Not the Song You Want to Hear – Blood Song (1982)

Blood Song is a slasher that was released in 1982 when slashers were becoming all the rage and every studio and their dog was putting one out. That would not necessarily be a bad thing because the demand was there and fans happily gobbled each and every one of them up, but for the most part, there was little to distinguish most of them from each other. At least in part, Blood Song does a little bit to distance itself away from the pack, though not quite enough.

Featuring all of the same tropes that would be found in nearly every film in the slasher genre like the damaged killer who had something in his life go wrong to make him the way he was to the nameless victims to the young heroine of the piece who may or may not be quite so innocent, this film at least managed to throw in a little of the extra-normal. It would not be anything too extreme, simply a sort of premonition and a sense of what the killer was doing thanks to a blood transfusion that high school student Marion received after an accident, but enough to at least make things slightly more interesting. If the makers of this film had gone a little bit further and a little bit deeper into the use of Marion’s abilities and what they could possibly do with all they were introducing, it might have transcended into something more than it ultimately ended up being. As it is, there are probably not too many that will look upon Blood Song as a classic.

Starring Donna Wilkes as Marion, she played the part of the girl centred in the killer’s sights perfectly – two parts helpless and one part guts and determination. While doing a fine job of it, she would be overshadowed by pop-singer and beach addict Frankie Avalon who would take a dark turn in his career by playing the serial killer of the piece, definitely something strange to see, but also sort of refreshing as it was completely against type. That being said, Avalon was never all that great of an actor, but he brings a bit of humility and vulnerability in his portrayal of Paul Foley, showing him to be a man that never really grew up, still calling his long-dead father Daddy and playing the hand-carved pipe that was given to him as a child to the annoyance of all, yet with all the urges and wants of a full-grown man.

One can pretty much guess how this film will play out, and it is not all that suspenseful because of that, but factoring in that little bit of what some might call the paranormal, a few murders and some genuinely decent performances by Richard Jaeckel, Antoinette Bower and Dane Clark in addition to Wilkes and Avalon himself, the film manages to rise just slightly above the mundane to make for a fairly enjoyable, if not tame entry in the genre.

3 out of 5

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