Director – Ed Adlum
Starring – Norman Kelley, Tanna Hunter, and Bruce Detrick
Release Date – 1972
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “They plant the living and harvest the dead!”
I’ve been obsessed with movies from the 70s and 80s the last few days. I was always a fan of 80s horror, sci-fi, and action flicks but I never really ventured into the 70s that often and if I did it was usually to check out an exploitation or Blaxploitation film. I recently watched and reviewed the Joe D’Amato films Anthropophagous and Absurd. These were fun early 80s Italian horror films. I followed that up with an early 90s serial killer film Skinner.
I wanted to follow that up with something a little older. I was already having a Severin Films’ movie marathon so it only made sense to toss in their recent release of the 1972 drive-in classic Invasion of the Blood Farmers. I never had the opportunity to check this one out before now and I was looking forward to it.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of blood harvesting druids that has infiltrated a small farming community in order to obtain the red substance they need complete a ritual to raise their queen. A local scientist discovers the blood of one of them and upon running tests concludes that it is from something not human. Now he is tossed in the middle of their blood hunt with his daughter and her boyfriend. **Spoiler Alert**
I had heard mixed things about this film which only excited me. Most people know me as the guy that likes bad movies. I can see where they get that but these so called “bad” movies are fun. They don’t reinvent the genre but they do contribute to it in ways other films cannot. Invasion of the Blood Farmers is one of those films that is severely flawed but I really enjoyed my time with it.
The acting in this one is very questionable. The cast really tries to get into their roles but their experience shows. Most of the cast has no previous experience in front of the camera and it shows. The characters are very entertaining for what it’s worth but there could be so much more if they had more direction and on camera experience.
The story for this one really impressed me. I was not expecting the druid angle and the amount of cleverness that went into it. Sure, the film is unable to pull it all together into an effective horror film. It is fun for what it is even with the flaws.
Finally, the film does not have the best effects. We get buckets of bright red blood and clear tubes but that is the extent of it. Overall, Invasion of the Blood Farmers is a fun drive-in flick that works for a late night watch with a few beers and some stale chips. I highly recommend checking out the blu from Severin Films.
Audio commentary with director Ed Adlum and actress Ortrum Tippel, moderated by Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women.
Nothing You’d Show Your Mom: Eddie Adlum’s journey through exploitation, coin-op & rock n’ roll.
Interview with actor Jack Neubeck.
Painful Memories: An interview with cinematographer Frederick Elmes.