Bloody Friday (1974)


The elementary understanding of The Cat Scream was to be demolished in the wake of Ferd and Beverly Sebastian’s Rocktober Blood. For in that film, this badge of machismo gallantry was propelled from mild amusement to what is, essentially, a criterion of man’s existence. Now, imagine the concept of sex. Then, imagine that concept in the hands of The Sebastians.

If your libido remains intact, it’s clear that Bloody Friday has already been screened in your presence. And, it’s clear that Ferd ‘n’ Bev were just warming up in 1974. Still . . . it is Friday. Somewhere. Just not in this movie.

In parts and days unknown, an island exists solely to populate the idea of “Liberated Living.” Liberated Living, as outlined in Bloody Friday, involves a congregation of sex-deficients for group sexual therapy, group talking at the bar, and group “milling” (lights out, clothes off, genitals out). Claudia Jennings is there. The husband from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is there. And guess what — a black-gloved slasher is also there! Yet, before we celebrate, it must be noted that approximately 50 minutes of this film are devoted to discussions of inconsequential topics. Luckily, the other 25 minutes are awash with speedboats, trashed bedrooms, and one bloody boob.

Light on blood, action, and swinging, Bloody Friday is not the trimmed down, feel-good redux of Swingers Massacre that I was hoping for. Rather, it’s a casual 1970s proto-slasher with zero rationale, awkward stylings, plenty of pillow talk, and neat-edits-that-are-probably-mistakes. What’s that? You can’t stand it when the lips flap so much? Usually, I’m in the same boat. But in this case, the entire cast appears to be playing themselves. As we’ve learned from the future (salutations, Blood Lake!), any amount of reasonless dialogue can be appreciated, as long as it is delivered by actors who may not be acting. So, when a burly guy asks, “Aren’t you afraid with that maniac runnin’ loose?” before the film makes any effort to inform its characters of the madman’s appearance, The Sebastians are keeping it real. And that’s the kind of scrupulousness which keeps me glued. Unconditionally.


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