Plot: The reports from the infamous Blood Island reveal strange mutations in the plant and animal populace, due to the atomic testing once done in the region. In order to uncover the truth about these events, Dr. Paul Henderson (Kent Taylor), his wife Carla (Beverly Powers), and U.S. government worker Jim Farrell (John Ashley) venture to the island to stage a full scale investigation. The trio witnesses all sorts of unusual happenings, but reassurance from a local leader satisfy them for the time, though not for the entire visit. The island is home to all kinds of mutations and what not, like carnivorous insects and more importantly, a creature known as The Evil One, which all the natives serve with total obedience. It seems The Evil One demands virgin sacrifices and if that isn’t done, the wrath that follows could demolish the entire island, it would seem. Soon, Farrell finds himself in love with a young native girl and when she is chosen to be the next sacrifice, he steps in and rescues her, which means serious trouble is soon to arrive. Can the natives stand up to The Evil One, or will it dominate Blood Island forever?
Entertainment Value: This is pure drive-in cheese, with pretty girls, hokey monsters, and of course, a little naked flesh mixed in. While Terror is a Man was kind of a prequel, Brides of Blood takes us to Blood Island proper and kicks off the core trio of movies in grand, b movie style. The narrative here is a fun one, with tropical curses, human sacrifices, relationship dysfunction, and outlandish mutants, so there’s rarely a dull moment on this island adventure. Even in the slower sections, the banter is humorous and there are small, odd touches drizzled in, so the weirdness is always around and keeps things on track. I mean, Brides of Blood will parade out a troupe of little people, strap a topless woman to an altar, and brandish the horns of a cuckold, just to make sure you’re having a good time. I love that the movie really makes the local flavor such a prominent part of the experience, so much of Brides of Blood is tied into the culture and landscape. I think that atmosphere is one reason the movie is so fun and the tropical feel helps it stand out from the crowd, to be sure. The sun, the locals, the murderous trees, it is a real mood here. The b movie vibe is of course not going to dazzle all viewers and Brides of Blood is a low rent drive-in, but I think the movie does what it sets out to do and has no pretense on what that is. I always have fun with this one and for fans of horror, b movies, or killer trees, don’t miss Brides of Blood.
There’s some light skin on showcase here, including the wondrous scene of our virgin sacrifice lashed to an altar. So we have some bare breasts and frequent skimpy beach attire, but no graphic or over the top nakedness. Even so, the sacrifice scene alone is a Blood Island wonder to behold. The movie has some violence and of course, that special bright red drive-in blood that’s always fun. I wouldn’t rank the crimson level too high here however, as the blood is sparse and as expected, the violence is hokey, more fun than intense. But there is some blood spilled and beyond that, we have the outlandish monster effects, which are an absolute blast. The main creature is just ridiculous, some kind of burnt marshmallow monstrosity that is an ideal centerpiece for this kind of over the top horror romp. And you can’t forget the creeping tendrils of the mutant trees, also hilarious and immense fun to watch in action. As for dialogue, we have the bitch talk from Carla that’s memorable and some overly serious moments of camp value, but there’s not a wealth of wild lines here. On the insanity scale, we have the ludicrous monsters, awkward tribal dances, Carla’s dysfunction, a guy with really hairy palms, and a moth puppet, so there’s some b movie mayhem at work here.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
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