Well…that certainly wasn’t what I expected. Blood Diner is a movie I had never heard of until the recent announcement that Lionsgate would be starting a new series of blu-rays called the Vestron Video Collector’s Series. It is technically the second release, coming out the same day as Chopping Mall, a terrific choice for launching the series. Lionsgate are crafty and numbered each release, meaning there is no way I’m not buying all of them because I am an insane person. So now I own a copy of Blood Diner and after watching it, I have mixed feelings about that fact.
Brothers Michael and George are brainwashed by their Uncle Anwar at a young age into believing in this goddess Sheetar and the ritual that is required to bring her back from the dead. As adults, they own and operate a local diner, but mostly they spend their time murdering women and collecting their body parts in order to complete this ritual. Also they dig up Anwar and put his brain and eyes into a jar, which is how he remains for the rest of the film. Blood Diner isn’t exactly dripping in narrative, offering the thinnest possible story in order to take it from one bit of insanity to the next.
I thought Blood Diner was a straight-faced slasher movie from the 1980’s, and after my viewing of Most Likely to Die, I was completely ready for a slasher movie from the heyday of slasher movies. I did not get that with Blood Diner. Instead, this is a ridiculous comedy that reminded me of Microwave Massacre from earlier in the marathon. This one is a lot more vulgar than that one however and is absolutely seeped with language, nudity and gore.
This is definitely a better film than Microwave Massacre (which I realize is about the thinnest praise I could ever heap upon a movie), mostly because it doesn’t feature a lead character who spends all of his screen time making what are usually lame quips. The humour here works better, but my god is this is a stupid movie. I say that with a good amount of affinity however. It’s completely aware of its own stupidity and wants nothing more than to revel in it as much as it can. This largely works to the movie’s benefit, so long as you are willing to go along with it. At first I was hesitant, but once they introduced a character who is literally just a life-sized human dummy who sits motionless while someone dubs over its voice, I was ready to go along for this super dumb ride.
The gore and effects work is solid, admirable more for its consistency than anything as in this moment I don’t remember a big stand-out moment. The gore is pretty much non-stop though so while you may not get that memorable set-piece, you will never have to wait long before it is back at the forefront of the movie. Actually…there is a stomach that opens up and is lined with teeth and then that mouth stomach does proceed to eat a dude’s head. So that’s a pretty good bit of business right there.
Really my review of this movie could just be a list of ridiculous individual moments and elements that happen throughout. I already mentioned the seemingly alive dummy, something that is never acknowledged by any of the other characters as being strange. That’s just one thing of many. There’s a whole host of ridiculous accents, topless cheerleaders dancing in a commercial because I guess why not, the aforementioned brain and eyes in a jar that can still communicate with others, a woman gets her head shoved into a deep fryer which then causes her head to be covered in a round ball of batter, you know that kind of movie. There’s also tons and tons of ridiculous dialogue and stiff acting, the latter of which may or may not be on purpose. I can’t say any of it hugely works, but it’s such a constant barrage of insanity that I was kind of into it.
Blood Diner is not a good movie, but it doesn’t seem to have any ambitions of being one. It’s an entertaining one though, so long as you are willing to let yourself go with the flow of what is one of the stranger pieces of cinema I’ve seen in a while. When you look at some of the movies I’ve already watched in this marathon, that statement should speak for itself. Maybe don’t spend $32.99 on it…which is maybe or maybe not something I did. Who’s to say?!