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Blood Voyage (1977)

Directed by Frank Mitchell
Monterey Home Video VHS

THE FILM
Well, somebody was into boats. And boobs. Boats ‘n’ Boobs!

God, I love symmetry.

Psychiatrist Dr. Jules, spread-eagled on a pool float, is speaking to his naked daughter on the telephone. Thereafter, they’re joined on a mini-yacht by the Doc’s fiancee (naked), his lady patient (naked and crazy), a Vietnam vet (expectedly bonkers), and another mustache. The purpose? Technically, there’s supposed to be a wedding in Hawaii. But really, I’m not sure. By the way, a barefoot killer is maiming people with a machete. Finis!

Actually, that’s not true. There’s also heroin, an impromptu funeral-service-at-sea, and sexual innuendos that come nowhere close to being sexual innuendos, all seasoned with several thousand boat establishing shots and nude ladies galore.

Blood Voyage has the distinction of being the only slasher to take place exclusively on a boat. I like to think of it as a prelude to Island Of Blood — not only in tropical setting, but also in proportional structure. Like Island, the film’s initial 30 minutes blitz by with chintz-slasher delight (over-enunciation, absurd mannerisms, some fake blood). Then, the rug is promptly pulled out from under us by a thick wall of aimless conversation. Things drag. Someone says, “She’s flakier than grandma’s apple pies!” I stare at the floor. Before there’s a chance to fully comprehend the tedium, Voyage climaxes. It’s a nice trick.

On all fronts, Blood Voyage is simply an amusing diversion. However, unlike the finite weariness of stuff like Funeral Home, the film has a few things going for it: 1. An 80 minute runtime, and 2. A certain sense of grimness. The sleaze is slight, but present enough to keep you transfixed without being aware of it. When combined with that bilateral equilibrium (30 minutes of hots/30 minutes of zzzs), the whole thing nudges past ambivalence, and heads straight for semi-satisfaction.

Imagine if they would’ve replaced the E-Z listening schmaltz with some four-track disco. We’d be here all night.

AUDIO AND VIDEO
On the deck: bright and crisp. Below the deck: dark and grainy. Symmetry wins again.

EXTRAS
Jackpot. Monterey bestows upon us trailers for The Slasher Is The Sex Maniac, He Kills Night After Night After Night, The Grim Reaper aka Antropophagus, and The Attic, which offers “Carrie Snodgrass’s Finest Performance Since “Diary Of A Mad Housewife!”. Possibly, but this was before she starred inTrick Or Treats.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Why not? The mildly affluent Blood Voyage isn’t going to change the world. But, the film’s shoddy charisma is spread thick enough to provide a pleasant evening. Especially if you’re into the ol’ Boats ‘n’ Boobs. And really, who isn’t?