BLOODBEAT (1982) Reviews and overview


Bloodbeat – aka Blood Beat – is a 1982 American supernatural horror feature film written, edited and directed by Fabrice A. Zaphiratos. It stars Helen Benton, Terry Brown and Dana Day.

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There is extensive use of classical music in the film, plus an original synth score composed by director Fabrice and Chris Zaphiratos.

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Deer-hunting country, deep in rural Wisconsin. At Christmas time, when her family have come to share the festive season, an artistic mother is possessed by the spirit of a Japanese samurai warrior…

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“The wintry atmosphere is certainly welcome, and its chilly sense of dread and desolation offsets the more laughable qualities. Blood Beat is one of those concoctions that really shouldn’t work, and I’d say it should be the next breakout “bad movie” that’s set to be enjoyed in ironic, derisive fashion, but this one’s a legitimate blast that deserves to break through the obscuro-ranks.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!


“The more prominent presence of the samurai onscreen during the climactic moments of the film diminishes its impact somewhat, as does the poor and hackneyed choice of the introduction to Orff’s Carmina Burana to serve as the score for the final confrontation. Blood Beat nonetheless deserves to be seen, imperfections and eccentricities only adding to its unusualness and charm in the final analysis, if final analysis of such an odd duck is ever really possible.” Ideological Content Analysis

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” … a mildly diverting slasher journey that’s perhaps a little unlucky to be so overlooked. At times taut and suspenseful, almost always intriguing and bizarrely bemusing to boot, Blood Beat isn’t that bad if you can find yourself a copy. It’s strange but bizarrely alluring.” Luisito Joaquín González, A Slash Above…



” …for such a ridiculous premise, director Fabrice Zaphiratos plays it remarkably straight…almost a little too straight, actually. He tries his hardest to create a really good, artsy slasher, and sometimes, he succeeds. For as laughable as a lot of Bloodbeat is, there’s actually some good moments hidden within.” James Oxyer, Obscure Cinema 101

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Bloodbeat is no work of operatic tragedy. Amateurish on all levels, it has more in common with the deer entrails Gary pulls out with his bare hands: messy, smelly, something you’d rather not see.” Rod Lott, Flick Attack

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“One of those artsy supernatural horror movies like Don’t Look Now or The Shout where the inexplicable is an integral part of the horror. Except that this one is also odd and incoherent. People start turning up dead, the girlfriend may or may not be possessed, gyrating sexually while spiritual forces attack, and the psychic battle climaxes in glowing colors. The movie is unrewarding and explains nothing, and the climax falls apart into silliness.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

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“Gore is minimal as Zaphiratos goes for weirdness through music (some classical), enigmatic characters and a sexual link between the sister and the spectral samurai.” John Stanley, Creature Features


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“This confusing movie was made in Wisconsin with French-backing. It includes dream sequences, magical powers, nudity and blood.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide

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“Most of the cast – and the director – never did anything else. Perhaps they went insane. Who knows? BloodBeat ticks about every synonym of weird there is going. Unfortunately it’s not really good-weird, it’s I-don’t-care-enough weird.” Vegan Vorhees

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” … fans of obscure trash, offbeat 80s slashers and bad cinema will find Bloodbeat entertaining – even lovable, everyone else should avoid it like the plague.” The Church of Splatter-day Saints



Main cast:

Helen Benton
Terry Brown (Copycat)
Dana Day
James Fitzgibbons
Claudia Peyton
Peter Spelson
Franck Miley
Carol Wagner
Charlie White

Filming locations:

Wisconsin, USA


Bloodbeat was released as a Region free Blu-ray + DVD combo pack by Vinegar Syndrome on October 24, 2017.

• Newly scanned and restored in 2k from the 35mm original camera negative
• Commentary track with Fabrice Zaphiratos (writer/director)
• Video interview with Fabrice Zaphiratos
• Video interview with Vladimir Van Maule (cinematographer)
• Stills gallery
• Additional extras TBD…
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles

Image credits: Horror Homework