Earthlings leave on a space mission to destroy flesh creatures of a prehistoric lost planet.
“Far-Out, Frightening Terror!”
“You’ll scream yourself into a state of shock!“
It seems like I’m (re)visiting the weird and wonderful world of Al Adamson at least once a month these days. As I may have mentioned before, I have quite a few of Adamson’s movies in my collection – well, now I have almost everything, thanks to The Masterpiece Collection put out by Severin. But prior to that, I had collected quite a few VHS tapes and DVDs. One of those tapes, which I purchased at a dying video store after an all night drive to Edmonton, was Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970).
I still recall arriving in the early morning and spotting the old video store at the side of a moderately busy street. I got out of the car and went in (while my two travelling companions continued to sleep). I found Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970) in a small horror section in the back corner of the store. I’m not sure if I’d ever heard of it before, but when I saw the name Al Adamson on the box, I knew I had to have it.
I didn’t have to do anything else for the rest of the weekend to feel like my all night drive had been worthwhile. Technically, I was in Edmonton for a wedding – but finding a new Al Adamson movie was far more exciting to me.
That was a long time ago. I recall thinking that Horror of the Blood Monsters was a bonkers good time (like most Al Adamson movies), but I don’t recall learning much about the story behind it. Now that I have the Severin Blu-ray, complete with Sam Sherman commentary track, I know a whole lot more. I won’t try to explain all of the behind the scenes insanity here, but I will say this: Horror of the Blood Monsters is another movie that Al Adamson created out of an older, already existing movie. This one started out as a Filipino film called Tagani (1956) by Rolf Bayer.
Al Adamson shot some new footage, which he carefully matched to the existing footage, and lo and behind he had a whole new movie (sort of). Honestly, he did a pretty good job. I’m not sure that I noticed the seams between the two movies the first time I sat through it.
Actually, he also included footage from other movies, such as One Million B.C. (1940) and Unknown Island (1948). But it was mostly Tagani and the new stuff.
Horror of the Blood Monsters apparently made money for Independent-International, and played all over the world in theatres and on television. And eventually on home video as well. Watching it again for the first time in many years, I was so entertained by the first three minutes or so (by the super-energetic prologue about vampires on Earth) I felt like I’d already had my money’s worth. Admittedly, the film does slow down considerably for a while after that, but that opening sequence left me feeling satisfied.
Of course, there are many other moments of inspired lunacy throughout.
All in all, Horror of the Blood Monsters makes for a pretty fun #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn. Although it came out in 1970, it feels much older. This could partly be because Al Adamson shot most of his parts in 1966 – and also used pieces of much older films. It almost seems like one of the 1950s or ’60s B-movie, Sci-Fi monster movies that I might have watched on Not Quite Classic Theatre back in the ’80s. A little worse, perhaps; a little cheaper, a little shoddier, and a whole lot less sane – but definitely part of that genre. Would I have enjoyed it as much back then as I do now? Probably not. But all I can say for sure, is that Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970) is 100% Certified #NotQuiteClassicCinema – and that’s good enough for me.
Earthlings on a mission to destroy creatures on a prehistoric planet.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) May 7, 2022