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  Blood Diner Don't Try The SpecialBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Jackie Kong
Stars: Rick Burks, Carl Crew, Roger Dauer, LaNette La France, Lisa Elaina, Max Morris, Roxanne Cybelle, Sir Lamont Rodeheaver, Dino Lee, Drew Godderis, Bob Loya, Alan Corona, Deseree Rose, Laurie Guzda, Tanya Papanicolas, Karen Hazelwood, Effie Bilbrey
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Trash
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Michael (Rick Burks) and George (Carl Crew) were kids, they were sitting in their living room waiting for their mother to return from shopping when there was a warning put over the radio about an escaped maniac in the area. They carried on playing, trying to hypnotise their dog Spunky, when suddenly someone broke the front door down with a meat cleaver and advanced upon them. The boys were delighted to see he was their Uncle Anwar (Drew Godderis) and he had a message for them about the goddess Sheetar, handing over amulets for safe keeping before the cops gunned him down...

Blood Diner started out life as a sequel to the Herschell Gordon Lewis groundbreaking gore flick Blood Feast, and if you were in the right frame of mind you could conceivably still regard it as such, but where that original horror had a one step up from a home movie mystique about it, here the efforts of director Jackie Kong and her team may have been marginally slicker, but this arrived after a plethora of similar such splattery comedies in this decade, leaving the only thing making it stand out was how utterly stoopid it was. To be fair, that appeared to have been prescisely the intention, but would try the patience of most viewers.

Then again, Kong made a few movies in the eighties before pretty much giving up the direction game, and they all shared that penchant for incredibly moronic humour, which in spite of their lack of quality did spawn a small cult following. These comedies were not well written by any means, but they were not threatening unless you felt offended by their overall lack of skill, which might explain why works such as Blood Diner found a piffling but loyal audience who revelled in how ridiculous they were, and not necessarily in a good way. Sure, it was lowest common denominator stuff, but if you didn't want to think too hard they were an easy way to kill ninety minutes or so.

Whether they killed a few million brain cells in the process was another matter, but if you were willing to risk that, you would be confronted with the tale of Michael and George who grow up to run the supposedly healthy diner of the title, leading their customers to consume human flesh unknowingly when served the meat of dubious provenance. Early on we see the boys dig up the corpse of Uncle Anwar and remove its bafflingly still intact brain and eyes, whereupon placed in a jar for Donovan's Brain-style menacing and ordering his nephews about. What he wants to do is bring the Egyptian goddess Sheetar to life, and if you forget what her name is the characters helpfully repeat it about fifty billion times.

The way to resurrect the deity is to assemble body parts from young ladies, then sacrifice a virgin to her, much like in Blood Feast, except Kong and Michael Sonye's script were forever distracted by yet another bad taste comedy bit, so you would get seemingly irrelevant scenes such as a bouncer's head crushed under the wheels of a bouncing low rider, or a naked woman who suddenly brings out the kung fu moves to defend herself from the attentions of the killers. Then there's the rival diner owner who has a life size dummy which he seems to be using as a ventrilooquist device, except for all we can tell the dummy really is speaking (in a high-pitched voice) of its own volition. It's as if Kong knew what she was getting at, and if anyone else understood the method in her madness then that was a bonus. As long as she supplied the exploitation elements as required, she could do whatever she wanted, resulting in a complete mess, but one which might appeal to the jaded palate of those who really had seen it all. Or thought they had. Music by Don Preston.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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