Monday, November 1, 2010
Blood Harvest aka Nightmare 1987 **
Dir: Bill Rebane
Stars: Cari Salochek aka Itonia Salcheck, Dean West, Tiny Tim
There is some b-genius at work here in casting Tiny Tim as an unnerving clown character. For a grainy, synth-accompanied, straight-to-video slasher movie, this is really several cuts above of what one might expect. A young girl named Jill returns home from college to visit her parents only to find that she is a pariah in the town and her parents are missing. Creepy events start taking place as a boy she used to know tries to rekindle a romance with her. Tiny Tim is the brother of this boy, and keeps showing up uninvited around her house and generally freaking her out. People close to her begin to go missing, which means it's time for the beauteous Salocheck to take some showers and parade around the house in her underwear. Strangely, after all that, in the climactic chase scene, as the killer is revealed, she is dressed modestly in jeans and a bulky sweatshirt. It is to the credit of Cari Salocheck, this her only film credit, that she still looks sexy, perhaps even more so, and it's a nice switch from the usual. I've previously discussed my aversion to blatant nudity in lurid films, but in 80's straight-to-vid slashers it's pretty unavoidable and it would almost seem jarring if there was none at all. Although Tiny Tim's off-kilter (if he was ever on-kilter) performance - which makes great use of his trademark combination of weirdness and vulnerability - is deservedly played up in distribution material, with a gratifying payoff, Cari deserves a lot of credit for just looking great and her performance is quite creditable.
This is not usually my taste in movies, in fact early on I thought I might not get too far, but it ended up pulling me in. There is some well-done gore, although the grainy picture probably helps cover flaws, not that I don't enjoy flaws when I see them. For sheer enthusiasm of film-making there is something quite likable about the film.