#104 -- Bloodlust! (1961)

Director: Ralph Brooke
Rating: 3/5

An innocent vacation lands a group of friends on an island belonging to an eccentric millionaire recluse. They immediately feel that something is amiss, and their fears are proved correct when the millionaire Belleau's wife, Sandra, and her lover Dean inform them of Belleau's intentions. Dean and Sandra plan to escape, with the help of the four friends--Johnny (played by Robert Reed, AKA Mike Brady), Betty, Jeanne, and Pete. Dean and Sandra fail in their escape attempt, and they end up as trophies in Belleau's twisted little human museum.

Belleau is a hunter. He unleashes people into the jungle surrounding his home; he kills them and preserves them in a hidden trophy room. No one has ever left his island alive, but that is all about to change. Because Johnny, Betty, Jeanne and Pete just aren't going to let him win. With the help of one of Belleau's disgruntled minions, they may just have a chance to make it out alive.

The thing I like about older horror movies is their simplicity. They don't try too hard to scare us, but they somehow still succeed to creep us out at least a little bit. The soundtracks are different and effective, and they don't rely on gore for their shock. I know you must be thinking, "But Jenny, you're a gore whore..." Yes, that's right. But I do appreciate the fact that these movies are smart; they don't have to gross us out or scare the pants off of us; they're happy to just make us feel unsettled or disturbed. And I'm happy with that too. There's a very little amount of gore--an arrow in the gut of one of Belleau's prey, and a man thrown into an acid bath--but it's not enough to throw off those of you who might be a bit squeamish (I watched this one with my mom, and she didn't get sick at all). Bloodlust is a good example of the simplicity of horror movies of old. It's simple, but it's effective. It's an earlier version of the teen screams we know and love today, but it's amazing just how different they've become.

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