Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blood Diner (Jackie Kong, 1987)

Since the sight of Carl Crew spitting the bloodied chunks of flesh he had just bitten from the leg of Jimmy Hitler in Lisa Elaina's face is probably the funniest thing I've seen in years, it only makes sense to mention it in my opening line for my review of Blood Diner, a film so fabulously weird, that it makes my heart hurt just thinking about it. And, after skimming the over the opening line of my review of this Jackie Kong-directed masterpiece of the absurd, it would appear that I totally just mentioned it. Feel free to reexamine what I wrote in that opening line. Go ahead. See anything interesting? Well, besides the fact that whoever wrote it is severely unwell in the bumpy noodle department, no, I don't see anything interesting. Check out those names. I mean, who are these people? And this question doesn't just apply to Carl Crew, Lisa Elaina (a.k.a. Lisa Guggenheim), and the guy who plays Jimmy Hitler, the entire cast is unknown to me. Seriously, I didn't recognize a single name when the lengthy cast is listed during the end credits. Now, this might cause alarm in some, as people in general seem to take comfort in films that boast familiar faces. But not me. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I'm sick and tired of seeing the same actors in every movie. In other words, I crave new faces, and Blood Diner is filled with them. You've got Carol Katz as the film's resident "Lumerian Expert," Tanya Papanicolas as the great and powerful "Sheetar," Brad Biggart as "Sheetar's John," and Eva Swidereka as "Aerobics Girl." One by one, they show up in this movie and make their presence felt. And they better had, as, in most cases, this would be their lone contribution to the cinematic arts.

When LaNette La France throws her half-eaten hamburger, or was it a taco? When LaNette La France tosses whatever she was eating at Carl Crew's lumpy ass, which, at the time the mysterious food item was thrown, was being mooned in the general direction of Mrs. La France through the driver's side window of his catering van, I thought to myself: Congratulations, LaNette La France. You will forever be known as the surly police detective who splattered half-eaten food all over the left side of Carl Crew's ample posterior. The food splatter scene, by the way, is probably the second funniest scene in Blood Diner. Which, strangely enough, occurs moments after the scene where Carl Crew spits Jimmy Hitler's calve blood in the face of a virgin sitting ringside at a wrestling match.

Call me judgmental and sad, but I find it strange that you think facial blood spitting and ass cheek-based condiment splatter is so freaking hilarious. You know you're talking about yourself, right? Oh, yeah, so I am. Well, so what if I think those things are funny. I'm allowed to laugh, aren't I?

You know what else I find funny? Films about cannibalistic brothers who own and operate diners located on Hollywood Blvd. You know what? I guess a film like that could be funny. Did I mention they keep their uncle's talking brain in a jar in the body part-laden back room of their successful vegetarian eatery? No? Well, they do. It's just one of the many kooky events that take place in this sick and twisted film.

Even though I've seen a lot of wacky shit over the years, the sheer amount of insanity Blood Diner puts out there on a regular basis is mind-boggling. In fact, I'm declaring Blood Diner to be not just a film, but "filmed insanity." What does that mean? Well, I think what I'm saying is, if you want to understand crazy, and, I mean, truly understand what it means to be crazy, watch Blood Diner, as it will definitely give you a shitload of insight into what insanity looks like.

Given Lumarian amulets by their Sheetar-loving, meat cleaver-wielding, genitals grabbing Uncle Anwar (Drew Godderis), little Michael (Roxanne Cybelle) and little George (Sir Lamont Rodenheaver) are told to be good little boys and to continue worshiping the Goddess Sheetar just before he's shot and killed by police.

Where was their mother during all this, you ask? Duh, she was out buying tampons.

Fast-forward twenty years, and Michael Tutman (Rick Burks) and George Tutman (Carl Crew) are in the process of digging up their Uncle Anwar's grave in order to take his brain. Putting it in a jar, the brothers recite a chant from some book, and, boom, just like that, their Uncle Anwar is back. Sure, he's just a brain in a jar, but this brain in a jar has got big plans. And, yes, they [the plans] mostly involve the return of his beloved Sheetar.

After anointing Michael and George disciples of Sheetar, Uncle Anwar informs his nephews what they will need to do in order to bring Sheetar back to life.

Step one: Construct Sheetar by using the body parts of immoral women, the trashier, the better.

Step two: Throw a well-attended blood buffet. Hold on, don't you mean, a blood feast? No, I'm pretty sure they said "blood buffet." Actually, they mention blood buffet on several occasions. So, yeah, it's definitely blood buffet; don't skimp on the dead hooker livers.

Step three: Supply a female virgin for Sheetar to eat when she is reborn. A virgin in Los Angles? Ha! Good luck. That city is filled with nothing but lazy-eyed whores of the leggy variety.

While Michael and George were listening to their Uncle Anwar's instructions, I did a quick internet search that included the words, "Blood Diner" and "Janet Jackson," and was pleasantly surprised to find out that other people beside myself thought Detective Sheba Jackson (LaNette La France) looked a little like Janet Jackson. Anyway, she's teamed up with Detective Mark Shepard (Roger Dauer) by Cheif Miller (Max Morris), their superior officer, who, for some bizarre reason, speaks with a Middle Eastern accent. Uh, the reason he speaks with a Middle Eastern accent is because he's from the Middle East. Dumbass. No, I get that. I just found it odd that the chief of police spoke with... You know what? Never mind. I'm going to let this one go, as I'm being sidetracked from my original point. And that is, LaNette La France looks like Janet Jackson, and she's a terrible/amazing actress.

It would seem that Michael may have found a virgin in the form of Connie (Lisa Elaina), a shy cheerleader. At the Tutman Cafe, the city's premier vegetarian diner, with her skanky friends, Connie is ridiculed by them when she refuses to attend an audition for a nude aerobics show. Luckily, though, Michael is there to comfort her in her time of need.

