Director – David E. Durston
Cast – Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury, Jadine Wong, Rhonda Fultz, George Patterson, Riley Mills, John Damon, Elizabeth Marner-Brooks, Richard Bowler, Tyde Kierney, Iris Brooks, Alex Mann
Release Year – 1970
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Thanks to a close buddy of mine and fellow horror aficionado(Trae of the Dead), I was able to view this 1970 cult classic. This film is a fun ride from beginning to end. We get lots of gore, cheesy dialogue, and an awesome soundtrack, all going along with some outlandish characters. What more could you ask for?
This film follows a band of Satanist hippies who are forced to stay in a small town after their van breaks down. Being the degenerates that they are, they terrorize the local townsfolk and eventually piss off a little kid after giving his grandfather LSD. In an act of revenge, he doses their food with rabies from a rabid dog and soon enough they turn from a group of Satanist hippies to a group of murderous psychos with a desire to spill blood. The virus is highly contagious, and with the number of infected growing at an alarming rate, it is up to the remaining townsfolk to fight off and kill the smelly hippies. Yes, this is Eric Cartman’s wet dream.
Grindhouse Releasing put this film out on DVD, and has made a name for themselves putting out exploitation flicks on DVD. “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Cannibal Ferox” are a few of the films these guys have put out and I really respect what they do for the horror scene. These guys even secured the rights to show “The Evil Dead” in 35mm at select theaters nationwide. How awesome is that?!?
For starters, I really liked this film’s plot. It wasn’t a complex plot, but he fact that it used psychotic hippies as the antagonists is just plain awesome. No zombies, no badass manly bikers, just stereotypically “sissy” hippies as the villains. I don’t know about you, but I like that idea. It is a fresh breath in a genre with not too much room for creativity when it comes to antagonists. I thought everything had been done already in this genre, but I guess NOT.
The writing and direction for this film is actually very well done for what it is. This is a very low budget flick so don’t’ expect a high production value, yet writer/director David E. Durston did a lot with what he had. Expect a lot of quick edits to make up for a lack of special effects, but don’t think that means this film skimps out on the gore. It’s not as gory as some other exploitation flicks, but it offers enough of the “goods” to keep us gorehounds happy. My biggest surprise with this was it’s awesome pacing. I expected to be a bit bored at times given these types of films usually run on lack of budget and experience. From beginning to end we are either given entertaining dialogue, deaths, or other types of nonsense spaced at just the right intervals to help this film flow awesomely
I had no big complaints with this film, but only because I looked past the horrendous acting. I honestly feel it is the bad acting in these exploitation flicks that adds to the fun of them. If you are too picky to look past these low budget elements then you will not come out of this film pleased.
Overall, this is an awesome exploitation flick that will be a fun watch to those who enjoy this type of filmmaking. It has a unique villain, good gore, and the right amount of cheese to be a positive watch. Give this a shot if you can find it.