Blood Mania / Point of Terror (Blu-Ray/DVD Review)
Rated: UR/Region O/1080p/Number of Discs 3
Available from Vinegar Syndrome (Note: this limited edition first pressing of 3,000 units includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare TV versions of both films!)
Blood Mania (1970)
Directed By: Robert Vincent O’Neill
Starring: Peter Carpenter, Maria De Aragon, Vicki Peters
First, in Robert Vincent O’Neill’s BLOOD MANIA, Carpenter stars as Craig, lover of the unstable Victoria (Maria De Aragon), who’s very keen to see her wealthy father reach an early grave so she can inherit his fortune. Deciding to speed up the process, she concocts a diabolical plan for his demise, only to be met with some unexpected obstacles… Playing like a sex and violence-drenched soap opera, BLOOD MANIA is a mind-bending drive-in oddity that keeps you guessing until its final shocking twist.
This a story of blackmail, sex, and lots of other shady things. I’ve had Blood Mania for a long time on several multi-movie packs and it has always looked pretty bad. So, for starters, I can’t believe how good this one looks coming from Vinegar Syndrome in HD! My goodness! This old movie can sure pop! But it isn’t always just about looks, so let’s get into the actual plot. For one we have Peter Carpenter (who’s in both movies here) starring as the end all of all leading men. He’s making it do what it do and one woman falls head over heels for him in a very psychotic way. This gets worse when he gets blackmailed for a large sum of money and has to find a way to pay up. One woman offers herself to the guy doing it but it does no good. So, the one who has the hots for him cooks up a very evil plan to get the money. Only the plan doesn’t go the way she expects and that opens up a whole can of worms that make up the very twisty and turny Blood Mania.
Blood Mania is a moody film. It packs hot women and some very dastardly deeds being done to move the plot forward. The results come in the form of a bit of nudity from said hot women and random violent moments that might not be filled with the world’s best effects but serve the purpose none the less. Peter Carpenter is surrounded by hot women and really does make the movie with his performance. Sometimes less is actually more and I think his performance shows this in a very strange way. The movie also comes with a bit of an odd ending that I found pretty cool for what it was. This is just one of those movies that seems to be tossing as much stuff as it can against the wall but in a rare feet most of what it tosses ends up sticking. Just when you think things are slowing down something else happens and it only pushes this one forward. I really enjoyed Blood Mania and I think it is the highlight of this double feature release.
Quality of Transfer: 99%
Point of Terror (1971)
Directed By: Alex Nicol
Starring: Peter Carpenter, Dyanne Thorne, Lory Hansen
In Alex Nicol’s POINT OF TERROR, Carpenter headlines as Tony Trelos, a lounge singer who mysteriously wakes up on Andrea’s (Dyanne Thorne) private beach. The two quickly begin an affair, but things get complicated when Andrea decides to murder her wheelchair-bound husband and Tony starts sleeping with Andrea’s pretty stepdaughter… With its Tom Jones inspired musical interludes and DP Robert Maxwell’s Bava-esque lighting scheme, POINT OF TERROR plays like a candy-colored acid trip into the world of vanity-themed exploitation.
Peter Carpenter is back at it again in this odd one. Yes, this is another one of those films like Blood Mania that has popped up on other multi-packs but was cleaned up to look outstanding for this release. The story here, however, could be called a lot stranger than the one we got in Blood Mania. It often times is hard to tell what is real or dream in this mind-trip of a film. This is a film that is basking in the typical vibe and feel of the early 70’s. This at the heart of things isn’t a horror film but instead a melodrama full of off the wall and trippy things. Carpenter’s character like in the last movie is getting involved with perhaps the wrong woman at the wrong time. The one here is strung out and is connected to a dude in a wheelchair bound big fish in the music business which isn’t good for him. Much of the movie gets moved along with random moments of musical performances. It is just something to see, even if at the heart of things it probably isn’t THAT good of a film.
But it isn’t just a movie that comes with musical numbers and a lead sleeping around with someone’s wife. It is a movie about greed. It also packs some random on-screen murders to keep the ball rolling along as we get from Point A to Point Z. The movie is an odd one, to say the least, but is a much weaker effort than the other film we have on this release despite being perhaps better polished and with maybe, even more money behind it. While the film does indeed lack in a lot of areas, it at least does look great here in HD. And it might just be one of those movies you want to watch just to see how awkward it can be from time to time. Because if odd and awkward is your kind of thing, you certainly get that here with Point of Terror.
Quality of Transfer: 99%
– LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE: Bonus DVD featuring alternate TV versions for both films! (Limited to 3,000 units)
– Region free 3-disc Blu-ray and DVD combo pack
– Both films scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
– Commentary track on BLOOD MANIA with Robert Vincent O’Neill (Director), Leslie Simms (Actress) and Vicki Peters (Actress)
– Video interview and introduction with director Robert Vincent O’Neill
– Video interview with actress Leslie Simms
– Theatrical trailers for both films
– TV spots for both films
– Promotional galleries for both films
– Reverse cover artwork
– English SDH Subtitles