Since you can't mention nude aerobics without at least showing us a little jumping-jack induced breast jiggling, we're taken to the very audition Connie refused to go to. And just as their light blue thongs were about to get a lost in a rectal haze, two guys in Ronald Reagan masks storm in firing uzis. It appears as though that Michael and George Tutman have decided to use the body parts of the women auditioning for the nude aerobics show to piece together Sheetar. I have to say, this was smart thinking on their part, as you want Sheetar to have a well-toned body if you expect her to rule the world with any amount of gusto.

However, I have to say, nude aerobics?!? Gag me with a leotard. That's, like, so gross. At any rate, with the body parts and the virgin ready to go, all Michael and George need to do is find the right ingredients for the blood buffet. You know what that means, it's time to hit Club Dread to pick up some trashy women. While I agree that Peggy (Effie Bilbrey) is in fact trashy. I thought her friend Joanne (Laurie Guzda) was a tad lacking in the trashy department. Let's be honest, she looked like a fortune tellers assistant. I don't get it, is that not trashy? No, it is not. Either way, Michael, who's dressed like a gay Elvis impersonator, deep fries Peggy's head, and Joanne gets chopped in half by George, who's dressed like a gay Johnny Cash impersonator.

Hot on their trail, but not hot enough to cause the Tutman boys too much alarm, Sheba and Mark consult a Lumarian expert (Carol Katz) complete with khaki shorts and a pit helmet, and the owner of a rival vegetarian eatery named Stan Saldon (Bob Loya), whose lone customer is a bug-eyed, bearded dummy that Stan talks to via ventriloquism.

Here's a fun game to play, count the number of times Connie is splattered with an icky substance throughout this film. Well, we all know she gets chunky calve blood spat in her face. So, that's one icky substance. When Michael and George are transporting Connie and the body of Sheetar to Club Dread, Michael tosses the old brain that was inside Sheetar's head in the general direction of Connie, which causes some brain gunk to splash on her. Mark that down as 'two' ick subs. And, in the same scene, when Michael takes Anwar's brain and places inside Sheetar's head, the jar that once contained Anwar's brain is sitting above Connie's head. And you know what that means? Every time the van would hit a bump in the road, some brain jar juice would spill onto Connie's head. Three icky substances!

The final instance involving an icky substance splattering on Connie occurs during the epically insane finale at Club Dread. During the ceremony to reanimate Sheetar, a shootout ensues; what am I saying, an orgy of violence ensues. And since not quite reanimated she-goddesses are fragile creatures, Sheetar vomits green slime. And you wanna guess where the majority of that green slime lands? That's right, on top Connie's pretty little head. Wow, that makes that a total of four icky substances!

Five, if you include the arterial spray that hits Connie in the face after George bites into Jimmy Hitler's leg; as we all know, he would spit a chunk of Jimmy Hitler's calve in her face moments later. You know what? Let's include the initial arterial spray that hits her in the face. So, adding it all up, that makes it a solid five times that Connie gets splashed, splattered and sprayed with an icky substance. I don't know 'bout you, but I feel tingly all over.

Bloody arm stumps spewing crimson nectar, piss poor attempts at vehicular homicide, pill-popping new wave zombies gorging on a blood buffet, exploding heads, brown-shirted guitar players, kung-fu floozies killed by wayward stalactites, and a toothy stomach maw desperate to consume virgin flesh, this is what brainsick is supposed to look like. Wrong/right on every possible level, Blood Diner should be the blueprint for every movie in existence. What's that? It's not. I know it's not. Didn't you hear what I said? It should be the blueprint. In other words, stop making pedestrian garbage and start making more movies like Blood Diner!

Special thanks to ido for pushing me in front of this delightful piece of Kongsploitation.


  1. OH my god, I've had this one sitting on top of my dvd player for ever! I guess I know what I'll be watching this weekend! Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. You're welcome, Francisco.

    Oh, and, of course, you're damn right, ido: Hail Sheetar!!!

  3. I found this film by accident. I was living in a small house filled with horrid roommates a few years ago. I was burned out from a long week of work and camped out in the tv room. Cronenberg's "Scanners" was on one of the movie channels. This came on next. Fortunately no one showed up to whine about the volume.

    A lot of films try to act crazy. "Blood Diner" IS crazy. No acting involved. I'm glad you found it as completely unhinged as I did. So demented at every turn.

    I'm not sure why this isn't a highly celebrated classic of total weirdness. "Evil Dead II" and "Return of the Living Dead" are both wild and wacky films that deserves the reputations of blending horror with comedy. But "Blood Diner" just takes it over the line and out of control with no hesitation. Maybe it was the poor initial distribution of the film that's kept it from getting the attention it deserves.

    Anyway, I looked up Jackie Kong to see if she's up to anything these days. Apparently she has a new film in pre-production with Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah on board. Hmm.

  4. Exactly, man. I've seen a shitload of films lately that purport to be "crazy," but the crazy Blood Diner puts out there on a regular basis is 100% genuine.

  5. Wow, I haven't seen a movie that crazy since Creatures from the Abyss...which by the way you also recommended! To me they are both on the same level of weirdness....and awesomeness? Oh yes, I will be showing this one to my friends! No doubt! Thanks for the recommendation, this was fun! Sheetar help us! ha ha ha...

  6. Cool. Creatures from the Abyss and Blood Diner are both top-notch in terms of delivering "the crazy."

  7. Yeah, I wouldnt have seen them either if it hadn't been for some blog called "The House of Self Indulgence"!

  8. What happened to lanette la France? There is nothng about her online

  9. This is an all time favorite of mine, I definitely need to bust this out again.