I Drink Your Blood (I Eat Your Skin)

Producer Jerry (I spit on your Grave) Gross gave Writer/Director David
Durston a simple, yet difficult challenge… to come up with a hardcore
horror movie that would give ‘Night of the Living Dead’ a run for its money,
without relying on any of the old monster cliches’. David Durston followed
through and came up with ‘I drink your Blood’.

Originally double-billed with ‘I Eat your Skin’, another Gross-Produced
flick, ‘I Drink your Blood outshined its partner (Which was nothing more
than a ‘Night of the Living Dead’ ripoff). Too bad not many folks would see
this way back in 1971 when the film was released, all thanks to the
wonderful folks at the MPAA. IDYB was slapped with an ‘X’ rating, the first
ever film to receive the rating for violence alone. Left to the “trusty”
hands of the individual projectionist at each movie theatre to cut the film
down from its ‘X’ rating, there wasn’t a single copy of IDYB that was the
same (Except for in NY and LA where Durston himself oversaw the cuts). Most
of the cuts were hack-jobs and the movie made little sense. Now thanks to
the gore-hounds at Box Office Spectacular and Fangoria, we have a complete
version of the film.

The plot is basic and far-fetched, and therein lies the magic. Much like
many other films to come out of the Drive-In era of horror, IDYB is one of
those guilty pleasures. Far from a masterpiece but one hell of a fun ride.
The story revolves around a hippie satanic cult (Who happen to be druggies
also), that take refuge in a small town after their car takes a dump. They
don’t exactly get along well with the locals, causing a small boy from the
town to use blood from a rabid dog to infect the group. With townsfolk
dropping like flies and more infected after an orgy session with one of the
group (Yes, I said orgy), the few non-infected towns people must fight off
dozens of rabid psychos, all the while trying not to get infected
themselves.

Made up mostly of theatre actors, the cast works perfectly for the film.
Lynn Lowry the mute of the hippy group doesn’t have a single line, yet says
everything with her eyes. Bhaskar, the leader of the hippy group also does
a wonderful job. He plays up the paranoid leader role to perfection and
actually tends to seem more ‘normal’ after he’s infected than before.
Despite being released way-back when in 1971, the gore is surprisingly good.
We get multiple knife cuts/stabbings, a pretty gnarly gun shot, a hand sawed
off, and more.

‘I Drink your Blood’ really was before its time, in this day and age of
international terrorism and wars being launched as pre-emptive strikes
against countries believed to have biological weapons, its plot revolving
around an infection can hit close to home for anybody. The rabid people in
the movie are also amazingly similar to the “Raged-Filled” zombies of ’28
Days Later’.

The Movie: 3/5 Stars

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The DVD:

Packaging: It’s a single disc, although it does come with a double-sided
sleeve and a fold out book. The book details in brief the history of the
film and it’s battles with the MPAA/Cutting Room Floor. On the opposite
side of the fold out is a mini-poster for the film.

Video: Fullscreen, there are some grainy shots throughout, but since the film did come
out in 1971 and the horrible editing done to it since, it’s far from
unbearable. All of the menus on the DVD are fully animated.

Audio: 2.0 Mono

Commentary from Writer/Director David Durston and star Bhaskar: Durston is
the best part here, you can tell he’s thrilled with the attention the movie
is now getting with the re-release. Bhaskar mainly sits back and follows up
Durston’s comments or waits for Durston to directly ask him a question.
Durston gives a great lesson in guerrilla film-making by explaining the
various ways he worked around budget-restraints throughout the movie.

The I Drink Your Blood Show (Cast Interviewed by Durston): Not a whole lot
of new info here, most of everything said can be learned on the commentary
track. Each guest describes some of their favorite (And not-so favorite)
memories from the film. The best part of the feature comes when Durston is
reminded of something that happened between himself and Tyde Kierney who
played Andy in the movie off-set, it seemed some serious tension grew and
the interview was immediately halted by Durston.

Deleted Scenes: Nothing spectacular here except the “original blood-drenched
ending deemed too disturbing for 70′s audiences”. Personally I enjoyed the
scene, it would’ve also set up a sequel if IDYB went on to B.O. success.

Other Extras: Outtakes, Still Gallery, The Original Theatrical Trailer, a
Radio Spot, Cast/Crew Filmographies, ‘Coming Attractions’ Trailers, and two
pretty easy to find easter egg (Just footage from Durston/Bhaskar doing
their commentary track, and some weirdo footage of Bhaskar).

The Disc: 4/5 Stars

 

Official Score