I: Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972)

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invasion_of_blood_farmers_poster_01I don’t think it was until the Psychotronic Era of Film Writing came about that I eve heard about Invasion of the Blood Farmers. It maybe maybe maybe had a brief mention in Famous Monsters of Filmland in a “Coming Soon”, but its existence was news to me until I got out of college. When a movie vanishes that completely, you should know something is up, but no, not us, no sirree, we know we have to see a movie with a title like that. It could be an unjustly ignored gem!

It never is. We’re idiots.

(I’m an idiot who wants to thank Code Red DVD for enabling my idiocy on a regular basis)

ibffThese “blood farmers” are a cult of druids calling themselves “Sangroids”. They’ve apparently done away with a family in a remote farmhouse while searching desperately for the extremely rare bloodtype that will revive their Queen (who lies in repose in a glass case) before the stars match up for the last time and the “Prince of Darkness” (they’re pretty Catholic Druids) comes for them all. They do this by injecting some sort of drug into their victims; if the unfortunate is not the Chosen Type, it will cause their blood cells to multiply exponentially, which is okay, because Sangroids drink blood on a regular basis. They just hook up the non-Chosen to a siphon and drain them, leading to much overacting.

ibfgOne of their victims escapes and makes it to a local bar before expiring because the rampant blood production kills him (this could have been a far messier demise, but low-budget and all that. A young Peter Jackson or Stuart Gordon would have painted the bar and everybody in it red). This gets a local pathologist and his grad student assistant involved in the Mystery of the Growing Blood, and the pathologist’s daughter (and grad student’s love interest) gets to hang around and whine and fix breakfast and be the Chosen One.

There are two cogent pieces of trivia about Invasion of the Blood Farmers on its IMDb entry:

  • The film was shot over three weekends, with a $24,000 budget. It never made its money back.
  • According to the director, most of the cast members worked for a six-pack of beer as payment.

In that first scene in the bar, you are going to discover that many of the actors overcharged the director.The better actors are where they need to be, in the guise of the three good guys. The rest run the gamut from tolerable to Sweet Jesus You Are Actually Reading Fucking Cue Cards, Aren’t You?

"Here's this week's paycheck, boys."

“Here’s this week’s paycheck, boys.”

The story needed another run through the rewrite mill, but I admit that the central premise is novel, and could have been something memorably nasty in more experienced hands. Writer/Director Ed Adlum did learn a thing or two, as his next feature, Shriek of the Mutilated, is equally novel and a little better constructed. (He also got Michael Findlay to direct, which helped)

My favorite bit from this movie is going to remain the scene where the Cue Card Reading Druid is visiting the Pathologist and goes down to the “downstairs laboratory”, which is reached by walking into a very obvious closet.

There is one more thing about the Code Red DVD – the IMDb lists the running time as 84 minutes, but the DVD only runs 76. The included trailer has a couple of scenes that are not in the movie as presented, and the worst thing I can say about Invasion of the Blood Farmers is – I didn’t mind those missing 8 minutes. At all.

(Most of these vidcaps were yoinked from the far more complete B-Notes review by Apostic. Dude, come back, you’re missed.)