‘They planted the living and harvested the dead!’
Invasion of the Blood Farmers is a 1972 American horror feature film produced and directed by Ed Adlum from a screenplay co-written with Ed Kelleher (also associate director). It was edited by Michael Findlay (Flesh trilogy; Snuff). The latter directed Shriek of the Mutilated, which was also penned by Adlum and Kelleher. The movie stars Norman Kelley, Tanna Hunter, Bruce Detrick, Jack Neubeck and Paul Craig Jennings.
Severin Films unleashed Invasion of the Blood Farmers on Blu-ray on February 26, 2019, featuring a new transfer scanned from the original negative of the $24,000 production, plus special features:
- Audio commentary by director Ed Adlum and actress Ortrum Tippel moderated by Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women
- “Nothin’ You’d Show Your Mom”: Eddie Adlum’s Journey through exploitation, coin-op and rock ’n’ roll
- “Harvesting the Dead”: An interview with actor Jack Neubeck
- “Painful Memories”: An interview with cameraman Frederick Elmes
Although it contains some gore scenes, in the film was originally rated ‘PG’ by the MPAA. The soundtrack is composed of library music and the narrator does an obvious impression of British actor James Mason.
In the 1980s, filmmaker Fred Olen Ray (Super Shark; Evil Toons; Scalps) picked up the video rights and distributed the movie via his Retromedia label.
A group of druids living in Westchester County, New York, plan to resurrect their queen by draining the blood from unsuspecting civilians into her body…
“Adlum and the gang set out to make a movie in six days with nothing but a lot of blood and a steely resolve to make a film, which they miraculously accomplished. That resolve shines through in every ramshackle department – Adlum’s cockeyed yet energetic direction, some performances that really go for it, and Findlay’s deft editing that somehow holds it together, gives it shape, and makes the most of the 84 minute runtime.” Scott Drebit, Daily Dead
“Although the film’s general idea has promise, its clumsy script, wooden acting, and cheap, unrealistic special effects make it the equivalent of a low-grade college film project. It is too poor in quality to be convincing, and thus lacks the frights necessary for a true horror film, while at the same time, it takes itself too seriously to succeed as camp.” DVD-B.com
“The acting is nonexistent, the gore effects are lame (although pretty explicit for PG), the soundtrack consists of over-baked stock music, and the editing (by Shriek director Michael Findlay) is so clumsy that at times you can notice actors waiting for their cue! In other words, a classic drive-in epic of the trashiest proportions.” DVD Drive-In
“Do you like your movies full of fakey English accents? Are you sick and tired of relevant dialogue? Do you want to see cutting edge continuity errors confusing night and day? Do you love incoherence, sloppiness, screaming, blood, unnecessarily melodramatic music […] I can tell you, maybe, just maybe, you will have the stomach for Invasion of the Blood Farmers.” Horror News
“It’s got ridiculous plotting, clunky pacing, awkward acting, canned music, you name it. It also has a sense of humour about itself and a sincere attempt to entertain the viewer. Odd and shafting camera angles are surprisingly effective … Despite slow stretches, a weak climax, and some missed opportunities to feature more of the farmers, it’s great for camp. The dialogue is lively, sometimes funny on purpose.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“Some sequences in particular, such as an extended bloodletting ritual by masked farmers in a barn, foreshadow the later (and obviously far superior) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and while the intensity level is kept at bay by numerous unintentional chuckles (check out the shoe polish hairdos) and gaping plot inconsistencies, there’s enough going on to keep fans of Z-grade trash busy munching on their popcorn.” Mondo Digital
“This is acknowledged as one of the great classics of schlock cinema … The Farmers was lauded by exploitation experts for its amateur acting, neanderthal direction, and phony gore effects. Everyone agreed that the exaggerated, sickening sound effects that blared on the soundtrack whenever the bodily fluid was pumped out of the victims was worth its weight in fool’s gold.” Richard Meyers, For One Week Only: The World of Exploitation Films
“… this movie is ninety blissful minutes of complete nonsense … Full of bizarre and completely random cuts to reactions that aren’t there on the part of the cast and close ups that aren’t ever necessary, the movie looks as erratically as it plays – at least the filmmakers were consistent in their ineptitude.” Rock! Shock! Pop!
Interviewed for Regional Horror Films, 1958 – 1990, director/co-writer Ed Adlum had this to say:
“It’s interesting that that picture is kind of like a cult thing today. I certainly didn’t start out to make a cult thing. You can’t create camp. That one worked. It was so bad it’s funny. It’s like Plan 9. It’s one of those great, bad pictures. Shriek of the Mutilated is one of those bad bad pictures. It should be burned. But the Blood Farmers is a monument to ineptitude, and I love to watch it.”
“The action is dully directed, the plot is rambling, the dialogue seems indifferently slung together and much of the film has a vagueness as though it had been improvised. The film’s cheapness frequently shows through – Tanna Hunter gets up in her nightgown and at least three times is told that she should go to bed despite the fact that the scenes are clearly being shot during the daytime…” Moria
“You’re just a pushover for pathologists.”
Cast and characters:
- Norman Kelley … Dr. Roy Anderson
- Tanna Hunter … Jenny Anderson
- Bruce Detrick … Don Tucker
- Paul Craig Jennings … Creton
- Jack Neubeck … Egon
- Richard Erickson … Sontag
- Cynthia Fleming … Queen Onhorrid
- Tom Edwards
- Lucy Grant … Mrs. Greenman
- Frank Iovieno … Police Chief Frank Spano
- Warren D’Oyly-Rhind … Ogmar
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