Let me see your heart!
Let me break something down real quick. I justifiably catch a reputation as being someone who likes to like things. And that’s true. Whenever I have time to share movie talk with folks, I want to talk about the things I love. Because, for me, it’s just too darn easy to fall down a rabbit hole of negativity. When I stumble across something that thrills me, I want to share it. Even still, sometimes I’m a bit abashed when it comes to how enthusiastic I tend to be about things. This is especially true when I find a great new-to-me trash-cinema film. Over Easter Weekend, I got stuck on a “Blood” film kick. Don’t judge me. I like topical themes. Any road, that’s when I ran into Blood Diner. I had no idea this movie existed until I saw the poster flipping through movies on Shudder. When I finished watching it, here’s how I immediately pitched it to my buddy:
Michael and George looking for the perfect head for Sheetar (Sheetar!)
“Hey, Happy Easter! Have you ever seen Blood Diner? Holy moly! That movie is insane. A lady gets battered. Like, covered in batter. And then the guy deep fries her head. But she doesn’t die. She jumps up and runs around with her head like a fried ball. Also there’s a Hitler wrestler and a Nazi trumpet section in a club band. It’s. Weird.”
In fairness to Blood Diner, I’m pretty sure it was actually a Nazi guitar section in a club band. Which is maybe an important distinction? I don’t really know.
These are such weird movies to love. Trash cinema makes for such a wide selection of all-you-can-eat offensiveness, gross-out moments, rubber body parts, and enough red corn syrup to subsidize Big Corn. Blood Diner does not disappoint. It is a riff on H.G. Lewis’ 1963 film Blood Feast about two brothers, Michael (Rick Burks) and George (Carl Crew) indoctrinated at a young age by their Uncle Anwar (Drew Godderis) into the cult of Sheetar (Sheetar!). He’s taught them to hypnotize cats and prepare sacrificial meals. His final act is to implore them to study their Sheetar (Sheetar!) lore as one day they’ll have to finish his mission. He then calmly exits their house to be gunned down by the man. The movie picks up twenty years later when the brothers dig up dear old Uncle Anwar and put his brain and eyes in a jar so he can mentor them once more.
Anwar definitely talks out loud, because he uses a phone. I just don’t understand how it works. He’s just a brain. In a jar. But, maybe we all are. But, god dammit this is what I love about trash cinema. Why the hell shouldn’t the brain and eyes in a jar talk with a voice?
Where was I? Right. Anwar is all about resurrecting the goddess Sheetar (Sheetar!) and instructs the boys on the proper blood feast recipe and how to assemble only the finest of the jigsawed pieces of many a murder victim into the proper vessel for the goddess Sheetar (Sheetar!).
You can rest 100% assured that Uncle Anwar inappropiately reminisces about his lost genitals.
Blood Diner was directed by a young Jackie Kong. She made her first movie The Being in 1983. Her last movie was The Underachievers, also released in 1987. She spent much of her time after that working for a non-profit organization called Asian-American Media Development to advocate for increased representation in cinema. Blood Diner is gonzo chunk of hilarious trash cinema. I wish we could see more of her work. It’s a weird feeling to discover a decade old body of work that makes you suddenly realize how much you might have missed. I love her style. Her mean, gory, burpy, barfy, gross, hilarious style. The costume work alone in this movie is enough to recommend it to your attention.
Dukey Flyswatter, whose given name is Michael Sonye, wrote Blood Diner. He went on to voice Uncle Impie in Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-O-Rama, which I recently saw thanks to a tip during our chat with Ted Geoghegan. More noteworthy, Flyswatter went on to play the Clit Master, a loving homage to the Crypt Keeper, in the pornography-as-horror-film genre mash up in the clearly adult film Terrors from the Clit. So. You know. I’m just here to give you the context for the filmmakers who brought you this madcap gore-fest.
I’m not even playing about the costumes and make up choices. I. Am. In. Love.
Still unclear what you’re getting into? Let me just grab the text from the opening warning message from the filmmakers.
“WARNING! The truly unusual motion picture you are about to see contains many scenes of Graphic Violence. It is not intended for the faint of heart nor the young and impressionable.
While it is a sad fact that mass homicide and practioners of Blood Cults infest our society, the producers of this film wish to express that they do not condone nor do they want to inspire, any of the human butchery or violence portrayed in this film. If you feel you will be offended by such material, please leave the theatre at once…
Note: (All of the mutilations, bodily dismemberments and cannibal rituals were performed by seasoned professionals)”
That warning reads like a whole-hearted endorsement to me. Especially the bit about seasoned professionals. Now, you need to go out and watch this movie full of gurgling digestive sounds, a disgusting group vomit scene (emetaphobes – this one is not for you), wacko violence, and sheer glee in murder. And if you like it, which I’m sure you will, I finish with gifts.
Jackie Kong is working on her first movie in 30 years right now. Per Kong, “For those of you wondering where the hell I’ve been, well I’m back!” It’s called Coexistence and she describes it as her take on Romeo and Juliet. She’s also anticipated your lackluster reaction. “And I bet you’re probably saying ‘What? Another effin’ version of Romeo and Juliet?’ Well, forget everything you think you know about this play.”
The pitch for her Kickstarter is both cracking me up and getting me excited for the project. The tagline she’s going with for the pitch? “We’ve all heard of Shakespeare in Love, well get ready for Shakespeare in Blood!” According to the film’s website, Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah, and John Savage are attached to star. Color me into it.