Brides of Blood is a 1968 Filipino science fiction horror feature film directed by Eddie Romero and Gerardo de Leon, based on a screenplay by Cesar Amigo.
The movie stars John Ashley (Beast of Blood; Frankenstein’s Daughter, The Eye Creatures), Kent Taylor (The Crawling Hand, The Mighty Gorga, Blood of Ghastly Horror), Beverly Powers [as Beverly Hills] (Jaws; The Comedy of Terrors, Invasion of the Bee Girls), Eva Darren (Vampira, 1994), Mario Montenegro, Oscar Kesse.
This was the first movie actor John Ashley made in the Philippines; however he soon returned for Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Beast of the Yellow Night, Blood Devils, The Twilight People and others.
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Dr. Paul Henderson is a scientist who travels to a tropical island (known to locals as “Blood 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. Jim Farrell, a Peace Corps representative is also traveling to the island to help the natives build facilities to better their lives.
The trio come upon a native funeral procession. They realize in horror that the two bodies being carried for burial at sea are completely dismembered; an 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. 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.
Paul goes 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. Then Jim notices a strange plant near the village…
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“The whole film is very colorfully shot, with lots of bold lighting choices, such as blue and pink smoke for the sacrifice scenes. It also features some very good sets and props, as well as more gore and nudity than most horrors of its day. In short; it’s an awful movie that looks pretty good and thanks to the busy plot, exploitation elements and overall air of silliness…” The Bloody Pit of Horror
“Brides of Blood does have the occasional gripping and effective moment, including a couple of chase scenes through the man-eating jungle which combine surprisingly good day-for-night cinematography with some really ingenious matte effects, but mostly it’s just extremely silly.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“With an outrageous silly/scary creature running around and making unearthly noises, Brides of Blood is a fun monster romp that’s reminiscent of a 50s B picture. There’s a lot of eerie nighttime photography, and some pre-ratings systems blood and nudity. Giant fleshy tree vines grabbing small children and clutch various extremities is pretty effective, as is the appeal of the feisty Hills…“ George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
“Brides of Blood is a tad slow, with superfluous transicion scenes… But when its not transitioning, it’s good. Despite the lack of intentional humor, camp arises from obvious low-budget props such as manikin heads and manikin limbs covered with fake blood, and with visible strings on monster puppets.”David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
” … it does offer mild amusement for those who like their horrors cheesy and silly; everyone else may find it a test of the patience.” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image
“Moderate hokum with variable special effects and an endearing leading monster. The inclusion of sex into the brew makes for silliness.” Alan Frank, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982
Image credits: Wrong Side of the Art!