The Flesh & Blood Show
Sound: C+ Extras: C Film: C+
With so many bad Horror films being made (remade and
recycled in particular) lately, looking at the work of obscure Horror directors
is a good idea. Shriek Show has decided
to issue Pete Walker’s semi-slasher film The Flesh & Blood Show from
1972 and though it has a good cast and retro-Phantom Of The Opera
idea in having a stage place “haunted” by a killer, this is far from
supernatural, though the screenplay by Alfred Shaughnessy and Walker’s approach
with flashback horror like to hint at that in its look and semantics.
A bunch of young aspiring actors all take a job at a stage
theater that just happens to be set on an ocean pier. From the opening shot of that pier ending the credits with blood
spilling into the water, you know it is a “bad place” to go. Feeling more like a dry run for Bob Clark’s
great Black Christmas (reviewed elsewhere on this site) than an early
slasher film, there is frankly not enough horror or murder to fulfill the basic
needs of the genre, instead opting too often for false starts and a desire to
emulate full color episodes of the 1960s Avengers series. With that said, it is still interesting
enough to take a look at it and its sincerity and attempts at originality
failed are still better than the slate of garbage in the genre we have been
getting lately. Also, the film
originally ended in 3-D, but this print does not.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is not bad, as
shot by the solid British cinematographer Peter Jessop, but the print still
shows its age and could use some work.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is not bad either, making watching the film a
good experience, though it is too bad the 3-D footage was not included in a
supplement. Extras include stills,
trailers for this and seven other Walker films and an interview with Walker
himself. Even when the film does not
always work, the DVD makes for an interesting viewing experience overall. We look forward to more Walker films.
- Nicholas Sheffo