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on June 2, 2006
Planning on taking a vacation this summer? Perhaps a warm, sunny, fun-filled destination like the Bahamas? Maybe the Caribbean? Here's an alternative...why not give Blood Island a try? It's got most everything one would look for in a tropical vacation destination...friendly natives, beautiful sunsets, and miles of pristine beaches. I suppose I should mention there might be just a touch of residual radiation present from atomic testing performed in the Pacific on nearby islands in the mid 1940s, resulting in unsubstantiated reports of mutated man-eating plants and homicidal humanoids lusting female flesh roaming about...directed by Eddie Romero (Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Beast of the Yellow Night), Brides of Blood (1968) features Kent Taylor (The Day Mars Invaded Earth, The Mighty Gorga, Hell's Bloody Devils), former stripper Beverly Hills aka Beverly Powers (Kissin' Cousins, Invasion of the Bee Girls), and John Ashley (Muscle Beach Party, The Eye Creatures, Beast of Blood), who found a moderate amount of success producing and starring in a series of exploitive horror features produced in the burgeoning Filipino film industry in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

As the film begins we see three individuals arriving by boat to a remote, Pacific local known as `Blood Island'...catchy name...anyway, there's Jim Farrell (Ashley), a Peace Corp type, Dr. Paul Henderson (Taylor), a scientist of some kind, and his hot and exceedingly trampy wife Carla (Powers), possessor of the ever attractive scornful acid tongue. Upon leaving the boat they witness a native funeral procession of sorts, except there's no body, but only bloody pieces. The head of the tribe states this was a bad time for the trio to come (there's a lot of bad mojo about), as the natives have reverted to some ancient rituals, and offers his comely granddaughter Alma to the group for the purpose of translating (and most likely to become a future love interest to Jim the way he's undressing her with his eyeballs). After settling in, the foursome visit the local plantation owned by an individual named Esteban Powers, who, along with a disfigured manservant named Goro, also employs a small group of half nekkid dwarfs who always seem to be underfoot. On the trip they encounter some odd plant life, particularly a grabby banana tree that likes to fondle attractive blondes. On their return trip they stumble across a sacrificial ceremony where a couple of young, female villagers are strung up and offered to appease an evil spirit type who lives in the jungle. The ceremony's a success, and by success I mean a large, hideous, humanoid muck man appears from the jungle, ravages the woman, and then tears them to pieces before heading back into the jungle...later Paul, after being attacked by a man-eating butterfly, hypothesizes all the weirdness is a result of genetic mutation due to residual radiation from the nearby atomic testing so many years ago. Eventually Alma is chosen for sacrifice and Jim tries to rally the natives to fight the power, but to no avail...things get hairy, more people die, Paul postulates some more, and Carla continues her life long quest to become Queen of the Harlots...

Man, this movie's got everything...spear wielding natives, dwarfs, a goo monster, man-eating banana trees, a disfigured manservant, carnivorous butterflies, sacrificial ceremonies, cleavage up the wazz, decapitations, flare guns, machetes, a handsome hero type, an atmospheric jungle locale, dismembered body parts, a huge, goony looking idol, scantily clad females in distress, and so on...I learned a number of things while watching this film, including the following...

1. Peace Corp worker types don't do any actual work, but rather stand around and issue orders to the native population while pretending to write on their clipboards.

2. John Ashley had enough strength in his legs to crush a man to death.

3. A tramp is a tramp be it in the big city or the wild and wooly jungle.

4. Having a handful of half-nekkid dwarf servants to do your bidding isn't as cool as it sounds (actually, it's quite creepy).

5. Where normal men tend to grow sleepy after an intimate lovemaking session, mutated humanoid goo men like to tear the limbs, and heads, off the object of their desire.

6. Beverly Powers has a rack (and mouth) that won't quit.

7. No matter how attractive a woman is said attractiveness is significantly diminished when combined with a condescending attitude and an overly smart mouth.

