B: Beast of Blood (1971)

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combo_beast_of_blood_poster_01So what we have here is the direct sequel to the 1968 Mad Doctor of Blood Island, so direct that it literally picks up where the original left off. Dr. Bill Foster (John Ashley, but of course) is returning home, but the monster, who stowed away in a lifeboat at the end of the first picture, can’t stand it anymore, reveals itself and starts killing people. Fuel gets spilled, and the boat blows up, with Foster and the monster the only survivors. Unconscious. Foster drifts on some debris; the monster is washed up on Blood Island and staggers into the jungle.

Fortunately, Beast of Blood loses that beyond-irritating abuse of the zoom lens every time the monster appeared in the first movie,, throbbing in and out with the monster’s heartbeat; unfortunately, it also loses the monster for most of the movie.

Beast of Blood1

It’s not human and it’s got an axe! …Wait. Wrong movie. Sorry.

Foster returns to Blood Island one year later, having heard rumors that the Green Men, experimental subjects of the Mad Dr. Lorca from the last movie, are still causing problems. His investigations are hindered by Myra, a journalist from Hawaii (the incredibly white Celeste Yarnall) and helped by the fierce native woman Laida (Liza Belmonte), who isn’t afraid to use her bolo knife on the Green Men (and is, incidentally, who pulled Foster from the drink and nursed him to health a year before). Lorca’s stronghold, sealed up since the last movie’s concluding fire and explosion, still has something going on inside; Foster and crew find a tunnel leading away from the compound into the jungle.

Myra gets kidnapped by a gang of toughs and taken into said jungle and up into the mountains, where the scarred Dr. Lorca (Eddie Garcia) is still plying his nutty trade. He has the monster, Ramon, too – though the beast is still homicidal, and Lorca had to cut his head off to calm him down – literally. The body and head are still alive, machinery pumping that weird green chlorophyll blood into both, while Lorca – for some rationale which is never explained – keeps trying to transplant heads from the contaminated Green Men he keeps in a cage onto the monster’s body.

Beast of Blood2John Ashley is usually a pretty serviceable leading man in these things, but I got really irked by his continually turning down Laida – who is pretty much the ass-kicking Pam Grier of Filipinas in this – for the incredibly vanilla Myra. Hell, she’d need flavor enhancers to even qualify as vanilla.

The major problem with Beast of Blood is the monster and mad science comprise perhaps a quarter of the movie – the rest is intrigue and action as Foster tracks the bandits in Lorca’s employ back to his new stronghold, then a commando force of sailors and natives attack and there’s a lot of orange blood slopped around.¬† It’s a problem shared with director Eddie Romero’s next movie, Twilight People, where the movie’s supposed main storyline, an Island of Dr. Moreau rip-off, is supplanted by a Most Dangerous Game rip-off.

Beast of Blood3Eddie Romero actually does make very entertaining movies, they’re just not always the movie you bought a ticket for. Beast of Blood can work as a double feature with its predecessor, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, but you also might have to pack an extra helping of patience to get through both.

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