Plot: Jill (Itonia Salcheck) is headed home from college to visit her parent, only to find their rural farmstead abandoned. She is baffled by the situation and none of the locals seem interested in helping her, in part because her father was a banker and has foreclosed on several properties in the area. His involvement in these transactions had alienated him from the rest of the community, so Jill is left with few options to turn to and feels helpless. But her old friend Gary (Dean West) is willing to lend a hand and the two have history beyond friendship, as they were flames back in high school. Also around is Gary’s brother Mervo (Tiny Tim), a mentally unstable man who rarely takes off his clown makeup and costume. As people around her begin to turn up dead, Jill worries it is only a matter of time before she is next, but can she get anyone to believe her before it is too late?
Entertainment Value: This is an odd one, a fairly standard slasher in most respects, but with a crown jewel of a centerpiece, with cult icon Tiny Tim as a creepy clown and that performance helps Blood Harvest standout from the crowd. He really delivers too, in an eerie and unsettling effort that rivals any creepy clown in cinema, just an off putting and bizarre presence. The rest of the movie is by no means dull, but Tiny Tim’s role is what puts this one on the map, without question. The narrative is in line with the usual slasher movie routine, but it does what it is supposed to do, which is set up a series of murders, create red herrings, and throw in some twists. So the wheel isn’t reinvented here, but the basic premise is effective and is able to hold interest. The pace is a little on the slow side, but for me the movie has enough strange vibes to avoid being dull, as even in the most inactive scenes, something odd is going on. Of course, that depends on how much you appreciate wooden and ridiculous performances, as the cast here supplies a lot of fun with their humorous efforts. Itonia Salcheck is off the charts as Jill, equal parts stiff as a board and off the wall, giving us a central character that never fails to entertain and of course, gets naked often. Blood Harvest isn’t the flashiest or bloodiest slasher movie out there, but for those who like some strange performances, odd atmosphere, and Tiny Tim in the mix, this is well recommended.
The movie has regular nakedness from lead Itonia Salcheck, who is never shy about taking her clothes off. This includes several topless scenes that aren’t brief at all, bare ass shots and even full frontal. This is the late 80s, so the bush still lives and the one here is bountiful. The sex scenes aren’t graphic, but have plenty of skin visible and much like the rest of the movie, feel a little odd. The violence isn’t ever present, but there are some nice kills and impressive effects. The throat slashes seen here look quite good, with a heavy flow of the red stuff on showcase. Those prove to be the highlight in terms of gore, but the movie has various other smaller scale instances of violence as well. So not the most blood soaked slasher movie, but some decent bloodshed. The dialogue is wooden, but often hilarious and the cast is mostly wooden as well, so it is a matching set. But Tiny Tim’s creepiness adds some score to this department, especially his prayer scene and the eerie songs he breaks out. This one earns some solid craziness points, between Tiny Tim’s presence, the wooden dialogue and performances, and overall creepiness of the movie, so it has some solid wackiness on deck.
Overall Insanity: 6/10
The Disc: Vinegar Syndrome offers a new 4k restoration sourced from the original negative and as usual for this label, the results are remarkable. The image looks so clean and refined, but retains the inherent grain and film-like texture, which is a huge boon for this edition. The level of detail is stunning at times, as the fine detail is so impressive and the visuals really shine. No issues with colors or contrast, which is great news, since some older releases were often so dark, you couldn’t much at all. The low budget roots are still evident, but Vinegar Syndrome has worked some true magic here and genre fans should be beyond thrilled. The extras kick off with an informative audio commentary with co-writer and producer Leszek Burzynski, then branches off into some performance and interview footage with Tiny Tim. I appreciated these Tiny Tim related pieces, as hearing him discuss the movie a little was a lot of fun, while his performance footage helps you appreciate his transition into Mervo.