Nocturnal Escapades – Blood Beat (1983)

Sarah has accompanied her boyfriend back to his parent’s place and while they seem like a nice normal family, she gets a bit of a cold reception. Perhaps that is due to the fact that the matriarch of the family senses a little something off about her, thanks in part to her being psychic, or she simply thinks her little boy is being stolen away. Whatever the case, feelings are soon pushed to the wayside as it was the former that was true, Sarah did indeed bring something with her, that being a bloodthirsty samurai who ends up killing numerous people with the family next on its list.

What makes Blood Beat so good is the fact that writer and director Fabrice-Ange Zaphiratos tried to do something different and it is indeed just that. It manages to fall somewhere in-between being a slasher and a supernatural horror film which in itself is fairly unique and the fact that the main baddie is a girl whose orgasms make a ghostly samurai kill those it encounters is both weird and incredible at the same time. Of course, none of that is rightly explained and it does not need to be, simply taken as fact and as the picture progresses, it is somewhat addressed by the end of it all and Sarah is revealed for who she truly is. Zaphiratos does a great job at bringing it all to life and even though it looks a little cheap at times due to budget, the desired effect comes through and the movie ends up being somewhat mesmerizing as the audience has to keep watching to see just how it all plays out, how these fits of desire bring about this wave of blood and death. Factor in a family of psychics which includes a bit of telepathy and telekinesis and more and the film ends up a mixed bag of ideas.

Also interspersed throughout is a good dose of nudity, par for the course when the film’s main baddie is brought on by one’s sexual climax and of course, there is a fair bit of blood as swords and whatnot enter their victim’s bodies courtesy of the supernatural samurai. The special effects when it comes to some things, such as the various murders, happen to be rather decent though quite cheesy when it would feature visual effects- namely those moments when Zaphiratos would put the psychic stuff on display. Given how much it probably cost to make this picture, one cannot expect perfection and as a whole, nothing really ruined the film, aside from perhaps the dialogue which could have been a lot better and did not really live up to the high bar the movie’s premise had set.

Altogether, while it might have been a little confusing at times and as strange as strange can be, Blood Beat was actually quite good though few will say as such. It was no masterpiece but it will definitely while away the time and make one ponder over what it is they just watched.

3 out of 5

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