Ishtar Cannibal Slasher!?

Director Marcel Walz pays homage to the original Blood Feast from H.G. Lewis with this gruesome modern rehash starring Robert Rusler and Sophie Monk. Despite being terrible on some level, the original Blood Feast in 1963 is considered a touchstone in horror movie history for its blatant and trashy gore. A man falls under the sway of the goddess Ishtar, becoming a deranged serial killer so he can prepare a grisly feast for her return.

An American man of Egyptian descent moves his wife and daughter (Sophie Monk) outside Paris so he can run an American diner. Troubles begin for Fuad Ramses (Robert Rusler) when he stops taking his prescription medicine, highlighting his tenuous mental health.

Director Marcel Walz pays homage to the original Blood Feast from H.G. Lewis

Forced to take a second job as a nightly security guard at the museum, Fuad falls under the thrall of the seductive goddess Ishtar. A bloodthirsty deity, soon Fuad begins killing victims to prepare a feast of human flesh for her return. The diner begins serving up meat from his victims as ghoulish specials. His wife and daughter invariably get pulled into Fuad’s madness.

Mostly reworking the original Blood Feast into an entirely different movie, this is a gruesome indie slasher which flashes decent potential but often falls flat. Originally a crowdfunded effort, the production values and some of the secondary cast… are decidedly poor. No one here is winning Oscars. The costume design for Ishtar looks like it was pulled off the shelf at one of those pop-up Halloween stores. Pacing is lackluster and takes forever building suspense.

On the positive side, the graphic set pieces show creativity and a nasty sense of fun often missing from today’s torture porn. The gonzo final act stands on its own for those into the genre, a bloody symphony with real bite. There’s no real depth to Blood Feast beyond the gore, some in the audience will have already checked out by the time Fuad goes Jeffrey Dahmer.

What you see is what you get, a cheap and nasty cash-in on a recognizable title. Blood Feast isn’t great filmmaking even by the standards of indie horror. Curious fans familiar with the original should give it a quick look. Keep an eye out for a cameo from H.G. Lewis himself.

Video

Synapse Films delivers the fully unrated cut of Blood Feast in a Dolby Vision-led 4K presentation on a dual-layer UHD. The main feature runs 98 minutes, more or less the same length as earlier releases. What’s different here is more explicit footage, including a severed penis and other visceral shots which the filmmakers cut at the behest of the MPAA. The 2.40:1 presentation is razor-sharp with deep black levels, a digitally filmed production shot in 2016. However, an off-putting color correction negatively affects the picture quality.

Something just doesn’t feel right about the muted, desaturated color palette of this 4K UHD. Flesh-tones are all over the place, including what I suspect are erratic aesthetic choices which don’t always work as intended. At one point flesh looks more bronze than human. Ironically enough the best-looking scenes in Blood Feast are usually the most disturbing. The grisly torture material pops with definition and clarity, showing off the deep crimson of all the fake blood.

Overall, the visible detail and resolution isn’t a huge bump over what’s possible with 1080P. There’s a fair amount of crushing in select scenes. Banding is noticeable, possibly baked into the indie digital source material. I’m not sure Blood Feast needed a 4K release.

Audio

Blood Feast’s 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio is a dynamic, nicely balanced surround mix. The crunchy sound design offers intelligible dialogue reproduction and mildly immersive atmosphere while maintaining a healthy presence for the score. Rear channels play a role but they largely are secondary to the wider front soundstage and thick bass. For a low-budget indie, sound fidelity is impressive.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font inside the scope presentation.

Extras

The big deal here for fans is the inclusion of the fully unrated version which only circulated before on the horror festival circuit. Originally Hannover House issued the R-rated theatrical version on Blu-ray back in 2018. The 4K UHD from Synapse Films comes in a black case with a slipcover available.

Indiegogo promotional teaser (01:08 in HD)

Theatrical trailer (01:29 in HD)

The Making of Blood Feast Featurette (28:52 in HD)

Chilli Con Curtis “Tonite” Music Video (03:38 in HD)

BLOOD FEAST – Red Carpet Premiere 2018 (28:51 in HD) – Shot on April 6th, 2018 in Beverly Hills.

BLOOD FEAST – Scare Cam (05:44 in HD)

Synapse Films Promo (00:59 in HD) – Runs before the main menu

Full disclosure: This UHD was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Blood Feast
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

Crowdfunded indie horror tackles a gruesome premise inspired by the campy original cult classic from director Herschell Gordon Lewis

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 36 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:


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