Blood Sabbath (1972)
Blood Sabbath (1972)
Blood Sabbath tells the story of David, a young Vietnam War vet, now a traveling free spirit who seems to enjoy wandering in the woods with an unclear sense of destination. One day while camping out, David is awakened and violated by four naked hippie chicks attempting to rob him (the scene is more playful than it sounds). After fleeing from the gaggling bunch of nudists, David slips, hits his head on a rock, and falls unconscious next to a lake before being woken up by a beautiful water nymph in a kind of forested Wonderland. He immediately falls deeply in love with this lady of the lake, but the caveat is that she cannot love anyone who has a soul, and it just so happens that a nearby village is sacrificing the souls of young girls once a year to a coven of witches in return for a good harvest. Perhaps this year David can convince the witches to take his soul instead.
At first with Blood Sabbath, it almost felt like I was going to be in for a remake of Queens of Evil, another film with a similar premise made a couple of years earlier that involves another character named David; wandering into the woods and into the women of his dreams/nightmares. But when all is said and done, Blood Sabbath ends up standing alone as an original and well-made horror fairytale in its own right.
The main selling point, though not the only thing to look forward to, is David’s freaky encounters with dancing, bare breasted witches, particularly Alotta, played by the evilly sumptuous Dyanne Thorne (Ilsa the Wicked Warden), who I’d like to say is one awesome belly dancer. The enthusiasm of the young female cast, as well as the boldness of the filmmakers, results in some pretty wild erotic ceremonies that succeed in being quite entertaining.
Most of the filming takes place in a summery forest setting, which seems to work in Blood Sabbath’s favor, despite the dark themes on display. The love story between David and the water nymph, Yyalah, comes off as a little on the artificial side, as it seems rather unlikely that he would fall madly in love with her the way he did. However, this love story is what primarily contributes to the film’s fairytale vibe, in that when they are together it’s hard to tell if David maybe dreaming or possibly died and gone to some sort of lovers’ purgatory.
The story is outlandish and some might be disappointed to know that despite the title there isn’t a whole lot of blood, and I can’t recommend it to everybody. But to those in the mood for a weird witch movie from the ‘70s; pour the wine and indulge because they will probably never make them like this anymore.