Director – Bill Rebane (The Demons of Ludlow, The Capture of Bigfoot)
Starring – Tiny Tim (The Ed Sullivan Show, The Red Skelton Show), Itonia Salchek (Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre) and Dean West (Twister’s Revenge)
Release Date – 1987
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “A cocktail of vengeance and lust”
My love for slashers has taken me to some extremely strange places. I’ve seen slashers where the killer is wearing an ass mask, I’ve seen gay slashers, transgendered slashers, slashers made with moderate budgets, and slashers made for less than $100. Over the years I’ve seen some strange slashers but none are as strange as the 1987 slasher Blood Harvest starring Tiny Tim. I had seen this one before in high school and enjoyed it. Hell, I’m pretty sure I was the only one of my friends that liked the film.
Over the years I never acquired a copy but that changed when Vinegar Syndrome announced their blu release last year. Vin Syn is always nice enough to send over their releases for review but I wanted that slipcover so I purchased a copy to ensure I got it. I’m glad I did because I loved the slip. Anyway, Vin Syn was running a Valentines sale weekend and I decided to have a VS marathon. After watching Tammy and the T-Rex I decided it was time to revisit Blood Harvest.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Jill (Salchek) who returns home after being away for college. When she arrives home she finds it empty and is soon startled by Mervo (Tiny Tim). Mervo the clown is a local man who is a little off his rocker but is harmless. Most of the town knows him and lets him do his own thing because he never bothers anyone. Soon Mervo’s brother Gary (West) arrives and tells Jill that the locals are pissed at her father. Her father is a banker and recently foreclosed on a lot of the farms in the area. What she doesn’t know is that someone has killer her parents and is going on a bloody rampage around town and soon their sights will be on her. **Spoiler Alert**
The film, honestly, is nothing special but it is fun. Originality is lacking but it is still able to entertain with the characters we get. The acting in this one is not that memorable. The characters are fun for the film but many performances are extremely cheesy. It works for a slasher but they are easily forgettable. My biggest complaint about the film is how Tiny Tim is extremely underutilized. His character could have been so much more than what we get. Instead, he is very underwhelming.
The story for this one is a fine example of what a slasher is. We follow a masked killer that kills anyone that gets in his path who is later revealed to be someone that was wronged. This is the plot outline that was the basis for early slashers and I love that it found it’s way into yet another slasher in 1987. With that being said, it does miss several awesome opportunities. The “masked” killer is nothing more than a dude wearing his mom’s pantyhose. We really do get robbed on an awesome mask. Another miss opportunity is having Tiny Tim be the killer. The poster and all related artwork paint a very different picture than what the film really is. Regardless, Tiny Tim was a missed opportunity but the film works even though it was flawed.
Finally, this one has several on screen kills but they don’t really fit into the classic slasher theme. Most of the kills take place as the victim was hung upside down and then their throat was slit. The effects for these kills work but this is not what a viewer expects when they toss in a slasher. They are fun but…different to say the least. Overall, Blood Harvest is not perfect and probably not making anyone’s top 10 slasher lists but it is still an entertaining film. The blu release from Vin Syn looks fantastic especially when compared to the VHs quality DVD I had previously seen. Toss this one in because you will not be disappointed.
Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 16mm original camera negative
Brand new commentary track with producer and co-writer Leszek Burzynski
Tiny Tim in Niagara Falls (September 3rd, 1987)
Booklet with essay by Tiny Tim biographer Justin A. Martell
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles