Blood Freak

Blood 1Early on in Blood Freak, the following scene takes place. Hershel, the film’s hero/victim/turkey-man, sits in a leather chair, talking with two women.

Hershel: Mumble. Mumble. (Unintelligible) Mumble.

Even though it’s difficult to understand what Hershel is saying, it must be fairly interesting since the two women seem to hang on every word he has to say or, anyway, mumble. He might even be talking about something that’s important to the film’s plot. As the scene drags on, however, this seems less and less likely, if for no other reason than there doesn’t seem to be a plot.

Woman #1: (Unintelligible) Garbled. Garbled.

Hershel: Mumble. (Unintelligible) Mumble.

Hershel shifts in the leather chair, and the CREAK OF LEATHER is almost DEAFENING.

Woman #2: (Unintelligible) Garbled. Garbled.

What is actually being said may never be known, but the combination of the drug party in the background and Hershel’s phobia of someone suggesting he might be afraid to do something makes the following dialogue a likely possibility:

Woman #1 offers Hershel a hit off a joint.

Hershel: No, thanks. I do it the natural way. I get high on life.

Woman #1: What are you? (Pauses) Afraid?

HersheBlood 2l: No, man. I march to my own drummer. Dig. I don’t mess with that shit. But say I’m afraid, and yeah, I’ll throw all my values right out the window. I’ll ignore everything I stand for. Me? Afraid? I’ll show you who’s afraid. Come on, let’s slam some junk. Or snort a little white horse. Anyone into freebasing?

Then again, given the way the story plays out, an exchange like the following can’t be ruled out either:

Woman #1 offers Hershel a hit off a joint.

Hershel: No, thanks, I’m into Frankenfood. I wanna get in on the ground floor of this happenin’ thing and be a part of it.

Woman #1: Are you serious? What the hell have you been smokin’?

Blood 3

Hershel: Nothing. I get high on genetically altered, chemically saturated, hormone-injected turkey. It’s a cool way to earn a little extra money on the side. I’ve hooked up with a couple of turkey farmers who wanna know if their modifications have any side effects on people who eat their turkeys.

But really, it’s anybody’s guess what the actors are saying. In an effort to make an incoherent film (made even more incoherent by erratic sound levels) more intelligible, the filmmakers have intermittently spliced in a guy who walks the audience through Hershel’s strange journey. The guy’s always got a cigarette going and stares straight at the camera. He comes off as kind of a cross between Edward R. Murrow and Jack Kerouac.

Blood 4Murrow/Kerouac guy: We live in a world subject to constant change. We never know how or when we will meet a person who will become a catalyst or will lead us to one.

To be perfectly honest, the Murrow/Kerouac guy doesn’t clear up a whole lot story-wise, but it’s s a nice change of pace to actually understand what someone is saying. Later on, we get . . .

Murrow/Kerouac guy: As he plays his game of wits and ego, his comments could be what cause the chain of events and moments of horror and agony that were far greater than his experiences in the hell of Vietnam.

Even though the Murrow/Kerouac guy’s dialogue isn’t garbled, it’s not long before he becomes the most difficult person in the film to understand. His words could be replaced with unintelligible, garbled, mumble, and they’d would make more sense than what he’s actually saying.

Murrow/Kerouac guy: The paths of life are predictable, and we repeat them again and again. Right on.

blood 5

Surprisingly, street drugs and genetically altered turkey turn out to be a bad combination, and it’s not long before Hershel finds himself transformed into a poultry/human hybrid. With no one to turn to, he looks up his girlfriend and, as anyone under similar circumstances would do, gets down to some hot and heavy cross-species sex.

The following is an abbreviated version of the scene, made even shorter by the removal of all the mumbles, unintelligibles, and garbleds.

Blood 6Girlfriend: You know, I got a guilty feeling that I caused all this. What would it be like if you stayed like this—if we got married? What kind of life would we have together? What would the children think? My god, what would the children look like?

Hershel: Gobble. Gobble.

Girlfriend: Would they look like their father?

Hershel moves toward the woman. He joins her on the bed.

Girlfriend: What are you doing?

Hershel: Gobble.

Girlfriend: Hershel. Hershel. Oh my god, Hershel. What are you doing? What are you . . . Oh, Hersheeelllllll!

Blood 7

This tender interlude is followed by a series of brutal murders in which Hershel cuts the throats of his victims, hangs them upside down, then drains the blood from their bodies and drinks it. The killing spree continues for three or four murders before the film gets down to some truly disturbing imagery—hallucinatory turkey nightmares.

Hershel imagines a turkey is caught, its head chopped off, and its body cooked for dinner. The golden-skinned bird sits in a pan and is set upon by packlike humans dressed for Thanksgiving dinner. The ravenous people tear the turkey apart, hands reaching in, ripping away a wing, a drumstick, a fistful of white meat. The horrific carnage occurs in an instant, and then . . .

Hershel wakes up in a field. At first, he’s not sure what’s happened. Human body? Check. More importantly—human head? Check.

It turns out that the killing spree, the Thanksgiving nightmare, and the turkey transformation were all the result of a bad trip or, considering Hershel’s drug of choice, bad tryptophan. The Murrow/Kerouac guy shows up one last time in an attempt to make sense of the improbable happy ending, but taking a final puff on his cigarette, he begins to cough uncontrollably and is unable to finish his thought.

Blood 8Blood Freak isn’t for everyone and is possibly only for those who can read lips, but the next time Thanksgiving rolls around, try popping it in the DVD player. After watching the film, you might find yourself experiencing a surprising level of empathy for the turkey cooking in the oven, and if nothing else, Blood Freak might drive away a few unwanted relatives. As for final thoughts, they can best be expressed as “Mumble. Mumble.(Unintelligible) Garbled.”

Blood Freak.


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