“In spite of this dreadful accident, I welcome you to my villa.”
Whether you call it La Isla De La Muerte, Maneater Of Hydra, Le Baron Vampire, or Island Of The Doomed, 1967’s The Blood Suckers is quite the messy flick. It’s plot centers around a mad scientist, Baron von Weser (Cameron Mitchell), and his passion for plant life…..and not humanity. In the film, the baron welcomes a small group of tourists to his secluded island villa where he shows them various types of plants that he either transplanted to the island or concocted in his own laboratory. The tourists begin to die off one by one due to an apparent “blood disease” that seems to be running rampant on the small island. Soon enough, survivors start to wonder if one of them is a murderer or even a vampire. Who lives? Who dies? Whodunnit? Sit through The Blood Suckers to find out!
The film was directed by Mel Welles who, ironically, portrayed Gravis Mushnick in 1960’s The Little Shop Of Horrors, another film about a carnivorous plant. To be completely honest, that film is exactly what came to mind when I started watching The Blood Suckers. Also credited as directing the film (at least on IMDb.com) was Ernst Ritter von Theumer who, along with Welles and Stephen Schmidt, is credited as writing the film. Welles’ direction was okay, but the editing was atrocious. Many scenes abruptly ended and went right into another scene set somewhere else on the island.
The acting was also off kilter. Star Cameron Mitchell did a decent job as the wicked baron and I really liked the performances of George Martin as David, Elisa Montes as Beth, and Hermann Nehlsen as Professor Demerist, but the other players in the film seemed to be either poorly directed, poorly written, or just underwhelming. Matilde Munoz Sampedro was annoying as Myrtle, a lady hellbent on taking photographs of everything. Rolf von Nauckhoff and Kai Fischer were totally bipolar as the married Robinson couple who would fight with one another and then speak sweet nothings to each other with the flip of a switch.
The film did manage to find itself on Elvira’s Movie Macabre, so that should tell you how excellent this film is, but I must say that the special effects and gore were top notch for such a low budget production. It ultimately falls flat, though, and while I won’t tell you to watch this film, I won’t stop you from viewing it. There is something oddly appealing about it that I just can’t put a finger upon, but it’s definitely not a must-see film.
Thanks for taking a look back at The Blood Suckers with me. It is available on a number of free streaming services and has been released on numerous home video platforms over the years. My suggestion to you is that if you’re going to watch it, check it out on a free streamer first.