Retro: our movie & TV vault... a fresh look
at neglected classics and cult favourites
Patrick Mower, onetime TV cop show sidekick in later seasons of Special Branch (1974), and the
star of Target (1977-78), but now reduced to playing in Brit soaps like Emmerdale, is
the still-youthful focus of this intriguing yet sadly inconsistent horror film, Bloodsuckers
(aka: Incense For The Damned). Based on vampire novel, Doctors Wear Scarlet by Simon Raven, it
tackles academic decadence and the lure of eroticism, but unfortunately goes on to clobber subtlety
with a risibly unforgiving foreign-Johnny mystique bordering on suggestive racism.
Peter Cushing is the robed professorial onlooker, visibly appalled by the antics of Mower, who gets 'infected' on a Greek island with a quasi-nervous malaise and begins to exhibit symptoms of a lusty thirst that mimics vampirism. As the local embassy problem-solver, Patrick Macnee reminds us that he used to be quite the action man in his heyday, kicking down doors and punching out bad guys with a mighty wallop. If you can tolerate the hippy visions, unsophisticated symbolism, and location shooting that lacks even the exotic atmosphere of a package holiday brochure, Bloodsuckers is sub-standard but passable genre fare, disrespectfully trying and failing to imitate far superior Hammer productions.
DVD extras: full-screen presentation, trailer, stills gallery, star filmographies, plus a six-minute deleted sequence of drug-taking and psychedelic debauchery.