The Mojave desert provides the backdrop for this hot and sweaty late 80s slasher, which goes against the grain for many other straight-to-video horrors (in both sense of the word) and provides for an entertainingly trashy time.
The plot (if you can call it that) is simplicity itself: a do-gooder psychiatrist, Dr. Barbara Shelley (Wendy MacDonald), brings together her most dysfunctional patients for a spot of “confrontational therapy”. Unfortunately for them, they don’t realise that this will be taken literally by one of the group! Made up of cartoonish characters you would only see in a film like this we have the jumpy Vietnam vet Rick (Tony Montero); the shy touch-phobic girl, Jean (Monica Silveria); the definitely not touch-phobic nympoid, Cassie (Lisa Savage); the woman with a problem with aggressive outbursts, Dory (Lisa Loring); the chronic alcoholic douchebag, Crawford (John Clark); and Dave (Hank Garrett), who might be a repressed homosexual, but is probably just an asshole.
For reasons only known to herself (and the film’s financiers presumably), Dr Shelley takes her charges on a camping trip in the remotest part of the desert. Cassie astutely points out: “All beach, no ocean!”. All of them are crammed into one of those mammoth motor homes, and nearly kill each other before they even see sand. Dr Shelley certainly doesn’t seem to have a grip on the situation, with the alcoholic bringing along beer and the nymphomaniac coming on to anyone who will listen and even resorting to fellating a spoon - “Yoghurt, it's sensuous”, she purrs.
However, come nightfall at the camp the group appear to be making some headway – with the touchphobic Jean allowing a bear hug from the alcoholic. However, it seems that all this touchy-feelyness has caused someone to crack and in the morning they find one of the group with his throat cut, the motor home disabled and them trapped in the desert …
BLOOD FRENZY seems to be the only non-adult film made by porno director Hal Freeman. You'd think this would show, but actually the film is pretty accomplished on its own meagre terms. Of course, by 1987 there weren't many fresh ideas left in the slasher box. BLOOD FRENZY takes the well worn idea of a childhood trauma being the result for later psychosis. In the opening minutes we see a young girl being verbally abused by her drunken father as he finds her playing with a jack-in-the-box. After calling her a “Clumsy little shit!”, he ironically then falls arse-over-tit. Before he can stand up he has his throat gorily ripped out with some vicious looking garden tool.
The film lives up to its name – at least in the uncut version – with some splashy and quite graphic special fx. It also has a rabble-rousing, over-the-top showdown between the killer and remaining victims-to-be. There's so much bared teeth it's a wonder that there was any scenery left unchewed by the end of!
Lisa Loring as the mega-grumpy Dory is a stand-out here; her performance is a hoot. As you might remember, she played the original Wednesday Addams in 60's The Addams Family TV Show. More importantly for readers of this site, she also starred in the next year's slasher flick ICED (1988). That film is like the mirror image of this one, taking place in the snow.
There's little else to say about BLOOD FRENZY. It's completely unmemorable, but briefly satisfies as a fast food version of a slasher movie.
female:2 / male:5
1) Male has throat slit with garden tool
2) Male has throat slit with knife
3) Male has throat slit with knife
4) Male stabbed to death
5) Female slashed and throat cut
6) Female stabbed through neck and gets a pickaxe in the back
7) Male impaled