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Blood Mania (1970)

Blood Mania poster.jpg

If you’re going to write a role for yourself, why not do what Peter Carpenter did and have yourself play a highly-sexed medical doctor with a number of women on the go and a horny nutjob salivating over you every time you visit your practice boss’ home to take care of him after he’s had a heart attack? Maria de Aragon thinks she’s in line for pop’s fortune so after a night of poppers with Pete she gives some to her father too to induce an early exit and pay off Pete’s debts to a blackmailer who wants to expose his past as an abortionist. She is shocked into madness at the reading of the will when little sis Vicki Peters turns up and grabs everything. Vicki’s Lesbian lover warns Pete to stay away but he has sex with her too, Maria finds out and murders her. Then Pete turns up and sees what he has triggered. With an unusual funky plinkety soundtrack, groovy lighting effects, dedicated performances and a Gothic rendering of life in the free-loving era, we have a portrait of a typical American family. Sort of. Far more manic and Gothic than bloody, actually and not remotely the horror fest you’d think. Carpenter may or may not have died a year later, the jury’s out on that, but this is actually a pretty good outing considering it’s from Crown and is oddly interesting from the perspective of design, camerawork and the titles sequence  – which bears little relationship with what’s to come but is worth a look. Carpenter was of course the star of Vixen for Russ Meyer, another wonderfully Mondo movie. Manimal Alex Rocco shows up to read the will. Thankfully, he keeps his clothes on, unlike virtually everyone else. Leslie Simms is good as the wisecracking nurse, a sort of latterday Mary Wickes. Directed by Robert Vincent O’Neil, who’s good on atmosphere.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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