to be Star Trek's heroic captain.) He may be forgiven for passing on Lash of Lust or Sunset Cove, either of which may simply not exist anymore. But if he ever does bite the bullet and review The Naughty Stewardesses, perhaps he'll be able to toss in a paragraph for its who-asked-for-it sequel, Blazing Stewardesses. Perhaps he will overlook Uncle Tom's Cabin, an excuse for nude bondage starring John Kitzmiller, Sharky from Dr. No, out of kindness to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Finally, I can vouch that Horror of the Blood Monsters has to be seen to be disbelieved, a mishmash of bad photography and Filipino vampire cavemen. John Carradine, he was a trouper.