BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Vestron Video continues its Lionsgate-sponsored rebirth with the High-Definition release of one of the craziest horror films to ever see the light of the day, Blood Diner. Where the fuck do I even begin? If you’ve seen the film, then you know EXACTLY the total anarchy on display as two chefs – brainwashed at an early age by their serial-killing uncle into resurrecting the spirit of Sheetar – canvas Los Angeles in search of women to fry up for a blood feast of epic proportions. If it sounds pretty standard by the conventions of the genre, then allow me to be the first to correct you. Blood Diner – and its total balls-to-the-wall commitment to insanity is one hell of a fucked-up and surreal experience.
Written by Michael Sonye and directed by Jackie Kong, Blood Diner has to be some of the weirdest shit to ever be thought-up by a man AND directed by a woman. I specify the sex of the two responsible for this bizarre buffet because – based on the amount of nudity and sex-crazed exploits (nude aerobics anyone?) – a b-movie novice might not recognize Ms. Kong’s name from 1984’s successful Night Patrol and just assume Blood Diner was directed by a man. Kong is committed to the story and, in fact, pushed for even more outrageousness. Her absolute expertise is to be commended. Complete with projectile vomit and a scene where a fat biker is repeatedly ran over, Blood Diner knows no limit in the bad taste it keeps serving its guests.
And we love it. Absolutely.
In fact, the movie is a cult favorite and, as it is birthed straight from the golden age of shoulder-pads and big hair, represents the inanity of 1980s rather truthfully. Starring Rick Burks and Carl Crew, the movie is about their murderous exploits throughout Hollywood and the brain in the jar – their late uncle Anwar Namtut (Drew Godderis) – that gives them their marching orders for madness. Uncle Anwar knows the type of slutty women they will need to use as body parts in order to sew the goddess to life and the twisted brothers, being the eager beavers that they are, jump at his every barking order. Kill her! Slice that! More tits! Feed that leg to the fat man at the counter! Need more hot dogs? Serve them FINGERS! Whatever the order is, they carry out with an enthusiasm that is unmatched.
The scenes, full of casualties of all sorts – while threading a continuing storyline about bringing the Lumerian goddess Sheetar – are just twisted variations of the horror genre. They operate at an elevated level of hysteria and, honestly, upend its own humor with satirical bits all commenting on excess. Vegetarians are targeted and then fed to the Blood Diner’s own patrons. YUM! A lonely chef’s only friend is a ventriloquist dummy that he doesn’t even have to interact with in order for it to “talk” to him. The men’s dates are often conned into taking off their clothes before the boys – overcome by their own lust – prematurely kill them with all sorts of kitchen utensils. One woman is lathered up in baking grease before her head is knocked off.
It is in this manner that Blood Diner wins over its audience. It’s wild, completely bonkers, the cast is all in, and so are the practical effects. It all works to serve up a slice of stylized gore. Much of the b-movie is filled with some pretty dark humor, but it works and is enjoyed because it is served with a smile. You can think of it as a desert, but, in all honesty, it’s a mighty mouthful of mouth-watering meat.
You can thank me later.
MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime: 88 mins
Director: Jackie Kong
Writer: Michael Sonye
Cast: Rick Burks, Carl Crew, Roger Dauer
Tagline: Food So Good, It Tastes Just Like Mom Used To ...
Memorable Movie Quote: "We interrupt this program to give you an important news bulletin: A suspect in the Happy Times All-Girls Glee Club slaying has fled the scene and managed to elude the police."
Theatrical Distributor: Lightining Pictures
Release Date: July 10, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: September 27, 2016
Synopsis: Two cannibalistic brothers kill various young women to make their flesh part of their new special dish at their rundown restaurant while seeking blood sacrifices to awaken a dormant Egyptian goddess.
Available on Blu-ray - September 20, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Offered courtesy of Lionsgate Films and its new Vestron Video imprint in 1.78:1, the AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is a relative goldmine of previously unseen details and colors. The clothing in and of itself is a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer. The details in the gore effects are especially nice. The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected. Some stuff from the same era hasn’t made the HD transition quite as well, but Blood Diner looks better than it did in the theater. Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate. The sound – offered here in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track - is decent enough with dialogue and synthesized score pulses.
- Jackie Kong provides a very detailed and very knowledgeable commentary track. Fans will dig it.
But, first, a note from Lionsgate: “Vestron Video has been a leader in providing the most unique and wide-ranging selection of films. We honor the spirit of Vestron Video by presenting the Vestron Video Collectors Series - a line of classic genre films newly remastered and with a wealth of supplementary features.” They aren’t kidding either. Complete with NEW interviews with the director and the screenwriter, this release’s main supplemental item makes up for any lack of appreciation in the previous releases. There’s an hour-long look at the making of the movie that is surprisingly detailed in its coverage. It has, in fact, been broken into 5 parts. The rest is archival bits, still galleries and promotional items.
- Killer Cuisine: The Making of Blood Diner (64 min)
- Archival Interview with Project Consultant Eric Caiden (8 min)
- Theatrical Trailers (5 min)
- TV Spots (2 min)
- Radio Spots (2 min)
- Still Gallery (6 min)