Monday, December 29, 2014

Brides of Blood

 Released Year: 1968
Directed by Eddie Romero & Gerardo de Leon

Casted by:
John Ashley as Jim Farrell
Kent Taylor as Dr. Paul Henderson
Beverly Powers as Carla Henderson
Eva Darren as Alma
The film opens with a freighter approaching a tropical island; on board, the captain of the boat has breakfast with his three passengers. Dr. Paul Henderson is a scientist who has come to the island to investigate the possibility of radiation due to the testing of atomic bombs in the area. Accompanying him is his beautiful wife, Carla, who seems to suffer from an extreme case of sexual frustration; she makes provocative statements intended to get a rise out of her stoic and seemingly emotionless husband. The third American on board is Jim Farrell, a Peace Corps representative who is traveling to the island to help the natives build facilities to better their lives. The captain tells his passengers that the island is rumored to be cursed, and is referred to by those in the vicinity as "Blood Island". The boat itself is the only one that makes a stop there, with the purpose of delivering supplies. There are only two stops per year, once every six months.

Upon disembarking, the trio immediately comes upon a funeral procession being conducted by the natives. They realize in horror that the two bodies being carried for burial at sea are completely dismembered; a dismembered arm falls out, causing Carla to scream in terror. After the ceremony, the Americans are greeted by Arcadio, the tribe's elder, and his granddaughter Alma. Carla immediately senses an attraction between the lovely Alma and the handsome Jim, and she very aggressively attempts to embarrass everyone by remarking on it. Arcadio welcomes them to the island, but both he and Alma seem terrified of something, and he openly admits that he wishes he would have warned them to stay away before the boat left. When questioned about the deaths of the two women that were being buried, he claims the cause was an accident, but he makes the vague statement that his people are "ashamed" of returning to the "old ways".

Paul goes for a walk around the island looking for specimens and is joined by Carla. Both of them notice a bizarre manifestation when the sun appears to set hours before it should do so. The darkening island becomes ominous, a feeling furthered when Paul discovers the carcass of an oversized crab. Alma acts as Jim's interpreter for the natives since she speaks English, but she remains secretive about what has everybody so noticeably on edge. Her anxiety worsens when Jim notices a strange plant near the village.

The villagers participate in another odd ritual: a stylized lottery that selects two of the village maidens for some uncertain fate; whatever it is, it causes them to become very upset when they "win". The Americans are intercepted by a strange looking man named Goro; he announces that his master, Esteban Powers, has a table set for them at his home. Jim, Paul and Carla follow Goro through the jungle until they reach a stately hacienda staffed by a race of pygmies. On the way there, they encounter a banana tree with a strange arm-like growth protruding from it; the growth moves as if it wants to seize those who pass by it. Esteban Powers is a handsome young man who invites them all to stay with him instead of in the village. Jim declines due to the nature of his visit, but Carla insists that she and Paul stay in the mansion. Esteban seems to suffer from migraines, and he reveals that the natives were transplants to the island after the atomic bomb was tested; while they are unaffected by any radiation, the flora and fauna of the island seem to have been changed. Paul mentions the land crab he found, and the banana tree. Powers seems to not be aware of these anomalies, although the group is startled to discover that he is actually 50 years old; his youth seems to have been somehow preserved.

On their way back to the village, the three Americans are escorted once again through the jungle by Goro. This time, though, it is completely dark outside and the jungle is alive with strange plants. The banana trees have moving tentacles that sway when someone passes near; one of them grabs Carla and seems to want to kill her. Jim and Paul fight it off and move her along. Other plants behave ominously as well. Upon returning to the village, they are not comforted by the sight of the two village maidens being shackled to a remote altar and stripped of their clothing. The villagers leave them at the altar and return to their homes. Inside the hut with Arcadio and Alma, the Americans listen as a strange, overwhelming sound emerges from the jungle, a delirious breathing sound that echoes everywhere. Everyone is distracted when a large butterfly enters the hut and transforms into a fanged monster, biting Paul on the hand when he attempts to capture it. When the bizarre breathing sound grows closer, the girls at the altar start screaming. Arcadio and Alma warn the Americans not to leave the hut, despite the fact that Jim wants to rescue the maidens from whatever is out there.

At the altar, we see what has terrified the captive women: a lumbering beast emerges from the jungle, humanoid but grossly misshapen. It approaches the nude women and embraces them in a bizarre appropriation of the sex act and then tears them limb from limb. The next morning, Alma tells Jim that the beast's appearance is what has driven her people back to their primitive ways, sacrificing village girls to the monster. She explains that the creature only wants women; the mutilations are its way of sexually satisfying itself. Her people believe that if they do not sacrifice their girls, the creature will destroy them all.

Jim visits the hacienda and speaks to Paul, who has captured a cockroach that he claims has transformed into a monster. When Jim goes to examine the creature, Paul discovers that the roach has returned to normal. Carla verifies his claims, and Paul realizes that the creatures on the island have the ability to shift back and forth from normal to monstrosities. The villagers have another lottery and select two more maidens; this time, Alma is chosen as one of them. Jim is furious and attempts to intervene, but Arcadio and the other tribesmen subdue him by tying him up in a hut.

At Esteban's, Carla unsuccessfully tries to awaken Paul for some lovemaking. She sets out through the dark house and arrives at Esteban's bedroom, where she finds him writhing on the bed in slumber, covered only in a sheet. When she tries to get into bed with him, Goro suddenly appears and banishes her.

The villagers await the arrival of the beast, and its strange sound becomes audible. Jim manages to escape his bonds and rescue Alma by firing a flare gun at the creature and frightening it off before it can kill her. The villagers, however, are now furious that their sacrifice has been spoiled, and they chase Jim and Alma into the jungle. They manage to dodge the monstrous vegetation and take refuge at Esteban's house. Esteban tells them that both he and his wife were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation during the bomb tests; while it seems to have left him with only migraines, it caused a disturbing change in his wife, who suffered seizures that eventually killed her. Late that night, Carla once again tries to seduce Esteban when she sees him stagger out of the house dressed only in his trousers. She follows him in the dark, unaware that he is the rampaging monster, the result of a hideous transformation that he undergoes during the worst of his migraine attacks. Cornered by the monstrous tree branches and carnivorous plants, Carla comes face to face with Esteban's deadly alter ego.

Paul discovers Carla missing from their bedroom, and he awakens Jim. Alma hears the ruckus and joins them as they leave the house to search for Carla. Goro chases them with a machete and confronts them, killing Paul. Jim and Alma find Carla's dismembered remains being devoured by one of the carnivorous trees. They rush back to the village pursued by the monster. Jim manages to convince the villagers to fight back against it instead of trying to appease it with sacrifices; together they hurl spears and fire at it until they have it cornered in one of the grass huts; unfortunately it is the hut where Alma is hiding. Jim rushes in to save her as the hut goes up in flames, managing to get her out just in the nick of time. The monster is consumed in the fire, and the entire village watches as Esteban, human once more, stumbles from the hut and dies from his injuries.

The village celebrates their freedom from the menace by holding a love ritual, presumably to encourage the tribe to reproduce and replace the people it lost to the monster. As the natives pair off and go into the jungle for lovemaking, Alma becomes enraptured by the music as well, selecting Jim as her mate. They slip into the jungle together.
L² Scored: 4.5/10

L² Comment
I think this is the very first America movie that was filmed in Philippines, and it also open the gateway for John Ashley to expand his acting carrier in Philippines as well... Basically the movie is kinda simple and you can know what its gonna happen next... But i will still give an applaud to this old movie with the low technique during that period...

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