I’ve been kicking around the idea of covering the exploitation/horror movies of the Philippines, especially those made in the late sixties and seventies. I even went as far as buying a couple box sets as well as tracking down a few other movies. I suppose it is time to actually get started and I couldn’t think of a better place to start then the first movie in the Blood Island series, Brides of Blood.
Not long after they realize that something is horribly wrong as they encounter mutated animals and plants. Yeah, the trees are trying to kill them! The worst of it is a particularly nasty monster to whom the villagers keep sacrificing lovely ladies. Why only the ladies? It seems that the monster has needs if you get my meaning. When they pick Alma that is the last straw for Jim, and he frees her and flees to Esteban’s home with her in tow. Along the way we find out that the island has been affected by radiation from the atomic bomb tests and that is why the local flora and fauna has become so homicidal. After one big twist involving the identity of the amorous monster we get to a satisfying conclusion to the movie, a big dance number.
Now this is going to sound creepy but, in my defense, it is a staple of the drive-in genre and that is nudity. We see a lot of skin in Brides of Blood. While it might seem tame by today’s standards (my how the internet has changed things) this was pushing the boundaries of the late sixties. It is likely that if these movies weren’t dismissed as trash, they wouldn’t have been able to get away with as much as they did.
My only other complaint with Brides of Blood is the music. While I don’t mind the soundtrack itself my issue is with how loud it gets. There are times where it drowns out what is on screen, not dialogue but just the ambient sounds of the jungle. It feels intrusive and took my attention away from the action on screen. This and the slow spots are the only real issues that I have with the movie.
For years I had warned people away from the Blood Island flicks based upon me watching them on VHS years ago. I’m not sure if it is the transfer on the new Blu-Ray set or if my tastes have changed but I feel like that was the wrong thing to do. Again, I can’t say Brides of Blood is a great movie, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t entertaining. Now I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of them to see if they are also better than I remembered. Consider this a recommendation.
© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer
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