What’s startling about Bloodlust! isn’t how bad it gets–the film opens on a docked ship, with the principal cast pretending it’s moving violently so the bad is obvious straight away–but how many not bad elements there are to the film. None of them are enough to make Bloodlust! worthwhile, unless someone’s a big June Kenney fan or “Brady Bunch” enthusiast.
Kenney gives a good performance as the level-headed girl. She’s dating Robert Reed, who isn’t any good. He’s not as bad as he could be–Eugene Persson is pretty lame as the other guy (Bloodlust! is a little like “Scooby-Doo (without the dog) meets The Most Dangerous Game”). As the other girl, Persson’s girlfriend, Joan Lora is appealing but bad. Out of nowhere, though, Kenney will turn in some fantastic scene and it’s inexplicable why she’s in this picture.
As the manhunting madman, Wilton Graff does an amiable job chewing the construction paper scenery. Director Brooke is not a dynamic director, not one bit; he does like blood and gore effects though, which occasionally gives the film a pulse. He cuts to hide the lack of action. It goes from an arrow firing to an arrow hitting, for example. It’s budget conscious but Brooke and editor Harold V. McKenzie don’t cut the sound right.
Strangely, Brooke has some good ideas in the script. He improves on Dangerous Game standards. Plus, he gives Kenney to do than the boys.
Bloodlust! is short, bad, dumb and mildly amusing.
Produced and directed by Ralph Brooke; screenplay by Brooke, based on a story by Richard Connell; director of photography, Richard E. Cunha; edited by Harold V. McKenzie; music by Michael Terr; released by Crown International Pictures.
Starring Wilton Graff (Dr. Albert Balleau), June Kenney (Betty Scott), Robert Reed (Johnny Randall), Eugene Persson (Pete Garwood), Joan Lora (Jeanne Perry), Troy Patterson (Captain Tony), Walter Brooke (Dean Gerrard), Lilyan Chauvin (Sandra Balleau) and Bobby Hall (Jondor).
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