8. Shooting a man-eating banana tree with a pistol has little effect, other than wasting ones ammunition.

9. Disfigured manservants are loyal to a fault.

I enjoyed this classic drive-in feature a lot...it may have lacked in areas like a strong plot, capable writing, and believable acting, but it excelled in lurid jungle sleaziness. It's got horror and science fiction elements combined, with a dash of drama. I've spoken a lot about dismemberment and such, but there's actually very little in the way of blood and gore, at least compared to today's standards. We do see a decapitation at one point, but it is far off in the distance...I suspect this was mainly due to the inability to present a realistic looking prop that would appear to be a woman having her head ripped off, a result of the limited budget. This isn't a complaint on my part, as I don't necessarily dig on loads of the extreme visceral in my films. Give me a clear idea what's going on and I'll take it the rest of the way. The performances weren't great, but they were good enough for a feature like this...I especially liked Ms. Powers in her role as she was just fun to watch in all of her sardonic, caustic, licentiousness. I thought Ashley did well in the standard hero role, but I was a little surprised his character wasn't more prominent as it was... Kent Taylor, who looks quite a bit like Vincent Price, was a nice addition to the cast, but I never understood exactly what was the purpose of his character coming to the island. He was a scientist, for sure, but was it was never made clear the specific purpose of his coming to the island, or who sent him. Oh well, it's generally not wise to get hung up on such plot points when watching a movie like this...you're better off just strapping yourself in and hanging on for the ride. One element this film had in spades was jungle atmosphere, but given where it was shot, in the Philippines, it wouldn't have been that difficult.

The restored picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1) format, on this Image Entertainment release looks very good. It does show signs of aging (some lines, white specking, etc.), but compared to some of the murky VHS copies I've seen, this is about as good as you'll probably get. The Dolby Digital mono audio comes through very well. As far as extras included, there's an audio commentary track featuring distributor Sam Sherman, an interview with director Eddie Romero, an original Brides of Blood wedding ring giveaway promo, a "House of Terror" live horror show promo, a Beverly Hills pinup gallery, a Blood Island image gallery, liner notes by Jim Arena, a Brides of Blood essay by Christopher William Koenig, and a trailer for this film, along with ones for Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Beast of Blood (1971), Brain of Blood (1972), Blood of the Vampires (1971), The Blood Drinkers (1966), and Raiders of the Living Dead (1986).

