A Passion For Horror
Night of Bloody Horror (1969)
Directed by Joy N. Houck Jr
Night of Bloody Horror is a 1960s slasher movie. Gerald McRaney stars as Wesley Stuart. A disturbed young man with a long history of mental illness, Wesley has dangerous temper and is strangely reluctant to talk about his father or younger brother. In fact, just thinking about them causes Wes to take a funny turn and begin clutching the side of his head.
Wes' strange fits are invariably accompanied by an on-screen blue spiral around his head. No doubt the producers felt this unusual display would help illustrate a change in Wesley's state of mind, but the spiral looks more like something snatched from a Panadol advert and its presence adds little to movie.
Wes is also unlucky in love. He can find girls easily enough, in fact they seem to throw themselves at him, but every time he gets close to a girl they get murdered. Wes is always the prime suspect, of course, but his possible psycho killer status never appears to hamper his love life for long.
The opening credits roll against clouds of swirling colour that may not be too unusual for the 60s movie, but are still a strange way to introduce a horror movie. After the credits have finished rolling the viewer finds Wes and his fiancée, Susan (Lisa Dameron), enjoying a spot of fornication underneath the bed sheets. After they have finished Wes rolls out of bed, gets dressed, has one of his blue spiral episodes, and tells Susan, "I'll see you tomorrow."
The following day Susan goes to confession, tells the father she's sinned by sleeping with her fiancé, and asks for her penance. This proves to be a bad move because the father tells her, "Your Penance is Death!" and stabs a knitting needle into her eyeball.
A year flashes by in a few short scenes and the viewer finds Wes sitting in a bar and looking the worse for wear. His drinking buddy is concerned about him and tries to get Wes to go home, but Wes gets nasty and threatens him with a broken bottle, so his friend leaves. Then when the barman tells Wes he has to leave as well, Wes pulls out a huge wad of cash to settle his tab. Needless to say, such a display attracts all the wrong attention and Wes is attacked before he can climb into his car and drunk drive his way home. Fortunately for Wes, a hot-looking nurse happens to be driving by so, with a little help from the barman, she loads Wes into her car, takes him home, and tucks him up in her bed.
When Wes regains conscious the following morning he has no idea whose bed he is in or why there is busty woman in a negligee parading around in front of him. Nurse Kay (Charlotte White) explains how he ended up in her bed and the viewer is then treated to a brief insight into their ensuing courtship via a series of still photographs set to music.
Kay is a pretty girl, and she and Wes make a nice couple, but their relationship comes to an abrupt end during a late-night visit to the beach. Wes has one of his blue spiral episodes and then wanders off in search of more beer. Unfortunately for all concerned, while he is gone someone places an axe in between two of Kay's greatest assets.
The police take Wes into custody and play a game of good cop, bad cop; telling his they know he killed Kay—and Susan, but their commanding officer comes in moments later and tells Wes he is free to go, and he has barely left the station before a female reporter is inviting him out on a date.
Night of Bloody Horror is a hard movie to take seriously. In real life would a nurse stop her car, scrape a guy up off the pavement and take him home for some bed rest—and the rest? It could happen, but it isn't likely. Would a reporter with a nose for a story have such a head for danger she would throw herself at a possible serial killer the second he was released from police custody? Again, this is unlikely, but this girl does and her romantic interest in Wes still persists when their date ends with him nearly beating a guy to death.
Night of Bloody Horror is about as bad as they come. Even by B movie standards it's bad. The script isn't believable and the acting is pretty poor, but the movie does have some good points. Wes is quite witty at times and some of the camera techniques and transitions are also rather entertaining. When Kay dies, for instance, Wesley hugs her dead body, the camera zooms in on the bloody sand, and then the shot cuts to the bowl of tomato soup being eaten by Wes' psychiatrist.
The most notable special effect used in Night of Bloody Horror is the blue spiral used to indicate Wes' state of mind. Apart from that there are a couple of unrealistic prop corpses and a severed hand.
Night of Bloody Horror is not an unbearable movie to watch, but it's definitely one that will be best appreciated by bad movie aficionados.
Rating: 1 out of 5.