A Taste of Blood



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40%
IMDb Rating 4.7 10 587

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 24, 2021 at 01:56 PM

1.06 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 57 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 7 / 10

Could Be Lewis' Best

A Miami businessman, John Stone (Bill Rogers, "Santo Versus the Vampire Women"), receives a parcel from England containing two old bottles of Slivovitz brandy from his recently deceased ancestor, and after drinking both bottles, becomes a vampire.

The story started from a screenplay by Donald Stanford (his only credit), who claimed to Lewis that he intended this film to be a vehicle for Frank Sinatra. Originally, the film had a title referencing "Dr. Alucard", which is now fairly well-known to be "Dracula" backwards, and it was wise to change this.

Interestingly, the film was originally intended by H. G. Lewis to be about 90 minutes, which would already be long for him, but Lewis found it made more sense to pace the story more slowly to give it a serious nature than to be "frantic". This was also wise, and makes it a better film. Shooting took three weeks, the longest Lewis ever spend on any film. All of this shows.

Judging by IMDb, this film is not very appreciated and not as respected as Lewis' other work. Even "Gruesome Twosome" seems to fare better, which surprises me because the two are worlds apart. "Gruesome" is a mess, whereas "Taste" shows real talent and I can see why Lewis considered this his masterpiece. In what world is a film that shows real skill rated lower than one of Lewis' more slap-dash efforts?

Yes, "Taste" is still flawed, with some cheesy lighting and makeup effects. The blue spotlight is rather silly. And yes, I am pretty sure that at one point the actors forget the lead is supposed to be "John" and instead call him "Dan". But the plot, production value and acting are all better than the average Lewis film. Bill Rogers is great, and Thomas Wood is really quite incredible. He could have been a leading man in any Hollywood production.

The film is available from Arrow Video as part of their "Feast" collection, on the same disc as "Gruesome Twosome". The special features are covered in my review of the other title. The audio commentary on "Taste", among many other things, talks about Lewis' interactions with other low-budget icons, specifically Roger Corman and Bill Rebane; we also hear about how films such as these can go through various owners who you've never heard of (like how this one is or was owned by one Norm Seinfeld). If you have a love for the history of low budget (and no budget) film, the commentary alone is like a master class in the topic.

Reviewed by dworldeater 7 / 10

Different for Herschell Gordon Lewis, but still a good film

A Taste Of Blood is a bit of a departure for exploitation director Herschell Gordon Lewis. More expensive, slower paced and taken more seriously than his usual projects. John Stone(played by Bill Rogers)gets a package in the mail which contains two bottles of brandy, which he then toasts to the memory of his ancestor. Said brandy contains the blood of Dracula(which he slowly becomes throughout the course of the film). Bill Rogers does a good job as the lead and sort of resembles Christopher Lee. HGL gives a good go at a Hammer styled Dracula film. While lacking the funding and talent pool of a Hammer production, I think the godfather of gore did well with the resources he did have. A Taste Of Blood is a very enjoyable, ultra low budget horror film that may be less over the top and campy than most of the films Herschell is known for, but contains more gore than other films of this genre made during this period. It is a different sort of film for Herschell Gordon Lewis, but is entertaining and well made.

Reviewed by BaronBl00d 7 / 10

A Taste of Herschell

The director of what is widely considered the first splatter film ever made(Blood Feast) directed this film about a man, through drinking a brandy laced with blood and his ancestral relationship to Count Dracula, that turns slowly into a vampire and begins to kill the relatives of the six men that killed the famous count. If you are looking for the typical Herschell Gordon Lewis trademarks of great quantities of un-realistic blood, super bad acting, gobs of intestines and the like, inferior lighting, and a litany of other flaws in film-making that seem to find such a home in Lewis's work, you might be disappointed. This is easily Lewis's best film in terms of direction and acting. The actors in here are average. No small feat for a Lewis film. Even Bill Kerwin(one of Lewis's regulars) does a decent job! The female lead was also average, and that says a lot for a Lewis film. Usually he just puts pretty girls with no acting talent in his films like Connie Mason, but sexy Elizabeth Wilkinson has some acting talent(albeit not a lot) as well as boobs! Bill Rogers makes an adequate vampire as well. Not only are the actors decent, but the script is interesting. Donald Stanford used some interesting tie-ins with the novel by Bram Stoker for the names of the relatives. I thought it was a fairly unique concept. The film is two minutes shy of two hours, and it is a tad long. It is very apparent though that Lewis wanted to make this film the best that he could. It shows. It shows he has some talent as well. Lewis also has a bit part as a sea captain affecting a working-class English accent. He is pretty good too. There is not much in the line of killing or gore though. The film shows far less blood that you would see in your typical Hammer feature. There are some obvious budget concerns with sets, etc..., but all in all this is a decent film about the vampire myth in a modern setting.

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