The Chiller Carnival of Blood was a four picture film festival which as far as I can ascertain was probably played at drive-in movie theaters in the early 1970s. All four pictures played had something in common... they all featured blood in the title! I envy the marketing genius who thought of putting this together!
I'm going to do something different - I'll give you a little background about the four individual films and in italics I'll give you a commentary about what it would be like to watch this fantastic quartet of films at a luxurious drive-in theater. If you've ever been to a drive-in I think you'll understand the scenario I'm setting here... if you haven't, you're in for a treat. Let's begin now!
The first of the films is Blood Demon from 1969 featuring Christopher Lee as Count Regula a man who is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he come back to life to seek revenge on the daughter of his intended thirteenth victim and the son of his prosecutor in order to achieve eternal life.
At the conclusion of Blood Demon you probably have 3/4 of the popcorn left, some of your soda and a Clark bar that you stashed over the sun visor. The feigned interest in the film is starting to give way to more important tasks like steaming up the windows.
The second is Blood Doctor (AKA Mad Doctor of Blood Island) from 1968 starring such big screen luminaries as John Ashley and Angelique Pettyjohn! Wow! A man travels to an island where an insane doctor is creating zombies. Blood and guts ensue but the thing that most fans find endearing is Ms. Pettyjohn's zeal for removing her clothes.
After the credits roll on Blood Doctor, I'm not going to get too graphic here but the make-out session has given way to snuggling. Your girl/boy friend is next to you, the temperature inside the car is about 138 degrees and aside from the sweat beading up on your forehead and your partners arm feeling like a soggy sandbag flopped around your neck, the rolled up windows are probably cracked just enough to give you a chill. Popcorn consumption has resumed by you as you desperately fighting the urge to fling your girl/boy friend's arm off of you and bursting from the car frantically gasping for air. You probably feign an urgent need to run to the bathroom just to leave the confines of the car long enough to catch your breath and get back to the Buick-brand sauna waiting for you just as the opening credits roll...
Blood Fiend from 1967 is the third in this ghoulish cacophony of blood and guts. The story goes like this... There's this theater in Paris that specializes in acts of the macabre, a police coroner gets infatuated with one of the performers in said shows and soon after bodies start showing up all over the place drained of their blood. Christopher Lee makes another appearance in yet another Oscar nominated film as the evil Philippe Darvas; the guy who runs the joint and is subsequently killed right after the cops think they've got their man. Vampirism and necrophilia ensue...
By this point in the show the snacks have all been consumed, the necking has been concluded, the urge to use the bathroom again is becoming serious, the bench seat in Dad's Buick Riviera is starting to numb your ass to the point of actual concern and your girl/boy friend is either sound asleep; facing the complete opposite direction of you or complaining that they've had enough of the Carnival of Blood and that they want to leave. You promise that you only want to stay for part of the last movie and that you'll get going in a little while. The temperature in the car has gotten comfortable again and you don't want to get out of the car again... but you declare to yourself that you'll be able to hold it. You start to see the sky getting lighter as early morning works its way toward dawn as Blood Brides flickers on the big screen.
Blood Brides from 1968, is the final film of the morning. Again you're back on a tropical island with a group of natives battling with man-eating animals and plants caused my nuclear radioactivity. Virgin sacrifice and scary jungle creatures run amok... that's about the gyst of it.
When this film ends you're both sound asleep, the headlights from another car awaken you... begrudgingly you wake up well enough to drive home with the suns rays breaking the horizon and your full bladder keeps you uncomfortable enough to keep from dozing off. Instead of doing this again you decide to go bowling the next weekend.
I kinda went off there... now where the hell were we? Oh yeah, today's song; embellished with the trailer for the Chiller Carnival Of Blood of course, is from Steve Stanley and it's called "Sudden Death." This nifty 7" from 1977 was pressed on the Aquarius label where Stanley had been working as the apprentice engineer for two years. I think you're gonna dig the funky organ/moogy sound on this one - it's one of those tunes that's really grew on me when I was picking out the tunes to use this year.
Steven Stanley went on to record with the 80s new wave group Tom Tom Club, co producing their debut album in 1981. He also worked with Black Uhuru, Sly & Robbie, Sean Paul, Grace Jones and the B-52's and now owns a studio of his own in Kingston called Steven Stanley Recording Studio.