Cookieman108

By the way, if you're interesting in getting this DVD release, I'd suggest trying to find the four DVD set titled The Blood Island Vacation, which includes the following...Brides of Blood (1968), Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Beast of Blood (1971), and Brain of Blood (1972). It appears significantly less expensive than buying the titles separately.
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on September 28, 2002
Native girls ae being sacrificed to a monster called "The Evil One" in this ULTRA-tacky Philipine made outing---part of the "Blood Island" series from the sixties. I liked "TERROR IS A MAN", the first of the series directed by Gerry DeLeon. I DID NOT like "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" and I havn't seen "The Blood Drinkers" so my point of view is rather limited. However, after some shaky credits, "Brides" becomes a low-budget but colorful exercise in perverted exotica. The characters are not defined enough to really care about except Carla(Beverly Hills) the scientist's over-sexed wife who is merely around for eye candy. "The Evil One" is a decidedly lumpy looking monster who tears the female victims apart to "satisfy humself"!!! There is virtually no blood or gore (save for a few limbs here and there) and the island seems to be alive with carnivorous plant life due to radiation exposure. There's a lot of running around and some scientific mumbo-jumbo that is none too convincing. However, I enjoyed it because parts of it were so damn ludicrous it was laugh out loud funny and it IS a colorful diversion from the 1968 drive-in period. Plus there's something to be said for the nice on location shooting that gives it that steamy feeling of being in the jungle. And, when all is taken care of in the end, you get a near orgy as the natives celebrate their freedom from the beast---sexed up to the max! As if they're saying "Great! We're free! Let's all have sex right now!" You've got to see this to believe it. Actually, you should see the whole thing to believe it. AND, in the "extras", Miss Beverly Hills is revealed to have been a stripper before she made this! What can I SAY?
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on October 29, 2014
If you can remember the numerous times this film was shown on TV during the 70's under the title ISLAND OF LIVING HORROR, then you will understand why it holds a fond place in the hearts of horror fans: It was the first movie to introduce us to Filipino horror, something that would alter our viewing pleasure forever. The first part of a horror trilogy, which would continue with THE MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND (a.k.a. TOMB OF THE LIVING DEAD - 1969) and finish with BEAST OF BLOOD (1970), this film opened our eyes to a whole new genre: A mixture of sex, blood and gore set in exotic locales, populated by scantily-clad people who spoke fractured English and starring B-actors slumming for their supper. A good many of these films starred the late John Ashley (who loved the Philippines), an actor then known for appearing in a bunch of American International horror, juvenile delinquent and beach party films of the 50's & 60's. Thanks to the success of BRIDES OF BLOOD, Mr. Ashley and the Philippines enjoyed a fruitful career together, appearing in such films as BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT (1970), TWILIGHT PEOPLE (1972), THE WOMAN HUNT (1972), BEYOND ATLANTIS (1973) and others, opening the floodgates of Filipino filmmakers to invade the American Drive-In circuit of the 70's. We were inundated with Philippines-made horror films (NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN - 1972; DEVIL WOMAN - 1973; BRUKA, QUEEN OF EVIL - 1974), women-in-prison flicks (WOMEN IN CAGES - 1971; THE HOT BOX - 1972), and action movies (TNT JACKSON - 1975; THE MUTHERS - 1976; BLIND RAGE - 1978) boosting the careers of directors Cirio H. Santiago, Efren C. Pinon and many others. American production companies, such as Roger Corman's New World Productions, filmed many movies in the Philippines because it was cheap, contained colorful locations and had many capable local actors (such as the stalwart Vic Diaz). All of this can be traced back to the success of BRIDES OF BLOOD. Is it a good film? Quite frankly, no. But it is enjoyable. A scientist (Kent Taylor of BRAIN OF BLOOD [1971]), his horny wife (Beverly Hills) and a Peace Corps volunteer (Ashley) come to Blood Island to study the effects of radiation from recent A-Bomb tests on the local people and surroundings. What they find is that the natives are offering their virgins to "The Evil One", a horribly mutated monster who mutilates the women beyond recognition. leaving only bloody body parts behind. The Evil One is actually a local plantation owner (Mario Montenegro) who transforms into the creature thanks to the radiation. He's not the only thing that's affected. There's killer trees and plant life that tear people apart with their very flexible branches and limbs. The most hilarious scene is where Kent Taylor is attacked by a killer butterfly! This film does deliver in the blood and nudity department. Bloody body parts, hacked-off heads and nude virgins tied-up to bamboo posts are just some of the depravity you'll see here and who can forget the first time you saw the mutated creature? It's a one-of-a-kind creation that leaves a lasting impression. The Image Entertainment DVD offers a decent full-frame transfer not without some scratches and speckling, especially at the beginning and at reel changes. It's still the best this film has looked since it's theatrical run and blows the VHS versions out of the water. For serious collectors of childhood memories and horror film firsts, BRIDES OF BLOOD (also known as BRIDES OF THE BEAST, BRIDES OF BLOOD ISLAND and GRAVE DESIRES) is a must-own. Directed by Gerry de Leon (TERROR IS A MAN - 1959) and Eddie Romero (who also has an informative and humorous interview on the DVD). They both co-directed a war feature, WALLS OF HELL, in 1964. An Image Entertainment DVD Release. Also available on DVD as part of Alpha New Cinema, which is basically a port of the Image Entertainment DVD, but without most of the extras. Not Rated. UPDATE: Eddie Romero passed away on March 28, 2013.
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on April 3, 2013
well this movie is the first of the of the blood island trilogy series and very good it is really better than i thought it would be the story is about a man who is affected from radiation bomb testing turning him into a monster who preys on maidens so the natives women draw lots to see who is to be sacrificed to the monster along the way as the story unfolds the vegetation starts to grab people feeding off them the heros win in the end i recommend this movie to those who like a bit of gore i have never seen a movie quite like this the audio and picture quality is excellent wayne shepherd
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"Brides of Blood" was the first in the infamous Filipino "Blood Island" horror series. This one wins for fans of camp and dated monster movies with ludicrous beasts. The film was made in the Philippines and is a confusing tale of a mysterious island near the Bikini atoll which was irradiated during atomic bomb tests, and the strange inhabitants who call it home. It centers on the exploits of three Peace Corps volunteers Dr. Paul Henderson (Kent Taylor,) a stuffy scientist with a justifiable aversion to his wife, Carla Henderson (Beverly Hills...no, really...that's the stage name Beverly Powers chose) as his horrid nymphomaniacal wife, and Jim Farrell (John Ashley) as the do-gooder nice guy and hero.

