Blood Feast (1963)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Slasher Film  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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It was bound to happen, and Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman got there first. While hardcore pornography was still almost a decade away from becoming legal and widespread, this groundbreaking feature from 1963 performed the same task for onscreen violence. Blood Feast exists solely to ogle grotesque acts of carnage, scene after scene of bloody bodies that the camera lingers upon lovingly and without shame. The plot is threadbare, the acting is on a par with the clumsiest of high-school plays, and the direction is static and uninvolving. Nevertheless, this is one of the important releases in film history, ushering in a new acceptance of explicit violence that was obviously just waiting to be exploited, as Blood Feast was an instant success and changed the way that horror films were judged (as well as allowing other genres to raise the pain threshold). The desire to gaze upon gory, gaping wounds has something in common with the urge to view naked bodies engaging in sexual acts. Lewis tapped into this subconscious craving to view the private insides of humanity and not only made a bundle from a subsequent career of car-wreck-level motion pictures but also allowed films to go into more intense visual areas.