Bloodsucking Freaks: Director's Cut (Stomp Visual) (1976) (NTSC)
Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction-Lloyd Kaufman (President Of Troma)
Audio Commentary-Eli Roth
Featurette-Tour Of Troma
Trailer-Lloyd Kaufmann's Autobiography
Interviews-Cast & Crew
TV Spots-Radiation March, PSA's
|Year Of Production||1976|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Joel M. Reed|
Luis De Jesus
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
There's something surreal about watching a film with two naked women fighting to eat a human ear, while a midget dances gleefully in the foreground. While this might sound silly, make no mistake - Bloodsucking Freaks is a nasty, nasty, NASTY film. Indeed, I understand that it's considered to be one of the most disturbing, misogynistic, and graphically violent films ever made. Even the President of Troma recently remarked that if he was brought the film today, he would probably reject it.
Written and Directed by Joel M. Reed, Bloodsucking Freaks was inspired by Reed's visit to an S&M Ballet in an underground Soho club. The film was shot in 10 days at night, in 1975, and produced on a shoe-string budget by Alan C. Margolin. The film, then known as The Incredible Torture Show (T.I.T.S), was later acquired and renamed by Troma. On its initial theatrical release, the film caused a storm of controversy, especially the graphic depictions of violence toward women.
Sardu: "Her mouth will make an interesting urinal".
The story revolves around the evil, sado-masochist Sardu (Seamus O'Brien), who runs an off-Broadway Theatre of the Macabre. With the help of his sadistic blowgun-carrying midget assistant Ralphus (Luis De Jesus), Sardu kidnaps young women from the streets of New York. After a period of imprisonment and torture, the women are either brainwashed into being submissive slaves, and shipped overseas, or used in Sardu's shows, where they are tortured and killed on stage. The audience for these shows, however, assume the gross savagery is a simulated illusion.
The deranged Sardu is deluded into believing all this torture, murder, and cannibalism is art, and he dreams of theatrical success, where he will be recognised as a great artist and genius.
To achieve this aim, Sardu kidnaps Natasha DeNatalie (Viju Krem), a prima ballerina, and Creasy Silo (Alan Dellay), a respected New York theatre critic, who has openly mocked Sardu's work in the past. Sardu tortures both of them in his theatre basement of horrors, until they agree to be part of his S&M ballet.
Meanwhile, Natasha's boyfriend and professional football player, Tom Maverick (Niles McMaster), suspects Sardu is involved in the kidnapping, and enlists the help of crooked Police Detective Sergeant John Tucci (Dan Fauci). Together, they venture into the depths of Sardu's dungeon searching for the truth.
While the story might sound a little comical, there are constant disturbing images of truly disgusting and graphic violence. While I'm sure many readers will see this all as harmless fun, in my opinion, the danger (especially to younger male viewers) is that this film sexualises the violence by freely mixing images of graphic violence with images of nudity, sexual pleasure and satisfaction. After all, this is a film where a midget uses a girl's severed head for oral sex.
Bloodsucking Freaks is definitely not for the squeamish, and even hardened B-Grade cult cinema film buffs might find it sickening.
In short, the transfer is terrible, largely due to the awful source material.
The NTSC transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, pan and scan.
The image is soft throughout, and sometimes (unintentionally) slightly out of focus. The black level is poor, with blacks appearing as a murky grey. The shadow detail is also poor - for example, consider the interior of the hallway at 22:09. Some low level noise is also present.
The colour has suffered with age, and often appears washed out. As I've often spotted with older films in NTSC, the skin tones often have an orange tint.
In terms of MPEG artefacts, obviously very cheap film stock has been used, and the source material has not been well cared for. As a result, the image is frequently grainy throughout, and also helps draw attention to the pixelization throughout.
Film-to-video artefacts are present in the form of telecine wobble, most noticeable during the opening credits.
Plenty of film artefacts appear throughout, and some of them are quite large.
No subtitles are provided on the DVD.
This is a single-sided, single-layered disc, with the feature divided into 10 chapters.
The limited audio sounds flat throughout.
Originally released theatrically in Mono, the DVD has two audio options: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s), and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s).
The dialogue quality and audio sync are reasonable for the age and condition of the source material. Sometimes the looped dialogue is very obvious.
The freaky musical score is credited to Michael Sahl, who was a composer of music for porno films in the 1970s. Sahl has cleverly mixed carnival-like theme music with a variety of electronic instruments, bagpipes and cymbals to create something that is as disturbing to our ears as the imagery is to our eyes.
As the audio is not surround encoded, there is no surround presence or LFE activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are some interesting extras included, the most notable being film historian Eli Roth's enthusiastic audio commentary. All extras are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
Animated with audio.
The President Of Troma, and creator of the Toxic Avenger, introduces the film, which he describes as now being more shocking than the version originally released.
Film historian and Troma fan Eli Roth provides a very interesting and informative screen specific audio commentary. Well researched, Roth is very knowledgeable and chatty.
Featurette-Tour Of Troma
The tour is hosted by The President Of Troma, and creator of the Toxic Avenger, Lloyd Kaufman. The four-story Troma Building in Hell's Kitchen, New York contains the Troma Film Studios. By selecting the following, viewers are treated to either short snippets from a past Troma film, or some mocked-up, behind-the-scenes footage.
Freaks On Film
Seven photographic stills from the film
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
We same to have the same, non-region coded, version of Bloodsucking Freaks as released in R1, but one of the extras, Troma Intelligence Test (T.I.T) did not seem to work.
One of the most graphic sexploitation shockers ever released!
The video quality is poor.
The audio quality is also poor.
The extras are interesting, and genuine.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|