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Bloodsuckers
cast: Peter Cushing, Patrick Mower, Patrick Macnee, Imogen Hassall, and Edward Woodward

director: Robert Hartford-Davis

80 minutes (15) 1970 widescreen 2.35:1
Retrodome DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Donald Morefield
Patrick Mower, onetime TV cop show sidekick in later seasons of Special Branch (1974), and the star of Target (1977-78), but now reduced to playing in Brit soaps like Emmerdale, is the still-youthful focus of this intriguing yet sadly inconsistent horror film, Bloodsuckers (aka: Incense For The Damned). Based on vampire novel, Doctors Wear Scarlet by Simon Raven, it tackles academic decadence and the lure of eroticism, but unfortunately goes on to clobber subtlety with a risibly unforgiving foreign-Johnny mystique bordering on suggestive racism.
   Peter Cushing is the robed professorial onlooker, visibly appalled by the antics of Mower, who gets 'infected' on a Greek island with a quasi-nervous malaise and begins to exhibit symptoms of a lusty thirst that mimics vampirism. As the local embassy problem-solver, Patrick Macnee reminds us that he used to be quite the action man in his heyday, kicking down doors and punching out bad guys with a mighty wallop. If you can tolerate the hippy visions, unsophisticated symbolism, and location shooting that lacks even the exotic atmosphere of a package holiday brochure, Bloodsuckers is sub-standard but passable genre fare, disrespectfully trying and failing to imitate far superior Hammer productions.
   DVD extras: full-screen presentation, trailer, stills gallery, star filmographies, plus a six-minute deleted sequence of drug-taking and psychedelic debauchery.
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