B Movie Challenge: Invasion of the Blood Farmers

Oooooooooooooooooo what a beautiful morning, or what a beautiful day, I got a funny feeling, that redneck cannibalistic hicks are going to hunt me down, bleed me dry, and bury me in the crop field! Now, there are many cinematic rules I have learned over the years. None rings truer than this: in a movie, you can kick a baby, sautee a baby, and mince a baby in a blender and serve chilled around the pool (cool baby), but you can never, ever, whatsoever, kill a dog (don’t worry, just last through the end credits)! This is a rule director Ed Adlum chose to ignore (along with every cinematic expectation taught to young high school filmmakers who dare look at a camera) when he cultivated his 1972 blood and guts manifesto of Invasion of the Blood Farmers (these fields do run red, huh?)

A couple of things can happen when independent, self-financed (talk about a real donation for life) filmmakers gather a bunch of friends, cousins, and local hillbilly drunks at the local bar to play around. On the luckier side, this cacophony of chaos can yield such classics as Carnival of Souls or  Night of the Living Dead. On the other… well, you get gems like this. When this happens you get a a piece of time locked forever in the history of celluloid or reality is you know what the director’s house looked like in 1972, choosing to easily film in his basement for a science lab instead of an actual lab! I have to admit (for not just your enjoyment, but my own) that I have watched many dumb-infused movies, but Invasion of the Blood Farmers does win the mantle space of being the film it took me several times to finish. I can usually sit through a doozer (see past articles, and yes, there are quite a few) but this one took my blood pressure pretty high! However, I always give independent filmmakers like these credit. Imagine the tenacity, skill, and sheer smutsmanchip it takes to get a local drunkard to walk around with blood smeared all over their body without being (B) negative!

In the mountains and hills of America, in a secret scientific lab (or the director’s basement), two doctors are developing a super secret formula to cure known blood diseases, including healing the dead. Unfortunately for them (and fortunate for us bloody gore hounds) there is a group of druids (who shadow as farmers on the side) who don’t like this at all for some reason (originally supposed to be aliens from outer space, but due to the $24,000 budget manica farmers was the better way to go… I guess). It just so happens that these druids, named Sangropids, have a queen they need to resurrect who feeds off the blood of the innocent… or random drunkards or bums who happen by at a convenient time. They soon find it will take more than a bloody mary to revive her, they find out about the super secret formula and do everything they can to drain the doctors, and their families, of their lives! A movie with a pulse for the macabre, this nicely edited hemoglobin of cinematic capillaries does it best to give you what you want with such a great title: Hilibilie hooded druids lit on fire (the painted on eyes sell it), a random exterior bar named The Huddle II (I have to know what happened to the Huddle I), and a battle royal at a local quarry that will make Lord of the Rings battles seem low blood sugar in comparison. Mix all of these and you have a coagulation of celluloid mastery few can dream of growing.

Streaming your way at a clotted seventy-seven minutes, and pumping your way by Adlum and company (who only went on to write the Yeti/spaghetti classic Shriek of the Mutilated), who have stated they never sold the VHS or DVD rights to the film-making it one of the most ripped off movies in home video history. You can find the streaming rights to this on many platforms, such as Tubi and YouTube, but be sure to inject yourself with the Blu-ray from Severin Films, which features audio commentaries and interviews from Adlum and crew. So take some deep breaths for proper blood flow, scarf down some cookies and orange juice, and prepare to shout “B-i-n-g-o!” after crossing this low-budget idiopathic off your movie (blood) bucket list!

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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