Combustible Celluloid
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With: Seamus O'Brien, Viju Krem, Niles McMaster, Dan Fauci, Alan Dellay, Ernie Pysher, Luis De Jesus
Written by: Joel M. Reed
Directed by: Joel M. Reed
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 88
Date: 11/03/1976

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Splatter Shock

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This splatter shock movie is considered to be a classic of the genre. Released in 1978, it was like nothing anyone had ever seen before. It tells the story of a "magician" called Sardu ("an evil genius of pain"), who performs horrific acts onstage that turn out to be real. It's full of naked women and gore effects. The problem with Bloodsucking Freaks, however, is that it's not fun and it's not funny. Like David Lynch's Eraserhead, it doesn't allow viewers to relax; it tries very hard to make one uncomfortable. But unlike Eraserhead, it seems to lack an overall sense of artistry. It seems as if there is a very fine line there, but honestly, it makes my stomach hurt to try to figure it out. If you're really curious, and if you think you've seen it all and nothing can affect you, and if you want to challenge your own limits, check it out.

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