Blood Sucking Freaks (or, Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins; or, The Incredible Torture Show)

1976 exploitative horror comedy

Rating: 9/20

Plot: Sardu and his diminutive associate operate a stage show called the Theatre of the Macabre by night and are up to no good during the day. They kidnap a critic who refuses to take their show seriously and a ballerina, the latter their effort to legitimize their art. A meddling detective and the ballerina's boyfriend try to figure out what's going.

What story exists in this sleazy 70's exploitative flick doesn't make a lot of sense. This is trashy, but at least it's lively trash. The nefarious leads take this about as far as it can go. This is Seamus O'Brien's lone performance other than an uncredited role in The Happy Hooker. Sadly, he was killed in a burglary in '77. He shades the character with a little Manos "master" and a lot of Vincent Price. I wonder if would have been able to shake off the sleaze from this to have any kind of career.

Stealing the show is his little person sidekick--Luis De Jesus. Now here's an ornery little fellow. He's got a cackle, and the overalls, beard, and little man afro combination make him comically wicked. Before sharing some of his finer moments in this motion picture, I should fill you in on his career. Most of his work is pornographic. His first role, appropriately in a short, is called The Anal Dwarf. That's moved to the top of my "must see" list. He's also in something called Let My Puppets Come from Gerard Damiano, the guy who did Deep Throat. He was also an Ewok and had a part in something called Fantasex Island which might be the worst title for any movie I've ever seen.

But what's Luis De Jesus do in this movie? Well, pretty much everything you'd like to see an evil little person do in a movie. He giggles, enthusiastically tortures a woman's finger in a vice, saws off body parts, wears camouflage overalls, eats an eye, dons a cowboy hat and rides on a naked woman's back, celebrates beautifully after blow-darting a ballerina, madly plays cymbals (apparently as a form of torture), tosses darts at a dart board painted on a woman's behind after drinking a beer while locking arms with O'Brien, exclaims "Whee!" while pushing a woman in a wheelchair toward a guillotine, nearly hyperventilates while holding a severed head, plays backgammon for lopped-off fingers, and gets the line "I used the whole chicken. The secret is cooking it alive," which I believe is supposed to be funny.

What's crazy about this is how comic it plays. A kidnapping scene which inexplicably features a dildo, the amount of times O'Brien calls his sidekick an "idiot," a really lengthy and perverse scene with a doctor in which he extracts teeth, cuts hair, drills into and then slurps fluids from a skull. Most scenes feel superfluous as the stuff that actually advances the plot would take up about 12 minutes. The rest of the mess is the definition of exploitative with lots of ultraviolence and nudity almost everywhere you look. If that's your thing, look no further than whatever this movie is deciding to call itself.

I had time to kill after school Friday because I was stranded and started watching this on my school computer. It took about 20 minutes of whipping slave women and other perversities for me to realize that was a terrible idea.

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