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Film / Blood Feast

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"Have you ever had an... EGYPTIAN FEAST?"

Blood Feast is a 1963 horror film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Fuad Ramses (Mal Arnold) is an Egyptian caterer in Miami, who secretly worships the Sumerian goddess Ishtar. He plans to resurrect her but he needs the body parts of pretty young women to do this. As the obvious ensues, two detectives try to track him down.

Though about as scary as a child's Casper costume the day after Halloween, the film is notable for being the first really, really gory movie — the first "Splatter Movie", as they're called — ever made in the West. It's also notable as the first film in Lewis' unofficial "Blood Trilogy" Thematic Series, followed by Two Thousand Maniacs! and Color Me Blood Red. It had a comedic semi-remake called Blood Diner in 1987, a sequel (directed by Lewis himself) titled Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat in 2002, and a straightforward remake under the original title in 2016.

According to producer David F. Friedman, the most difficult aspect of production was the fact that the women playing the victims couldn't stop giggling and laughing at what was being "done" to them on camera; not that he or Lewis cared all that much, having infamously responded to a widely-circulated critical review with, "Herschell and I have often wondered who told the Variety scribe we were taking ourselves seriously."

Not to be confused with the 1972 Mexican horror film The Night of a Thousand Cats, which was also released in the US as Blood Feast.

"Nothing so appalling in the annals of tropes!":

  • Artifact of Doom: The sequel reveals that Fuad was corrupted into putting together the "Egyptian feast" by an evil idol of Ishtar, which, forty years later, also possesses Fuad's grandson, Fuad III.
  • Big Bad: Fuad Ramses, a fanatic dismembering women to resurrect this goddess.
  • Compelling Voice: Ramses can mind-whammy people with his words.
  • Dumb Blonde: Suzette and her mother.
  • Evil Eyebrows: Fuad Ramses.
  • Gorn: This is the first splatter movie ever made in the west, though not the first splatter movie made period — that honor belongs to the 1960 Japanese horror movie Jigoku, a.k.a. The Sinners of Hell (though one could argue that Blood Feast is the first "straightforward" splatter film, given that the entire point of it is showcasing gratuitous gore, unlike Jigoku, which is a morality tale where the splatter is mostly confined to the Hell sequence finale).
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: A title like Blood Feast really sums up the tone of the film pretty well.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Fuad Ramses's "Egyptian Feast" consists of dishes made out of human flesh. Worst of all, he offers them to unsuspecting people.
  • Karmic Death: Fuad Ramses, who gets crushed to death in a garbage truck.
  • Large Ham: Fuad, as evidenced by the page quote.
  • Monster Misogyny: Obviously, with Fuad Ramses dismembering exclusively women. There's also the irony that he's doing this to resurrect a goddess.
  • Pretty in Mink: Suzette's mother shows up at Faud's store while wearing a white mink wrap.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Ishtar was Babylonian/Sumerian, not Egyptian. This was deliberate on their part. It's also lampshaded in the sequel, when a woman working in the police department corrects the naive cops about Ishtar's origin. And in the 1987 spoof, it's Lumerian goddess Sheetar.
  • Splatter Horror: The first example of this genre in film, leading to...
  • Video Nasties: Was made part of the list. Having been made in 1963, it is the oldest film on the list.