Plot: The descendants of the great vampire Bathor are divided, with the gender divide providing the basic line in the sand. The men are led by Grando and suffer from a strange illness that causes unexplained wounds to surface. Grando insists that the curse is caused by the women, who have betrayed Bathor by giving into their more base impulses. Although Grando himself is unafflicted, he orders his followers to hunt down the women and put them to death, while drinking Bathor’s blood to boost their strength and power. At the same time, some of the banished women are tempted to take action and protect the others, but remain uninvolved. After all, these women just dance around and waste their potential, so the banished women remain hidden. But with Bathor’s return imminent, the factions clash and two women strive to create a bond that will echo through time.
Entertainment Value: I was drawn to Blood of the Tribades by hearing the movie was inspired by Jean Rollin. You can see Rollin, Jess Franco, and even Hammer in this movie at times, but Blood of the Tribades isn’t slavish to those sources. The beautiful shots of two girls, hand in hand in a gorgeous nature scene are unmistakable Rollin touches, but the movie has a strong vision and voice of its own. The story follows a cult of misguided men, a band of banished women, and a loving couple, all with their own agendas about the return of Bathor. The performances are good, especially given that it was local talent, but the visuals and atmosphere tend to steal the show. The movie has such a great sense of visual style, which pays tribute to the genre films of the past, but also feels quite fresh here. As far as social commentary, there are certainly several themes at play, but they never feel forced. You can pick up on them easily and appreciate the message, or you can just sit back and be entertained. I found it to be a well crafted, beautiful movie that takes some chances and is a fun, often weird ride. If you’re into 70s European horror or vampires or swinging dicks, don’t miss Blood of the Tribades.
A lot of reviews of this movie tend to drone on about the nudity involved, which doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, we see naked women and men, but it isn’t all that frequent and doesn’t feel shoehorned in. I halfway expected a softcore porn, given how much focus was on the naked flesh in some reviews. The movie has a few topless scenes, including a vampire breast feeding segment, as well as full frontal on a few ladies. I can’t be sure, but it seemed like one was using a merkin, or a fake bush. Not a big deal, just kind of stood out and got a chuckle. Much more prominent is male nudity, with numerous guys showing off the goods here. One memorable scene involved a guy who was perhaps a little over fluffed, being flogged with roses by his fellow male cult members. A weird, but very awesome scene that you likely won’t see anywhere else. So a lot of cock n balls in this one. The blood is minimal and done in non graphic ways, like a knife that leaves a faint blood trail behind. We have the needed neck bites and such, but the blood here is more style than shock. But we do have the greatest penis removal scene since Street Trash, a great moment without question.
The dialogue is fine, but not a lot of it stood out as memorable. Grando’s zealotry provides some over the top moments, which are fun. The movie also has some scenes performed in French, which again suits the Rollin influence and adds in some nice style to boot. So again, the dialogue is good, just not quotable or overly quirky. As far as insanity, Blood of the Tribades is a much wilder ride than you might think. The surreal rose flogging scene I mentioned above is just one of the odd moments here. The vibe is just unsettling sometimes too, with a good amount of sexual violence. Not like erotic neck bites, but like creepy guys masturbating right before they kill a vampire, that kind of fun. This is not camp or over the top material though, it is mostly presented in a serious tone. So it never runs off the rails, but it is a weird, wonderful experience.
Overall Insanity: 5/10