Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blood Sabbath (1972)

Yet another schlocky ’70s horror picture that attempts to blend hippies with Satanism, Blood Sabbath hits the crap-cinema trifecta: amateurish, boring, incoherent. Anthony Geary, later to find his pop-culture niche as long-running character Luke Spencer on the ABC soap General Hospital, stars as David, a confused Vietnam vet who wanders aimlessly through a forest until he’s nearly raped by a quartet of hippie chicks. Later, David meets the quasi-supernatural Yyalah (Susan Damante). She’s an earth spirit or wood nymph or something. David and Yyalah dig each other but can’t have sex, Yyalah says, because her kind dies upon mating with beings with souls. Naturally, this revelation prompts David to seek advice on how to discard his soul. He speaks to a priest who responds to David’s request with a temper tantrum, and then David chats up a witch whose coven conveniently knows how to perform soul-removal ceremonies. Seriously, this is the plot. Very little of what happens in Blood Sabbath makes sense, and the acting is abysmal. Compounding matters is the cheap costuming and hairstyling, which looks like it was done by technicians from a high-school drama club. The cinematography is competent, but that doesn’t count for much since the action occurring inside the pleasantly composed frames is disjoined and silly. For instance, the movie features countless scenes of topless and/or fully nude coven members dancing in the woods; one suspects the producers got a bulk discount by hiring the entire staff of a low-rent strip club. About the only mildly entertaining thing in the movie is the opening credit that promises an appearance by “Dyanne Thorne as Alotta, Queen of Witches.” Rest assured, however, that tame and fleeting scenes including the future star of the porn-ish Isla series are not reason enough to endure this misbegotten flick.

Blood Sabbath: SQUARE

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