Tiny Tim was an unforgettable showbiz phenomenon, a unique presence who dedicated his life to the music he loved through good times (a big hit in 1968 with his signature tune "Tip-toe Through the Tulips") and bad (unscrupulous management and years of low-profile gigs with circuses and county fairs). As bizarre, charismatic, and genuinely gifted as Tim was, it's strange that no one thought to feature him onscreen in anything more than cameo shots, with the sole exception being this no-budget, straight-to-video hackfest. Blood Harvest was directed by Bill Rebane, the Midwestern auteur responsible for Monster a Go-Go! (part of it, anyway), The Giant Spider Invasion, and a couple of Bigfoot flicks. Hardly the steadiest hand behind the camera, Blood Harvest (originally, and inventively, titled Nightmare) is one of his worst-looking films, an obvious stab at a piece of the dwindling slasher market shot on cheap, grainy stock with a small, amateur cast. Carping about plot structure is usually pointless when reviewing films of this nature, but Blood Harvest has bigger holes than most, moving quickly enough to avoid boredom but ignoring real-world logic along the way. The gore effects are explicit, but wholly unconvincing, leaving only poor Tiny Tim as the film's sole disturbing element. Tim isn't much of an actor here, but his stilted line readings and garishly threadbare clown costume help push the eerier aspects of his man-child persona, and the squeamishness he inspires in those who consider him nothing more than a freak show is exploited to its fullest. The rest of the cast is a forgettable bunch of corn fed Wisconsin natives; only Peter Krause went on to professional success (Six Feet Under, The Truman Show), though he's as bad as anybody else in this early gig. Those who appreciate Tiny Tim for his astonishing vocal range and vast repertoire of turn-of-the-century Tin Pan Alley songs will feel depressed watching him debase himself. Others might find enjoyment in a particularly wretched slasher fiasco that should provide derisive yucks for genre fans.
by Fred Beldin review