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I Drink Your Blood is a cult horror film originally released in 1970. The film was written and directed by David E. Durston, produced by Jerry Gross, and starred Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury and Lynn Lowry (who is uncredited in the film).

Like many B-movies of its time, I Drink Your Blood was a Times Square exploitation film and drive-in theater staple.

Plot

Loosely inspired by Charles Manson's "family", the film follows a group of nomadic Satanist hippies when they ride into a small town and terrorize the inhabitants. The town has largely become a ghost town thanks to a large mining project nearby, and all but a couple of houses are abandoned.

A young local girl is badly beaten. Her grandfather confronts the group but is attacked and dosed with LSD. The girl's young brother is threatened while rescuing his grandfather, before they both escape. The boy decides to exact revenge and put a stop to the rampage. Working at the local bakery the next day he injects meat pies with blood from a rabid dog, and sells the pies to the hungry hippies. Rabid, hydrophobic and frothing at the mouth, the hippies go berserk and wreak homicidal havoc upon the unwitting town.

Censorship

The film was one of the first movies to receive an X-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America based on violence rather than nudity. Several scenes needed to be altered to qualify the film for an "R" so the producer distributed the original film asking that each projectionist censor the film as seen fit for their market. There were 280 prints made and countless differently censored versions were in circulation. The prints for the Los Angeles and New York City runs were censored by the film's director.

The Encyclopedia of Horror said that "as the film now stands what looks like it might have been a raw, ferocious thriller has become a frustrating excercise in splicing, incessantly building up to scenes of bone-crushing horror and violence which never actually happen."

A 2002 DVD release presented the original uncensored version along with numerous extras.

Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury

The film's lead actor, Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury was a famous dancer in his native Indiamarker. He had moved to New York Citymarker and started his own dance company in the 1950s. Bhaskar starred in and choreographed the first Merchant/Ivory production, The Creation Of Woman, with Dino and Anjali Devi. Bhaskar maintained an active schedule of touring with several different partners and company members throughout the 1960's and 1970's. Anjali Devi, Shala Mattingly, Raja, Cindy, Carolyn Kay, and Candace Hibbard to name only a few. At the time of the accident in 1977, Bhaskar, Dances of India was booked for four solid years of touring when, On October 25, 1977, during rehearsal at Purdue University Theatre, he fell 36 feet from the stage into the orchestra pit, which left him permanently paraplegic. Bhaskar and Carolyn Kay were to perform a two-man show at Purdue, using only music, lights and costumes. There was no reason for the orchestra pit floor to have been lowered. The floor had been at stage level at the beginning of rehearsal. As the sound and lights were being set for the evening's performance, someone lowered the floor of the orchestra pit, Bhaskar stepped backwards to see the lighting, and fell; first onto his hands and feet, breaking his wrists, ankles, and snapping his spine, and then bounced up, landing for the second time on his back. He was on a foster frame at the Purdue hospital for several weeks, moving to the Rusk institute of Rehabilitation shortly before Christmas. At the Rusk institute, with the assistance of his two current partners, Carolyn kay and Candace Hibbard, Bhaskar choreographed a five-member company (Carolyn Kay, Candace hibbard, Homer Garza, Janet kaylo, and Ingrid Ross) to complete the booked engagements for the American tour in February of 1978. Bhaskar refused to perform from his wheeled chair, maintaining his artistic direction of the company for several years. As a choreographer, Bhaskar was very generous, encouraging all his dancers to perform and share his dances with others. Bhaskar wrote several books(not yet published) and produced some fine paintings before his decline in 2004. After a severe decline in health, he died on August 4, 2004.

Location

Much of the movie was filmed in Sharon Springs, NY, a small village once famous as a summer spa town. By the time of the production Sharon Springs had largely become a ghost town, and the producers were allowed to use the abandoned hotels as locations. The town has since been revitalized and is a center for tourism in upstate New York.

Remake

On 17 September, 2009, it was announced David E. Durston planned a remake of his film that will star Sybil Danning.

References

  1. Milne, Tom. Willemin, Paul. Hardy, Phil. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Horror, Octopus Books, 1986. ISBN 0-7064-2771-8 p 235
  2. Milne, Tom. Willemin, Paul. Hardy, Phil. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Horror, Octopus Books, 1986. ISBN 0-7064-2771-8 p 235
  3. New York Times article about Sharon Springs
  4. Original director talks I DRINK YOUR BLOOD remake


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