HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS’ BLOODMANIA (2017) Reviews and overview

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BloodMania is a 2017 Canadian horror anthology feature film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast; Two Thousand Maniacs!; The Wizard of Gore); The Gore Gore Girls) [Gory StoryThe Night Hag segments], Kevin Littlelight [segment: GOREgeous] and Melanie Reinboldt [segment: Attack of Conscience] for Diabolique Films.

The screenplay was written by Herschell Gordon Lewis, Kevin Littlelight, James Saito, Justin Sane and Bob Schultz.



Poor old Herschell Gordon Lewis. The Godfather of Gore had pretty much bowed out of the film business in the early 1970s, but in his twilight years, made something of an ill-advised comeback, where he ended up making cheaper and cheaper films for a variety of producers. When his attempt to crowdfund the movie Zombificator failed to raise the financing, he found himself involved in this disastrous project, which turned out to be his final work.

You expect the worst from the interminable opening credits that include a cringe-worthy gore song, a cast list of nobodies appearing on false VHS covers and some shoddy shot on video splatter scenes. Oh, and a list of directors that includes two people that are not HGL. Should that not act as warning enough, wait for the first story in this multi-tale anthology, in which a man with a possessed hook wreaks gory mayhem. It’s practically unwatchable, and if you make it to the second story, I congratulate you on your stamina/lack of discernment.

Things don’t improve – the rest of the film is a similar mix of amateur hour acting, zero production values and plodding stories that make each segment seem longer than the average feature. No amount of gore – hardly as shocking as it was in Lewis’ heyday – can make these stories any less of an endurance test. Of course, Lewis’ work is magnificent compared to the efforts of co-directors Kevin Littlelight and Melanie Reinboldt, who I think we can safely say will never become beloved genre directors. The resulting film is a painful experience, not simply because it’s a bad, bad film, but because this is not the way one of the great, innovative filmmakers in exploitation history should have ended not only his career and his life.

We can’t blame Lewis for this. He obviously wanted to end his life as a filmmaker and took what he could get. I feel bad – very bad, to the point of sickness – that this was all he could do. The real horror of this film is that it was supposedly made by fans. Why on Earth would anyone who likes Lewis want to do this to him? If this is what self-proclaimed fans can do to your legacy, who needs critics? I don’t think I’ve ever said this before about a film, but this should never have been made. And if it was made, it should have been buried. Herschell Gordon Lewis was an important pioneer, a great filmmaker and a lovely man, and he deserves better than to have this stain on his reputation.

David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

“Whilst each story differs in context, almost all contain a variety of OTT gore sequences, be it a crazed serial killer being flattened by a steamroller, or an old hag dissolved in chemical cleaners. In keeping with the director’s heritage, the effects are gooey, completely gratuitous and of course shown fully uncut. Oddly there are quite a few rather iffy CGI blood additions which don’t make anywhere near the impact the prosthetic effects do…” Beyond the Gore

” …interesting to see that BloodMania was created more as a horror-comedy film than an attempt at being legitimately scary. The comedy comes in the form of dry and sarcastic humor, gag humor, and the nonstop gore that pops up out of nowhere. This, of course, is also fueled by some cringe-worthy acting that makes the whole thing slightly more humorous.” Horror Society

Main cast:

Genoveva Rossi
Caroline Buzanko
Carolyn Bridget Kennedy
Saleste Mele
Roger LeBlanc
Chengis Javeri
Erica Cukulin
Brian MacDougall
Sarah Troyer
Donovan Cerminara
Emily Siobhan McCourt
Laura Gillespie
Faith Amantea
Jewelle Colwell
Emeri Cukulin
Carly McKee
Stuart Bentley

Filming locations:

Calgary, Canada


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