Friday, June 20, 2008

I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
The "I Drink Your Blood/I Eat your Skin" double-feature artwork
(Click for larger image)

Also playing: "I Rip Off Your Money"

In early 1971 my young and impressionable 12 year-old eyeballs fell upon the newspaper ads for the double-bill "I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin," and my brain almost blew up.

Being a lover of scary movies, but too young to see anything other than what I could catch on TV, the closest I could ever get to the movies playing in the theaters was the newspaper ads. So I would clip out and save the them, keeping them in my monster scrapbook. (Go to my other blog, "Held Over!" to see them,) The next year the artwork for "Orgy of the Living Dead" would rock my (admittedly small and sheltered) world, but "IDYB/IEYS" was the first of the truly gory and lurid ads that I had ever seen, and it electrified me. Of course, the movies I imagined were much better than the actual films, but at the time I didn't know that. I believed the posters and ads. I believed that if I went to see them, I would actually witness blood-drinking and skin-eating. Ah, to be young and naive again.

The color poster was what theater-goers saw. The black-and-white ads were what I saw and clipped out. But they were enough to set my insides quivering with the nervous excitement and desire to see what I knew I never could. As it turns out, I was better not knowing at the time that the artwork and ads were pure ballyhoo and not representative of what they were. I've seen both films since on DVD, and although the first was full of shocking images for the time, neither could live up to the ads. The second film was merely an old recycled film from 1964, retitled and released with the first to sweeten the deal. Needless to say it contained no skin-eating.

(Click for larger image)

But no amount of present-day disillusionment can tarnish the youthful memories of the thrills I got, gazing with fascination at the ads as they were displayed in my scrapbook (really, a school notebook with pictures and ads taped in it). A couple of years later, when I began to get "Famous Monsters" and "The Monster Times," I would foolishly cut out the pictures I liked from them and tape them in as well. (Looking back I could kick myself for not saving them in perfect condition, as I began to do a little later.) But at that early time, what I could find in the newspapers was the extent of my collecting. Whenever I take out that old dog-eared scrapbook now, many years later, it takes me back to the time when adding something to it was the hightlight of my day.

A few weeks after the film's release the ads got smaller, but the way they cut together the two was inspired and still made a great graphic.

A more accurate title would have been "I Eat Dead Rats,"
but it probably wouldn't have had the same impact.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

"Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"

Watch the R-rated trailer on YouTube:

Having seen the movie upon it's recent DVD release, I realise that the violence and adult themes in "I Drink Your Blood" would have indeed been too much for my tender mind to take. And although the title was misleading, the film did push at the boundaries of gore and good taste and deserves to be seen by old and new fans. The cast of the hippie band was populated by memorable characters, particularly (the sadly late) Indian actor Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury. whose performance left me wondering if it didn't inspire Holt McCallany's young American-Indian tough from Creepshow 2. And Lynn Lowry, whose pixie-like face almost rivalled Yvette Mimieux for eye-catching cuteness, brought a weird mixture of innocence and evil to her character.

The DVD release is great, with plenty of fun extras and awesome menus. But would it have been too much to ask to have both films on it, to duplicate the double-bill effect of the original release?

Oh, well, at least we have it now and that 37 year old itch I had to see it could be scratched to satisfaction.


Karswell said...

Cool post Fred... I Drink Your Blood is quite a classic. I've actually been friends with Lynn Lowry for many years now, I even designed her personal website:

Fred said...


Thanks! Wow, you really are connected. And the website is cool. I've added some more to the post about the actors, including Lynn, based on seeing the site.

Thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed you know the movie, I drink your blood! I'm from the little town in upstate New York where the movie was filmed. I still yet have to purchase and own a copy myself but I do intend on it. Thanks for putting it up.