BLOOD DINER (REVIEW)
Dir. Jackie Kong
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Another 80’s classic that has finally got the rerelease treatment thanks to Lionsgate’s acquisition of Vestron. Now, I’ll be honest, this is one I’d never heard of until the news came out and was intrigued at its containment of everything that makes 80’s cinema so great.
Two cannibalistic brothers unearth their father in a bid to resurrect an Egyptian Goddess. In doing so, they gather the body parts of restaurant regulars to build her a body to inhibit. Fortunately, the brothers aren’t the sharpest chisels in the box and guided by the brain (and eyes) of their dead father, they create their religious idol to the dismay of the townsfolk.
Blending elements of BRAIN DAMAGE, FRANKENHOOKER and MOTEL HELL, there’s enough originality to save BLOOD DINER from the large number of cheap imitations that flooded the market at that time. Like many of Veston’s other releases this is crass b-movie material but entertaining nevertheless. While in 1987 the genre had already raised the plinth for its icons (HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, CHILD’S PLAY, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) there’s still room for the second wave of horror that doesn’t quite hit the dizzying heights of what the genre has to offer and easily puts itself amongst the second tier cult classics such as HOUSE and BASKET CASE with its own individualism.
Director Jackie Kong may have only a handful of films under her belt and many of which struggle to pass midpoint on IMDb, BLOOD DINER may be an exception to an otherwise doomed career. What’s interesting is that of all the years I have supported the Women in Horror drive, not once has Kong’s name appeared on any list and now hopefully she can get the recognition of potential she deserves.
BLOOD DRIVE may be absent of great acting, and star talent but it brings with it a bevy of great death scenes and manic mayhem that deserves to be seen.