Friday 1 September 2017


Amid the rise of the boutique DVD label such as Arrow, Indicator, Criterion, etc, there are those who say "no more!". Well, to them I say, "no, more!" And so I'm happy to see a new series of titles released under the Vestron Video label that celebrate some ultra obscure movies that you aren't going to find anywhere else. First to be released is 1987's Blood Diner.

An opening crawl positions Jackie Kong's Blood Diner firmly in B-movie territory, renouncing practitioners of blood cults while at the same time hoping to trick the audience into thinking they're about to see something trull satanic; for example, stating that "all of the mutilations, body dismemberments and cannibal rituals were performed by seasoned professionals". It has a severed tongue firmly in cheek.

Our two main characters are the Tutman brothers, Michael and George (Rick Burks and Carl Crew). Together they run a local eatery that bring delicious vegetarian food to the masses, with their "Tuesday Surprise" a particular favourite. As you might have deduced from the title and the fact this is a cheesy 80s horror film, their food is not what you would traditionally class as vegetarian, but rather the deep fried remains of victims of a murderous rampage that has been targeting some of the local vegetarian hotspots, including a nude aerobics class and a club where the brothers are able to meet unsuspecting women to lure back to their restaurant/murder scene. It's here that they meet a sticky end, either by getting their head plunged into a deep fat fryer, or by going back for their purse when they should be fleeing for their life.

Of course there's a reason behind all this dismemberment that goes further than re-stocking the pantry, and that would obviously be to re-animate the goddess Sheetar that their long departed Uncle Anwar (offed in a police shoot out that saw him "armed with a meat cleaver in one hand and his genitals in the other") worshipped. Taking orders from Uncle Anwar's brain in a jar, he gives the boys a gross grocery list of body parts that would make Silence of the Lambs' Buffalo Bill wince.

Wilfully offensive and misogynistic, Blood Diner is the kind of film where you can tell that the supporting cast have also done porn at some point in their career. Written by Dukey Flyswatter (frontman for post-punk rock band Haunted Garage and voice of the Imp in Sorority Babes, but I'm sure I didn't need to tell you that), it's a madcap mess of a movie, but never tries to be anything but that. It's definitely kinda hokey, but there's so much to appreciate (and on blu-ray I'm sure this is the best the film has ever looked) including zombies and cannibal feasts and the fact that one of the key supporting characters is made out of crude paper mache.

With a post-punk aesthetic that shows a no holds barred approach to offending as much of its audience as possible, this film features a wrestler named Jimmy Hitler, the two worst homicide detectives in the world, and the greatest reveal this side of Troll 2's true meaning of Nilbog. The tagline, first they greet you then they eat you is simply delicious, and it has a barnstorming and barmy ending that means you leave the film on a high. If you're looking for a generous helping of cult film with a side of silliness, here's one to takeaway. This bodes well for the next films to be released on the Vestron label.


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