They arrive by boat just as a funeral is taking place for two horribly mauled women. Shortly we discover from native leader Arcadio (Andres Centenera) that they have reverted to their primitive ways. There's some backstory about virgin sacrifices and radiation-related mutations before we meet suave Esteban Powers (Mario Montenegro) who lives in a big weird house with his devoted but creepy assistant Goro (Bruno Punzalan) and a bunch of dwarves. The whole thing is bordering on the surreal, and crosses that line when we meet the screaming prehensile trees and learn that Powers is himself a hideous (but hilarious) mutant on the warpath. Speaking of surreal, whatever you do be sure not to miss the vicious moth attack! There's also lots of silly scenery chewing, some chanting that is really hard to get out of your mind, some man-to-man and man-to-tree combat, and an absolute ton of laughs.

This print looks as good as it's probably ever going to, and the audio is generally OK too, though there are flaws in both the picture and sound as you would expect from a picture of this vintage and budget. The DVD comes with several extras, including another in Sam Sherman's rambling (though intermittently interesting) commentaries. The extras are all well worth investigating. I must admit that I originally came to this film via "Cinematic Titanic," who released their hilarious take on the classic (under the "Danger on Tiki Island" title; it's had at least eleven alternative titles) several years ago. The unvarnished film gets long and plodding among all the talking and walking through the woods, so I prefer the humor-enhanced "Cinematic Titanic" version (which I have seen numerous times) to the original Filipino foible. I would recommend that lovers of B-movies check out both versions with all due haste.
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on August 17, 2014
In my opinion,the best of the "Blood" films.If you like low budget horror from the Phillipines,this series is a must.John Ashley made several films in the Phillipines and they are all entertaining.The effects are kind of cheesy and the monster is a guy in a suit,but for the late 60's,pretty decent.I saw all of these films at the drive in and loved them.I rented them all from Netflix a few years ago and enjoyed them enough that I bought copies of them all.As I said I think this was the best of the trilogy,but the other two as good as well.Beast of Blood is the sequel to Mad Doctor of Blood Island.
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on December 25, 2012
Something I'll say for this movie,..it DOES have a pretty clever novel and interesting theme and concept for a monster. It's one of those man turns into a monster and goes on a rampage stories ( which they made only a thousand of back in the old days ) of course, .. . however the transformation in THIS one isn't caused by any of the usual reasons ( a full moon, evil curse, demonic possession, a bite from another monster or any of that trite standard hokum, though there is some talk about nuclear radiation involved ). HERE it's generated when the guy gets sexually aroused and becomes masturbatory!! The depicted transformation, it's worth noting, even begins with the guys palm turning very hairy and his hand becoming hideously mutated ( in what is possibly an allegorical reference to masturbation and it's consequences ? ) while he observes in intense horror and revulsion. Then the thoroughly transformed monster goes on a rampage and, to quote some dialogue from the movie ( which I think will explain it best ) .. .
"It does not devour his victims, .. but merely satisfies himself with them"
"But, they were ripped to PIECES!!!!!"
"Yes! . . that is how he satisfies himself".
. .. Hmmmmmmmm! Very de Sadean ( I dare say ).

