B Movie Challenge: Blood Harvest

I don’t know what is more horrifying: tiptoeing through a slasher movie that stars the legendary Tiny Tim or listening to all of Tiny Tim’s records in a row (if you do you deserve a golden ukelele.) Truthfully I admire Tiny Tim and always enjoyed seeing reruns of him on shows like Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In or The Johnny Carson Show (where Tiny Tim got married on live TV), and I want to say I felt all the warm feelings from yesteryear while watching his 1986 horror epic Blood Harvest, but it’s a long, long road to Tipperary for us to decipher if what Tiny Tim does in the film is a mockery to the art and craft of acting or one giant beautiful tulip in a genius garden!

In the history of cinema, there have been many examples of what I’m talking about. Tom Hanks in Elvis (“We took the Hollywood phonies for every nickel they had”), Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman and Robin (“Their bones will turn to ice!”), and the all-time grand champion (and a performance robbed of an Oscar nomination) Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau (“I understand that I must be shocking to you”). The challenge of these performances is are they are so bad they are good and so good they are bad. Regardless of the critique or preferences (or whatever taste of it is left on your tongue), the undeniable fact is the performance is splattered on your mind and hard to forget, much like Tiny Tim’s role in Blood Harvest. I don’t know if he is truly trying his best to act badly or if he is just not a great actor, but when he is on screen it’s no joke that you will not be able to take your eyes off this clown (“I brought you some flowers, Jill!’). 

Jill Robinson is back in town to visit her parents. It is the height of the farm crisis (thanks Reganomics) and the local bank, run by Mr. Robinson (here’s to you Mrs. Robinson♫), is foreclosing on a lot of properties, including the farm of Jill’s former flame Gary and his brother Mervo (Tiny Tim), who dresses like a clown and sneaks into people’s house to give them flowers (A rose is a rose is a clown?). The town’s mood is low and raging, but something worse happens when people start disappearing, like the Robinsons. It is up to Jill to figure out what happened, but is it Mervo who is doing it, or is someone even closer? The typical cliched jump scares, terrible wounds that appear and disappear within the same scene (check out Gary’s arm wound from scene to scene), and a marvelous end song by Tiny Tim himself titled “Marvelous Mervo” only add to the surreal moments of Tim’s brazen and shocking accomplishment (although I wish someone would foreclose on his horrendous outfits). 

Falsetoing at you in a harmonious 88 minutes, and directed by Wisconson’s independent movie wizard Bill Rebane (director of classics[?] like Monster-A-Go-Go and The Giant Spider Invasion), the film was supposedly made in one day and night (and boy does it show). You can find this crop in most streaming fields, but if you want to raise a barn in high-definition, yield yourself the blu-ry from Vinegar Syndrome. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to be a weirdo great actor who knows how to play a guitar or banjo or ukulele, then don’t burden yourself by signing up for an expensive Masters online course and go knee-deep in the bloody flowers with this crazy farmer harmer slasher!

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues, his thesis film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands, the novel Lucky for Newfangle Press, and he has written short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights audio cast. Klink shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies in Pennsylvania.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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