Not that I'm complaining. In fact, once the titular maniacal blood does begin to flow, I had to wonder why the film even bothered. We had a perfectly ridiculous, but HOT little independent anti-suspense flick working for us. Adding the blood is like, hell, I don't know... putting skateboard stickers on a Fender Telecaster or adding Tony Chachere's Cajun and Creole Seasoning to a Cupcake Recipe. It's immediately noticeable, but doesn't do a damn bit to improve the overall product.
Then again, I can't imagine that writer Peter Carpenter was all that interested in scripting a brilliant and coherent script that could make him look like Hitchcock! No, old Petey C. wrote this thing with one thing and one thing only in mind... appearing in a movie with beautiful naked women and somehow making tons of money from it. The script he wrote with Tony Crechales and Toby Sacher was purely secondary in all other things to that goal. I could just see him going through the pages with Ton' and Tob' and saying "Wait a minute... you know what this first act is missing? A Bathtub scene! Who's with me? The Male lead needs to have a bathtub scene, man!" Naturally, Carpenter himself plays the stupid male lead, Dr. Craig Cooper.
See Droopy Coop is the family doctor for this really rich and dying dude named Ridgeley Waterman (Eric Allison). Let me digress here... you know how there are some names that just SOUND like the dude must be rich? Seriously? Ridgeley Waterman? That guy is either rich as HELL or it's a fake name. You never hear some triumph over tragedy story about some guy making his way from the gutter to becoming a mentor to inner-city youths and his name's like "Ridgeley Waterman". Then again, lot's of people tell me that "J.C. Mašek III" sounds like some rich guy's name, but I'm still doing this, aren't I? Yeah... I don't... have any money, kids.
Whew, that was one HELL of a digression.
Anyway, Ridgeley Waterman III not only has wheelbarrows full of money, a Jed Clampett-size house and more terminal illnesses than a quarantined train station (sound that one out, it's a little clever), but he's also got a live in daughter with like 1% body fat! Yeah, man, her name is Victoria and she's also got breasts that LAUGH in the face of gravity. They're incredible, man and she can't wait to show them off to anybody she can from the Pool Boy (who, somehow, runs away in horror) to Doc Coop himself. You want to know something else? She's played by Maria De Aragon who, and I am NOT kidding, went on to play Greedo in Star Wars! She DID! Man, I have to wonder, if Han knew what ol' Greedo was hiding under that orange vest of his, do you think he still would've shot him? I mean... her?
I'm digressing again, aren't I?
While the nymphomaniacal Greedo/ Victoria has a headache from taking care of her dad (more often than not dismissing Leslie Simms' Nurse Turner so that she can neglect the old man herself), Craiggy C. has a headache all his own. You see a jackass Blackmailer with bad hair (played by Arell Blanton) from the Doc's past of back-alley illegal medical procedures has popped up and demanded fifty grand to stay mum on the subject.
So, in SPITE of the fact that he's already sleeping with a super hot (and usually naked) redhead named Cheryl (Reagan Wilson) Greedy Victoria decides she's going to seal the deal in her pursuit of Dr. Craig by helping Daddy Ridgeley to his rightful place in the afterlife, collect the inheritance and make the Doc her boy toy. You can tell the Doc wrote this right? I wouldn't be shocked if he had both hands in the casting, too.
Victoria is set in her ways on this one, too, no matter what her younger sister Gail (Vicki Peters, who is also commonly naked and beautiful) or Gail's friendly advisor Kate (Jacqueline Dalya) have to say about it.
Okay, so you get the idea of this flick, basically, right? Standard retread plot with lots of bad acting and shots of beautiful naked women most commonly fawning over the guy who wrote into the script that beautiful naked women should fawn over him. It rinses, it repeats and it keeps spiraling all around the room in that crazy B-MOVIE way.
I'm not even kidding about this, folks... Check it out... Victoria kills daddy by giving him a dose of what appears to be SMILEX GAS, judging from the Joker-like grin on his face, then she walks to the mirror, disrobes and takes a few minutes to admire her peerless naked breasts. Again, I'm not complaining, but come ON, man. Tell me, Peter Carpenter, was that YOUR idea or director Robert Vincent O'Neill's? Of course one must wonder, considering all the dream, fantasy and psychadelic scenes in this flick if that really happened or was just another FREAK OUT!
I had to love the dialogue, too... While explaining his plight to Victoria, Craiggers sais "I need Fifty Thousand!"
And she responds... "Dollars?"
It would've been so awesome if he had said "No Scooby Fucking Doo Salt Shakers!!!"
While mooning over and lamenting Ridgeley's newly Jokerized corpse (with special horror paid to the horrible look on his face) Nurse Turner actually says "Well... at least he died with Dignity!"
What? THAT's Dignity? So what would Nurse Turner consider UN-Dignified, man? Look, folks, PRETTY please! If I'm somehow made to look like the fifty-third card combined with a Jack-In-The-Box at the time that I sluff off this mortal coil, please know that I've had more dignified times. Jeez!
Yeah, I know, I know... it's a bad movie with all the non-shocks and musical cues to make this feel like your standard melodramatic soap. The only thing that keeps this from feeling like a story arc on One Life to Live is the incredible (and wonderful) nudity, the non-maniacal blood in the finale and, surprisingly, the appearance of Alex Rocco as the Lawyer!
The thing is... there are some somewhat interesting parts of this film. Oh, it's not GREAT, by any means, but director O'Neill does manage to pull off some creative framing techniques. While this is often just so he can make sure that more scenes have breasts in at LEAST the lower corner of the screen, often he uses this for additional artistic merit. Further, the plot, while generally standardized and done, manages to have one or two surprises now and then, some of which actually make textual sense.
Aside from that, it's just a silly vehicle for the actresses to spend lots of time with the writer/actor who found a way to really enjoy his work. Man, I wish my school had the career center that Peter Carpenter's did. Seriously, people... what a job!
And even more seriously, I have to say that it should've been Victoria that got the Action Figure instead of Greedo. I'd have bought that one in a SECOND. Or, really, if Maria De Aragon was playing Greedo anyway, why couldn't Uncle George have altered the script so that Greedo could look more like Maria De Aragon, Huh? It'd be like "Greeda, I was just going to see your boss, and this time I've got the money! What's that? You want me to give you the money? Well... I could do that... look we don't need these guns, why don't you and I take the Falcon and Chewie can drive... I'll leave the kid and the old Jedi here and FORGET that Princess!" Yeah, but then the trilogy wouldn't have happened, would it have? Okay, back to the review.
Bad acting, bad dialogue, soap opera conventions, rehashed plot, naked models and stupid surprises... yeah, Blood Mania gets Two Stars out of Five! DAMN! See you in the next Fifty-Thousand Dollar Reel!
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