Very few films have sequels made after nearly forty years have passed years, but very few filmmakers are like Herschell Gordon Lewis. So when the Ladies of the Lair told me they wanted to cover Blood Feast 2:All You Can Eatfor this month‘s Ladies Night, I was more than ready to tie on a bib and sit down to a second helping from one of splatter films’ influential masters. Without further ado, let me turn it over to my lovely wife Miss. Directed and my good friend Fran Goria for a review of a film that’s got it all, cannibal caterers, lingerie parties, and lots of good old fashioned gore.
Blood Feast 2: All You Can Eat (2002) starring Mark McLachlan, John “Spud” McConnell, J.P. Delahoussaye, and Melissa Morgan. Directed by H.G. Lewis.
When Fuad Ramses III (Delahoussaye) moves to the town where his grandfather used to run a catering business and opens one of his own, Detective Mike Meyers (McLachlan) is sure that the cook is up to no good. Soon friends of Myers’ fiancée Tiffani Lampley (Toni Wynn) start to show up with body parts missing, and with Ramses set to cater their wedding, Meyers and his partner David Loomis (McConnell) have to find out what’s going on before the wedding guests become the wedding buffet.
Sometimes at 2:00 A.M. you find yourself thinking I could go for some cheese. When that happens to a person it’s not the over priced block of Irish cheddar that fits the craving. You go to the cupboard, dig around for the Ritz crackers and pull out your canned cheese. I’m not much for the aerosol driven bright orange goop during the day, but under the cover of darkness I have been known to main line the cheese whiz. That explains why I am about to rave full on about Blood Feast 2.
I can best describe this as a horror comedy, heavy on the comedy. The funny is where it’s at here. While the red corn syrup flows freely, no one could access the gore of being realistic. One great thing I can say about the effects is the camera doesn’t try to trick the audience. When there should be blood the picture stays steady. After all the low budget fare I have watched that has tried to be successful by going all Blair Witch or all cheap CGI on me, I respect that. That aside, the story is saved by bumbling cops, a cannibal caterer, and a group of women that would feel over dressed in wet t-shirts.
We’ll start with the last part of that sentence first. What group of women doesn’t have parties to try on lingerie for each other? Men, let me tell you, that part of the film is practically a documentary. Why just the other night I dropped trou right at dinner to get the girls thoughts on my new panties. We really wish would could do that in front of guys, but it’s against the rules. Fortunately, Herschell Gordon Lewis got a 2 day filming pass. What can I say? The man’s a groundbreaking cultural anthropologist.
I know for some of you the stand out performances will be in these scenes, but while those girls were in danger of getting a chill, John McConnell who played Dave Loomis was really the stand out of the movie. He’s a hardened detective showing the rookie the ropes, and he’s always really, really hungry. Even when the script isn’t funny, he is. The Bugg and I got to see him in a stage production of Confederacy of Dunces in NOLA once, and my whole family has become a fan. It’s an all too small part, but he makes the most of it.
The story is predictable. It’s an end to a means to get the audience to boobs and blood. Some people would whine about that as bad film making. If a good time for you is watching Harold and Maude and throwing down with your friends over the alienation of youth, I’m not going to say this movie is for you. However if you like to have fun, go for it.
I would like to start by saying that I am quite the H.G.Lewis fan; the camp, the gore, the bad effects and the cheesy sexploitation are just the tops! The original 1963 Blood Feast left a bit to be desired for me, butBlood Feast 2 really made up for it. It was marvelous, and it has all the things that I love about Lewis. The comedy and camp are prevalent from the beginning when two bums gleefully kill each other. This is the first of many bizarre death scenes that make the movie fun. The ongoing jokes make it even better. From the word Satan being echoed every time Mrs. Lampley, mother of bride, enters a scene, to the corpse of Mr. Lampley being in almost every scene without notice, the funny kept coming. Then there was the John Waters cameo as a priest who kept hitting on young boys.
Have I mentioned the gore? The blood flowed throughout the film. And, it was stage blood, not just red paint. Not that I don’t love the paint-blood effects of the early Lewis films, but it was nice to see some thought put into it. Overall, it had a very classic Herschell Gordon Lewis feel to it. There was also a pinch of sexploitation with the bridesmaids. They had names like Misti Morning, Laci Undies, and Candi Graham; and they had parties where they help each other try on lingerie, and then model it. It was very fitting for a H.G.L. film.
The acting was gloriously over the top. Delahoussaye’s overacted, overly cocky, creepy Ramses Fuad was great. McLachlan was campily enjoyable as the obsessively suspicious and incompetent detective Myers. And, McConnell was just lovable as detective Loomis, the always hungry, kinda with it cop. Together they make the film. I truly enjoyed tonight’s film. The story line, the effects and the camera work makes watching Blood Feast 2 just plain fun. And the soundtrack by Southern Culture on the Skids fit perfectly. I highly recommend this film. I know I will return to it again and again.