Aside from that, it's a pretty typical vintage grade B "Adults Only" drive-inn/grindhous sleaze/horror/exploitation flick. Of course it's pretty boring at times. There are, unfortunately, allot of long dull talky scenes which slow it down a bit. But it also does feature some pretty decent and worthwhile mid 1960's style ( or pre-ratings code ) nudity and gore - the former in the context of the "maiden sacrifices" ( in which the martyred females are nude ). There are also a few pretty decent and effective shocks, like particularly a scene in which some natives are
carrying a concealed load of remains for disposal in the ocean during an island funeral. Then one of the bearers accidentally stumbles and tips the load and some human limbs drop out. Has it's dead spots, but also has it's strong points and is ultimately worthwhile for fans of this type of flick. Perhaps it could even be recommended for showing in sexual pathology courses with it's previously related sexual sadism theme ?
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on February 9, 2011
Brides of blood is one of those movies as a kid, you remember being much better.
John Ashley, busty Beverly hills,and reliable Kent Taylor go to an island to help the natives, and find the plants and insect life have been changed by the Atomic bomb experiments years ago.They also find that the natives have regressed to barbarians, and are sacrificing the native girls to a mutant with a large dong who rapes the women and tears them apart.This is truly a "so bad it's good movie", and is worth a viewing
just to see the mutant rip the clothes off of Beverly Hills (her real name?)If you're
a fan of bad 70's horror movies, this is one not to be missed!
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on September 12, 2003
The brides of blood are the young women of an isolated island who are being sacrificed to The Evil One, a fearful monster who tears them apart to satisfy his blood lust. To the island comes scientist Kent Taylor, who wants to investigate mysterious radioactivity that is causing the plant life to mutate in strange ways, and Peace Corps worker John Ashley, who has been sent to help the natives improve their lot. The natives are not too appreciative of his interference in their primitive ways at first, but he convinces them to band together and fight the beast.
This DVD has good sound and image quality and several interesting features. There's a sexy pictorial layout of stripper Miss Beverly Hills (who became an ordained minister in 1986 and now has her ministry in Hawaii!) There's an interview with director Eddie Romero and a short commentary that has little to do with this particular movie and eight trailers for other Hemisphere movies, some of which are quite hilarious! I recommend this DVD to "blood island" completists, and all fans of outlandish horror.
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VINE VOICEon February 23, 2008
Brides of Blood is the story of salvation, fornication and radiation on a plantation located in a foreign nation...at least that's my interpretation. A scientist and his adulterous wife journey to Blood Island to check for remaining radiation from the atomic blasts. Along for the ride is Peace Corps worker, Jim, played by John Ashley(also providing eye candy and hunkery for the teen girls). They find that the islanders are acting different than they had on previous visits and find out that they have gone back to their "primitive ways". "Primitive ways" meaning they now have a lottery to decide which two young girls are offered to the hideous and horny monster lurking about. I say "horny" because a character says the monster uses the women to "satisfy himself". That could mean different things, but the clothes must come off before the monster has a go at them. I know some women like it rough, but this monster literally tears women to pieces like an order of KFC hot wings. If that wasn't bad enough, there are some mutant trees around that attack folks with their branches(an influence on Sam Raimi?). Just what these trees plan on doing with their victims, who knows? Hopefully not "satisfy themselves". There's also a Spanish plantation owner who lives with a bunch of midgets(I'm sorry, short people) and his midget beating henchman. He knows more than he's telling. So what's the cause of all this madness? Radiation of course. Yup, that lousy radiation is to blame once again. After Jim falls for one of the island girls and then she's chosen by the lottery for VERY rough monster sex, he decides enough is enough. A war is waged by Jim and the islanders on the monster, and when the smoke clears they all dance the night away with a sexy party that looks like an erotic Frankie Avalon beach movie. This Filipino production was everything a good low budget drive in movie should be. It had an exotic setting(islands are always good monster movie settings), a bit of skin, a bit of gore(not much though), a very fake and silly looking monster(it looks like rejected prop from Alice Cooper's Welcome to my Nightmare stage show or maybe a rejected member of Gwar), and radiation. Enjoy! I sure did.
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