Famous for his 1970 bloodbath, The Wizard of Gore, the last of the Herschell Gordon Lewis horror comedies has unfortunately come to an end with BloodMania.
BloodMania is a 4-piece anthology that dips into the deranged and demented world of the grisly distorted. Without much storyline to any of the shorts, we are first treated to a young man holding a woman hostage before going on the run. Needless to say, it gets bloody quite quickly and there is more than enough squeamish gore to entice the true horror fanatic into watching this craziness. A tale involving a burnt out manager of an all-girls rock group who just enjoys the kill is sure to make you uneasy. Stuart Bentley does an awesome job at being completely and unattractively repugnant while savagely gutting his victims.
My favorite chronicle is the beginning portion of the “thing” that lives in a household vent. There is an older couple, amply named Stanley and Helen, who continue to argue as a laugh track chimes in the background. Each comment from their snarky mouths is reminiscent of The Ropers. Similarly to the Rodney Dangerfield scene in Natural Born Killers, the danger looms as the humor prevails, all the while being bloody fun to watch. Although that incident is short lived, there is promise in the remainder of the story as a new family of four move into the doomed house only to encounter paranoid dread.
A few trite issues linger with apparent amateurish special effect kills, but it supposedly blends into the old genre of quirky comedic repulsion. BloodMania is a trippy, campy adventure into a tasteless creator’s mind. Comparable to the vulgar genius of John Waters (who happens to be a huge Lewis fan!), expect a great deal of confusion, hokeyness and displaced dialogue that does not necessarily mesh into the theme. Will this change your life? Not at all and for some, it could even be forgettable. But accept it for what it is…a low budget, gore-infested farce meant to make you laugh.
There are 2 subgenres of this field that I am not a fan of…artsy horror and comedy. I was extremely skeptical about BloodMania and although it did surpass my suspicions of being unwatchable, I am not likely to rewind it again any time soon. Fun? Yes. Crazy? Definitely. Got Substance? Nope. My internal thriller/disturbance meter was begging for more cliffhanger endings. But alas, it is still in the family of absurd talent.