Beast of Blood

July 2, 2016 at 1:12 am (7 Heads, Beast of Blood) (, , , , , )

Beast of Blood – 1970 – Philippines

Beast of Blood is a direct sequel to The Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968) and an indirect sequel to Brides of Blood (1968). These films form the Blood Island Trilogy directed by Eddie Romero and starring John Ashley.

Beast of Blood’s story begins moments after Mad Doctor’s ends. Bill Foster (the heroic doctor of Mad Doctor) leaves Blood Island. One of Blood Island’s plant-human monsters stows away on the boat. The monster goes on a berserk rampage and the boat explodes in the resulting melee. The monster drifts back to Blood Island. Bill survives and is rescued by a passing freighter.

The fearless Bill returns to Blood Island to continue his research. He is followed by a sexy lady reporter. Blood Island has changed since he left. Plant-human “green men” stalk the natives, and Bill’s former friends regard him with suspicion. Bill investigates the ruined villa of Dr. Lorca (the mad scientist who was killed in Mad Doctor of Blood Island). Unsurprisingly, Bill finds evidence that Dr. Lorca is not really dead. Meanwhile, Dr. Lorca’s armed mercenaries kidnap the reporter. Bill leads a squad of natives into the mountainous jungle to attack Dr. Lorca’s secret compound. In this compound, Dr. Lorca tries to transplant a human head onto a monster’s body. Why are mad scientists obsessed with head transplants? The film climaxes in a shootout between Bill’s squad and Dr. Lorca’s mercenaries.

Beast of Blood is very different from Mad Doctor of Blood Island. It is more like a war story than a horror story. The film’s central conflict is Bill’s commando mission against Dr. Lorca. The resulting shootout is action-packed with lots of gunfire and exploding grenades. The only horrific element is Dr. Lorca’s monster. The headless monster is immobilized on a table until the very end of the film when he rises to kill Dr. Lorca.

Despite having a comparable budget, Beast of Blood is much better produced than the other two Blood Island films. The shooting, lighting, acting, and effects are more sophisticated, and there are much fewer day-for-night scenes. The plant-human monster looks great too! His crusty rotting flesh is peeling from his bones, but he still has human-like eyes. There is also a gross scene where a human head is surgically removed. All the grenade explosions are pretty impressive as well.

Beast of Blood’s hero, Bill Foster (played by John Ashley), is boring. However, some of the supporting characters are memorable. Bill is in a love triangle with a reporter and a native woman. The reporter is sassy and cool, even while in Dr. Lorca’s clutches. The native woman is badass. She loves Bill Foster but is dispassionate when he rejects her. She also kills a lot of people with throwing knives. And Dr. Lorca is interesting as he pursues scientific enlightenment with a complete lack of ethics.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. Beast of Blood has awesome jungle locations. In an interview, actress Celeste Yarnall (who plays the reporter) said that the locations were miles away from any roads. They really look like it!

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