Brides of Blood (1968)

The globby monster approaches the sacrificial victim!
The globby monster approaches a sacrificial victim!

Also known as BRIDES OF THE BEAST, ISLAND OF LIVING HORROR and other titles, BRIDES OF BLOOD was directed by Eddie (THE BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT) Romero and Gerardo (BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRES) de Leon, written by Cesar (THE BLOOD DRINKERS) Amigo and stars John (THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE) Ashley, Kent (THE MIGHTY GORGA) Taylor, Beverly (INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS) Hills, Eva Darren, Mario Montenegro and Oscar Keesee.

'Sacrificed to the non-human creature!'
‘Sacrificed to the non-human creature!’

This cult flick tells the lurid tale of a scientist (Taylor), his sexually frustrated wife (Hills) and a member of the Peace Corps (Ashley) visiting Blood Island. Here they discover that nearby atomic bomb tests from the 40s have caused mutations in the local flora and fauna.

Kent Taylor and Beverly Hills (aka Beverly Powers)
Kent Taylor and Beverly Hills (aka Beverly Powers)
John Ashley: a regular in Filipino monster movies
John Ashley: a regular in Filipino monster movies

These mutant oddities include killer plants (many of them banana trees!), a flesh-hungry butterfly and a monstrous being that the locals placate by offering him local sacrificial maidens to be lusted over and ripped to pieces. As the story progresses, the alter ego of this blubbery, woman-hungry humanoid is eventually discovered…


Who is actually turning into this weird-faced fiend?!
Who is actually turning into this weird-faced fiend?!
'Lusting for women it terrified the land!'
‘Lusting for women it terrified the land!’

This Filipino horror movie, one of a series of ‘Blood Island’ films (others including BEAST OF BLOOD and THE MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND), is an entertaining, pulpy yarn, like something you’d imagine reading in an old issue of Weird Tales.

She's tied-up... awaiting the arrival of the blobby, woman-ripping creature!
She’s tied-up… awaiting the arrival of the blobby, woman-ripping creature!
Drums 'n' dancing...
Drums ‘n’ dancing…
Mutant trees!
Mutant trees!
Come on, what's not to like about this film?!
Come on, what’s not to like about this film?!

I actually enjoyed the film a lot, appreciating the sweaty, exploitative nature of the production, with its mix of mild nudity, 60s-style gore and 50s-style atomic monster plotting. The bizarre ecology of the island was fun to see, especially the many killer trees scattered around the place, with their writhing, waving branches waiting to snag an unwary victim.

Severed limbs tangled amongst a killer tree's branches
Severed limbs tangled amongst a killer tree’s branches
Okay, I admit: this isn't the most realistic severed head ever featured in a monster movie...
Okay, I admit: this isn’t the most realistic severed head I’ve ever seen featured in a monster movie…

The central, woman-mangling being is an insane-looking creation: a blobby, red-eyed, hairy-eyebrowed, moaning man-monster. This critter is, of course, pretty silly-looking… and yet… it is very memorable at the same time!

Just look at this rubbery, rudimentary reprobate! Love it!
Just look at this rubbery, rudimentary reprobate! I love it!

Sam Sherman, the colourful independent producer and distributor of drive-in films from the 60s to the 80s, came up with the marketing gimmick of offering female theatre patrons in the USA the opportunity to receive a free engagement ring set and become a Bride of Blood!

Here are some wonderfully sensationalist posters for the film…

US one sheet
US one sheet poster
Italian poster
Italian poster
Spanish poster
Spanish poster
Italian poster
Italian poster
US one sheet (including the engagement rings marketing!)
US one sheet (including the engagement rings marketing!)
Italian poster
Italian poster

Here’s an in-yer-faced DVD sleeve…

'Brutal orgy of ghastly terror!'
‘Brutal orgy of ghastly terror!’

A final look at the rubbery, goofy-as-hell monster…

Eek!
Eek!

Okay, I lied: here’s one more chance to feast your eyes on the ludicrous, libidinous beast…

The licentious monster grabs a victim!
The licentious monster grabs a victim!

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