Blood Island Movie Night # 3
"SEE HUMAN HEADS TRANSPLANTED !"
The third official entry in Eddie Romero's "Blood Island" trilogy BEAST OF BLOOD is probably the weakest entry as by this time Romero (here along with co-writer Beverly Miller) were clearly starting to run out of ideas. Although still an entertaining slice of sweaty and grungy Filipino exploitation the movie unfortunately leaves the monster out the plot for a good chunk of the running time, seeming wanting instead to turn itself into a jungle adventure with even a bit of James Bond mixed in. Starting off with a bang the plot limps somewhat through the middle before finally bringing itself back monster-wise (more or less) with an almost surreal climax involving disembodied talking monster heads and telepathically controlled monster bodies.Staring Blood Island regular John Ashley (here reprising his role from MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND as Dr. Bill Foster) BEAST OF BLOOD begins almost immediately after the climax of MAD DOCTOR with Dr. Foster aboard a ship after escaping the horror of the infamous "chlorophyll man" (AKA "Don Ramon") on Blood Island - who unfortunately has also made it aboard. After a brief fight involving spilled gasoline and torches the ship explodes, handily blowing up Ashley's as yet unseen co-stars from MAD DOCTOR which saves casting issues and allows for a new love interest/monster victim. Picked up drifting in the ocean he arrives back in civilization and naturally attempts a return to Blood Island this time accompanied by pushy reporter Myra Russell (Celeste Yarnall from Elvis's LIVE A LITTLE, LOVE A LITTLE) who takes the place of MAD DOCTOR'S Angelique Pettyjohn in terms of gratuitous nudity and imperiled female plot point. Ironically both Pettyjohn and Yarnell had made guest appearances in separate episodes in season 2 of STAR TREK.
The chlorophyll monster (which escaped the earlier boat conflagration) and unseen since the prologue is also being kept in Lorca's liar where the head has been removed and kept alive with various tubes and gurgling green liquid with the body being kept on a nearby operating table. For reasons never fully explained Lorca is attempting to transplant an actual human head onto the monster body, which does lend itself to some alternately tacky and disturbing surgery footage. Additionally the monster's head is able to talk and move his body telepathically (complete with a visible member of the film crew moving the body).
The disappearance of the monster through the majority of the movie is a bit of a head scratcher as the bloody mayhem was always a highlight in the previous films and with the more exploitative elements toned down here a bit (even though a talking headless monster does help a bit) BEAST never reaches the giddy heights of the first two. Yarnall does want she's suppose to do here, but seems to pale in comparison a bit to Pettyjohn, as who can ever forgot her in MAD DOCTOR bounding through the jungle with her massive head of hair, pink mini-skirt and high heels while being pursued by the monster all set to the frantic zoom-in/out camerawork.