Writer: Philip Lilienschwarz (written by), Philip Lilienschwarz, Marcel Walz (story by)
Cast: Robert Rusler, Caroline Williams, Sophie Monk, Sadie Katz, Roland Freitag
Cert: 18 (TBC)
Running time: 90mins
What’s the story: In a Parisian suburb restaurant owner Ramses (Rusler) begins ritually murdering woman to resurrect the Egyptian goddess Ishtar.
What’s the verdict: If director Marcel Walz’s intention was for his remake of the 1963 Blood Feast to honour the original movie, then mission accomplished.
Blood Feast 2016 is as leaden-paced, awkwardly-acted, and boringly gory as Herschell Gordon Lewis’ film, without having the advantage of being the first of its kind to temper the awfulness.
More than just a name-only redo, the plot echoes the original with Egyptian/American diner owner Ramses (Rusler) slaying women for a blood rite to resurrect an ancient Egyptian goddess, Ishtar (Katz), threatening the lives of wife Louise (Williams) and daughter Penny (Monk).
Writer Philip Lilienschwarz attempts to introduce plot ambiguity with the unstable Ramses off his meds, so possibly hallucinating the foxy goddess. But, that’s all the invention you get, despite the potentially interesting subplot of Ramses being an American who has relocated to the Parisian suburb, essentially importing junk food and violence.
German-born helmer Walz cannot direct in a second language, meaning howling dialogue is delivered by the cast with the urgency of someone injected with a hippo tranquilizer. Despite try-hard performances from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2’s Rusler, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2’s Williams, and The Hills Run Red’s Monk, gamely playing half her age.
Walz also bungles the grim, no-fun gore. It’s a special kind of film that raises little more than a resigned sigh from the sight of graphic castration, making you actively wish Eli Roth had got the gig.
The climactic claret-drenched chow-down attempts moments of invention, but this is a film in need of a full transfusion of imagination, humour and a general reason to exist at all.
Add murky, ugly cinematography from Roland Freitag (who also co-stars as an inept cop on the case) and you have an anaemic horror film indeed.
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