Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy 2-Disc Blu-Ray + Extras (Arrow Films)

Oh shit!  We're coming back with another Saturday Screamers and this one is huge!  Today we're going to be talking about Michio Yamamoto's The Bloodthirsty Trilogy 2-disc set that was lovingly sent to us from our friends over at Arrow Films.  So thank you, Arrow Films!

To catch you up on what The Bloodthirsty Trilogy is, from 1970-1974 Mr. Yamamoto combined Japanese and European vampire lore in order to create three movies.  Released by Toho films, The Vampire Doll, Lake of Dracula, and Evil of Dracula can be sited as one of the first instances of our modern gothic take on vampirism seeping into J-horror.  Their pale visages with golden eyes become wrapped in flowing white gowns or dapper gentleman clothing to create a mash-up previously unseen.  Shot and scored similarly to the U.S. Hammer Films with a dash of the Universal Monsters and, of course, Toho's style, this is a great collection of rare J-horror that may have been overlooked in the past.

The first film, The Vampire Doll (a.k.a. Legacy of Dracula) takes us to an affluent home where a man has come to visit his beloved, only to find that she died two weeks prior in a car accident.  He is still given room and board while he deals with his feelings but he begins to see his lady friend in the house or running through the grounds at night.  The product of a curse brought upon her family by her father, she can only rest once the her father pays for his crimes... and then she deflates like a balloon.

The second of the trilogy is Lake of Dracula which was the weirdest for me to watch.  When a woman was five years old she lost grip of her dog's leash and followed him to a strange house where she was almost attacked by a man with golden eyes.  She woke up safe later and it was assumed to be a dream.  Flash forward to the film's present day and she's now a full grown woman with a totally different dog that has the same name.  She is haunted by the golden eyes in her dreams and when a coffin is delivered to her town without any return address then vampire shit goes down.

The reason this one was the weirdest to me starts with the dog thing, but then the score and foley work.  At one point the music sounded like the composer was playing a slide whistle through a series of effects pedals or at least an odd theremin.  Then, when our main character is an adult and finally catches a glimpse of the vampire the sound cue right before her discovery sounds like a quick deep fart.  It's hard to stay in the movie moment when I assumed the vampire farted and that's how she found him.

Rounding out our trilogy is Evil of Dracula where a girl's school becomes terrorized by their vampire principal.  I'm not quite sure if he's been doing this all along and just upped his game or if this just all started because he was grooming a new man to be his replacement principal.  I watched all of these in a row and this one was probably the loosest and least attention grabbing of the three.

Despite my waning attention span with the third film, I definitely enjoyed this collection.  There is really only one big extra which is the journalist/horror author Kim Newman talking about the vampirism in the films.  Other than that you get the OSTs and film trailers but compared to something like The Addiction that I covered last week, there is less additional content.  Although if they brought Michio Yamamoto back from the dead for an interview then that would've been awesome.  Unfortunately I don't think Arrow has the money for that.  Anyway, you get three films with this, so it's a fair trade off.

If you like real vampires (not sparkly ones), J-horror, or just look and feel of Toho or Hammer then I recommend picking this set up.  Thanks again to Arrow Films for the hook-up with this.

Also, if you're interested in picking up this film you can do so here from Amazon.  It's currently running around $26, which for a blu-ray with three films on it is a steal.  Also, if you order by clicking that link then that means Amazon kicks a little back to us so that we can pay for this website and fuel it with canned energy drinks.

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