Bloodsucking Freaks

March 20, 2016 at 6:09 pm (1 Head, Bloodsucking Freaks) (, , , )

Bloodsucking Freaks – 1976 – United States

Sardu (a sardonic maniac) and Ralphus (a demented dwarf) operate “Sardu’s Theatre of the Macabre” in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. Jaded socialites watch Sardu’s Grand Guignol-style performances without realizing that the torture and murder are real. Sardu runs a white slavery ring, buying and selling young women. Using electroshock conditioning, he brainwashes them into willing slaves who even delightedly torture each other.

Bloodsucking Freaks’ plot revolves around a kidnapped ballerina and her boyfriend’s attempts to find her. This takes a backseat to scenes of women being tortured, murdered, and sexually exploited. Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma (the distributor of Bloodsucking Freaks), said “Bloodsucking Freaks is the single film in the Troma library of 150 films that I feel queasy about distributing. I may have secured my place in Hell just by watching it. It’s one of those rare films that is actually more offensive now than it was twenty-five years ago.”

Lloyd Kaufman is not exaggerating. Bloodsucking Freaks is rife with sexualized frontal nudity as women are tortured and murdered. Only one woman in the whole film wears clothes. Meanwhile, a woman’s head is crushed in a vice. A woman is dismembered with a saw. A woman’s eyes are removed and eaten. A woman’s ass is used as a dartboard. A woman’s head is drilled open and a man drinks her brains with a straw. Compared to the graphic torture in modern horror films, all of that might be passé. Bloodsucking Freaks’ most tasteless ideas are so reprehensible that they can only be insinuated. A woman has her teeth pulled out so she cannot bite during oral sex. A woman’s mouth is used as a urinal. Ralphus the dwarf has sex with the severed head of a (possibly too young) girl.

Bloodsucking Freaks is actually a comedy, which might make it more palatable or more tasteless. Regardless, its dry satire is occasionally amusing. The New York police are depicted as comically lazy and corrupt. A man calls 911 and gets a dismissive answering machine. A police detective arrives later but will not help without a bribe. The film’s ending is memorably ridiculous. Everyone is killed or driven insane and cannibal women fight over a sandwich with a severed penis in it. Also, Sardu and Ralphus have a strangely endearing (and ambiguously gay) relationship.

Rating: 1/10 Shrunken Heads. I respect women and myself too much to enjoy Bloodsucking Freaks.

Bloodsucking Freaks may deserve better than a 1 Head rating. However, a film this extreme can only be rated 1 Head or 10 Heads, and I refuse to rate it 10 Heads.


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