Bloodlust aka Mosquito – original title Mosquito der Schänder – is a 1976 Swiss horror feature film directed by Marijan Vajda from a screenplay by Mario d’Alcala. The Monarex production stars Werner Pochath, Ellen Umlauf and Birgit Zamulo. It is loosely based on the macabre true story of Kuno Hofmann, the so-called “Vampire of Nuremberg” who was arrested in 1972.
Haunted by a childhood trauma… a deaf-mute accountant develops a fixation with blood spilling across his skin. Brief flirtations with ketchup and red ink seem to satisfy him at first, but he soon develops a taste for the real thing. Though he nurses a weird fascination for a neighbourhood girl who passes the time by dancing on the rooftop, he remains socially withdrawn with his co-workers and can’t even find comfort in the arms of a streetwalker.
One night, he breaks into the property of the local undertaker and ravages the prettiest female corpse. Now addicted, he habitually raids the tombs of the dead and drinks blood from their throats via a spiked, double-pronged glass straw. Authorities and citizens are incensed by these crimes and the search is on for this modern day vampire…
“Veteran exploitation actor Werner Pochath is excellent as the deaf-mute (who’s name is never revealed) driven to insanity by his past. His performance has a truly haunting presence – he doesn’t utter a single word for the entire running time, yet manages to tell us a hell of a lot along the way. Equally as impressive is the grim and disturbing atmosphere director Vadja manages to sustain…” Michelle R., Digital Retribution
“Especially impressive here is Pochath, in his starring role, who is able to substitute body language and facial expressions for verbal dialogue successfully in order to communicate with both the other characters as well as the audience. Add good acting to great camera work, and Bloodlust quickly rises up the list and earns the reputation of “underrated” and “forgotten gem.” Sean Leonard, Horror News
“Shot in a staid and carefully composed style, Bloodlust succeeds more due to the perverse impact of its story than the uneven quality of its special effects; even an eyeball removal that would have been riotous in the hands of Lucio Fulci seems more disturbing here in concept than in execution. The camera often lingers on the blood dribbling from Pochath’s lips, but overall it’s more pathetic and weirdly poignant than disgusting.” Natheniel Thompson, Mondo Digital
“The pacing of the picture is pretty deliberate and you can’t help but wish, towards the end, that there wasn’t a bit more of a character arc to follow, but Bloodlust works pretty well for the most part […] the film has an effective score from David Llewellyn…” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!
Werner Pochath – RatMan; Devil Hunter; The Cat o’ Nine Tails
Mondo Macabro released Bloodlust on Blu-ray, uncut, widescreen 1.78:1, in English and German on November 13, 2018.
In the UK, the film was passed with cuts (no details) by BBFC censors on 14 October 1976 for distribution by Butchers Film Service.
Image credits: Mondo Digital
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