Blood Stalkers (1978)

If there was a “least likely to succeed” award at Trash-Horror High, it would’ve been given it to Blood Stalkers. Then, at the ten year reunion, we’d all look like assholes.

Two-thirds of Blood Stalkers passed. Several thoughts were running through my head, but only a few repeated endlessly: “Please quit bitching . . . please kill the flutes . . . please let SOMETHING happen.” Longing turned to rejection. This film was a flop. Then, instantaneously, the main hero says “Just quit yer bitchin’!” and something wonderful happened. The trash brilliance began to burn so bright that I was forced to ask myself: Am I really seeing what I think I’m seeing? Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play.

My bitching has ceased.

Two highly annoying couples gather together their pock-marks, plaid pants, and cleavage for a weekend getaway to the backwoods. A skinny gas station attendant warns of the “blood stalkers” and a couple of redneck Rambos act tough. A wandering fool makes popping noises with his mouth. It’s all quirky dialogue (“Big deal, fat ass! It’s bat shit!”), bobcat sound effects, and relationship drama until that special something happens. Rubber masks? Missing links? Poetic garage-gore courtesy Doug “The Professor” Hobart? Yes, please!

The Fort Lauderdale-shot Blood Stalkers destroys 60 minutes of unfavorable doubts in a 20 minute, bizarro-blitzkrieg climax that’ll leave you stuck to your seat. Nothing else stands out. Tension is deflated by a passé TV movie soundtrack, boring direction from ex-1950s DJ Bob Morgan, and endless padding. But when that crescendo knocks you on your ass, the disorientation is so colossal that nothing else matters. Somewhere between Gilligan’s Island, Two Thousand Maniacs, and that cabin sequence from Screams Of A Winter Night lies Blood Stalkers. It’ll make you squirm, then make you squirm some more, but for entirely different reasons.

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