on 15 January 2012
Believe it or not, a motion picture with such a grotesque title as "Bloodsucking Freaks" (but which had been filmed as "Sardu, Master of the Screaming Virgins", then retitled "The Incredible Torture Show" for its original theatrical run) is, essentially, a ballet film, although there are only really a few minutes (central and climactic ones, however) of the crazed, ballerina-topless, murderously sadistic moments of dancing. One of two kidnapped ballerinas, Natasha, after having been tortured and brainwashed, in order to avoid having her feet chainsawed off, like those of her celebrated colleague, becomes the sado-masochistic love-slave of Sardu, the ugly white slaver entrepreneur, among whose murderous accomplices is the sadistic black dwarf, Ralphus.
As the climax of a choreographed ballet routine, Natasha kicks to death a bound captive critic (for real, folks!) with repeatedly powerfully swinging dance motions of her vicious, long, muscular, Terpsichorean-trained trotters. This is the best moment of the film, indeed, its very core, even if the ballet dancing is less skillful than that of the likes of Dame Margot Fonteyn, Maria Tallchief, Alicia Alonso, or Karen Kain. As for the other female dancer in the story, the one whose feet the dwarf has sawn off, that victim is left lugubriously to drag her bleeding stumps, her body facedown, across a floor revoltingly grotty with filth and gore. The principal ballerina, Natasha, for her part, having become a willing minion of Sardu, slays her gorgeous sports-celebrity boyfriend, Tom, stealthily lobbing an axe into the back of his handsome head while Tom has been trying to rescue her -- and a detective, too -- from Sardu. Unbeknownst to Tom, Sardu had become Natasha's new master and lover. Then there also are the awaiting threats from Sardu's minions and from his now liberated crazed she-demon cannibalistic, naked female caged horde, whose vengeance brings the movie to a close in a collective frenzy of vindictively murderous, cannibalistic violence.
There is lots more that flogs, viciously tortures, cannibalises, guillotines, amputates, and brutalises variously and bloodily its way through the length of the film. "Bloodsucking Freaks" is tasteless, explicit, exploitative, and grotesque. In a word, this is one of the best movies of its kind, even compared to a non-dance film that recounts, abounding in sex, voyeurism, sadistic torments, and, in its case, drugs too, a somewhat similarly memorable tale, "The Sinful Dwarf" (the original Scandanavian title of which is "Dvaergen"), which features a far uglier and weirder Caucasian midget.
By obtaining "the Collector's Edition Director's Cut" DVD (the North American edition being Troma Team Video DVD-9830), including numerous bonus features, the viewer can savour this strange film even further than by watching it, in full (and, admittedly, in more or less comparable visual quality) on YouTube. The reader knows if such movies as the one here reviewed and another singled out in this review for brief comparison are the kind of cult films (of "high camp" sensibility) that he likes best, i.e. movies which are so bad that, in their perverse ways, they are good!