- Straight to Video
- Director: Duke Hendrix
- Written by: Duke Hendrix, Leon Fish
- Running Time: 80 minutes
- Language: English
- MPAA Rating:
- Cast: Duke Hendrix, Leon Fish, Sven Jonnsen, Zenda Markhova, Spanky Doll, Angus, Tom Simmons
From the demented mind of Australian filmmaker Duke Hendrix, the man who brought us the minor cult hit “The Killbillies” in 2002, comes “Bloodspit”, a vampire flick so warped and perverted that even Paul J. Morrissey himself would be blushing. Sure to garner squeamish indignation, Hendrix pulls no punches here, delivering a veritable smorgasborg of gross out humour and visual repulsiveness, the kind that’ll leave you reaching for the remote, specifically the fast-forward button, every five minutes or so. Scantily clad women and nudity are prevalent almost from the outset, something of which will appeal to the puerile males in the audience. For the gorehounds, there is a mutilation, a castration, a decapitation and plenty of vomit, to leave them with a kick in their step. Sounds great, uh? Well, not entirely. Hendrix has knowledge of the genre, that’s obvious, it’s just too bad that he couldn’t hang all this decadence on a coherent story, or at least one that people will care about.
Long dead vampire, Count Blaughspich (Duke Hendrix) aka “Bloodspit” has been feeling a little cranky of late and he has every right to considering that someone has stolen the crescent from his coffin, preventing him from both sleeping and crossing over to the mystical “mirror world”, the place where all the vampires come from and where they must go to rejuvenate. After Blaughspich crippled him during a rather violent skirmish more than ten years earlier, Dr. Ludvic (Leon Fish), has made it his life-goal to eradicate the world of the Count and his kind, beginning with the theft of the much ballyhooed crescent. As it turns out, Ludvic only becomes aware of the power of the talisman while plotting to finally rid himself of Blaughspich, and thus, he sets out putting it to good use, first by killing Blaughspich’s kid sister and later, by crossing over into the mirror world to prepare. Well, it’s only a matter of time before these two otherworldly adversaries are colliding in one final explosive climactic showdown but before we get there, we have to deal with lots of other less than interesting minutia. For example; padding out the edges of the story is Blaughspich’s weakening health, his interactions with his peculiar and highly-sexed family of ghouls, as well as dealing with his freshly awoken older sister (Zenda Markhova), a sibling so crotchety and conniving that she’s plotting his death almost from the moment her eyes open and her fangs are bared.
The juvenile, sexually charged antics of Blaughspich’s surrogate family; comprised of friends, maids, siblings, and even a werewolf for whom they keep as a pet, feels like an X-rated version of the Addams Family, only without the salacious charm or dry humour. Much of the material here revolves around sex, helped along by the attractive maid (Spanky Doll) who seems to egg on the promiscuity simply by being in the room. After awhile, it gets kind of tedious, especially because you know that it’s coming at the expense of better plotting or character development. This is a true Franco-esque hedonistic jaunt where those typical societal boundaries, often defined by gender and species, are something to be laughed off. Yes, even the family pooch, a guy decked out in some low-rent werewolf make-up, gets in on the act, grinding and humping on anything it can, that is until the Countess decides to have at him with a pair of hedge-clippers. There’s also Blaughspich and the way he seems to sexually covet his cute kid sister, all of which makes for some very awkward moments and only adds to the heightened sense of grime and debauchery. As if dedicated to composing all of their most twisted sexual scenarios to paper, Duke Hendrix and Leon Fish, the film’s writers, seem unable or unwilling to reign themselves in. This is most apparent a couple of scenes that’ll leave the audience reeling in sheer awe, one of which involves a man, after being orally serviced, giving a female a bloody facial, and another involves a man playing sex games with a pair of severed genitalia, a vagina and a penis. It’s all pretty tasteless, or maybe it's just me. Sadly, the film fails to explore some of its own interesting ideas, namely the "mirror world" and how it functions, the Count's quest for the crescent or the deeper dynamic that exists between the royal vampire siblings, beyond the silly murder plot and incestuous overtones.
The one thing that I loved about the film is Hendrix’s devotion to atmosphere and setting. The film, despite its modest budget, looks and feels like one of those early 70’s Hammer Film productions we all grew up loving so much. From the gothic imagery to the shadowy-cornered interiors to loopy camera-angles to the antiquated dressy costumes, all of this attention to detail speaks to a filmmaker interested in evoking the spirit of the cinematic past. However, Hendrix is also happy to take the odd excursion into more contemporary horror, namely with the arrival of some mischievous teenagers who quickly become food for the family, midway into the film. Interestingly, maybe because of the way the film is structured visually and stylistically, this more modernistic-horror sequence feels almost out of place. Late in the film when Dr. Ludvic and his assistant wind up in a graveyard, stones strewn out in front of them from every direction, I was feeling giddy as it momentarily took me back to those epic battles that Lee, as Dracula, and Cushing, as VanHelsing, had in similar locales in those Hammer flicks of old. Also keep an eye out for the use of accents, because all types of them are on display here, some of which work and some of which don’t.
Zenda Markhova as Countess Blaughspich, offers the film its most interesting character. Markhova is a daring performer and it looks as though she’s having a ball here playing a sinister, manipulative wicked witch type. She also shows some comedic ability, namely in a scene involving Flyagra. Um, watch the movie. Spanky Doll as Lilly, the horny bisexual maid, is also quite funny, offering up a character that seems open to all kinds of sexual liaisons but draws the line at cleaning up vomit. Duke Hendrix as Blaughspich has plenty of lines to remember and he’s quite convincing in his grumpy, apathetic Al Bundy turn but, for the most part, he takes a backseat to Zenda and Spanky. The family, as a whole, are an interesting lot, while Leon Fish, as the wheelchair bound Ludvic, is not. Since most of his dialogue is designed soley to move the plot along, it’s hard to gain any kind of feeling for him, even sympathy. I don’t blame Fish though, or maybe I do considering he helped with the script.
All in all, "Bloodspit" is a forgettable straight-to-video effort that fails as both a softcore sex flick and as a vampire flick, and in all likelihood will not make anyone's shortlist of 'must watch' horror films. However, if you're in the mood for some Benny Hill style wackiness and creepy atmospheric visuals, all of which is fronted by the Lloyd Kaufman pitch machine called Troma Video, then this is the film for you.