Another movie from the Drive-In Cult Classic box set makes for some interesting viewing tonight. Unlike yesterday’s movie, I don’t really recall much about this movie from the first time I saw it. I will say that the movie poster above certainly makes the movie seem interesting. I mean, you have a naked woman carrying a skeleton. That is definitely an eye catching piece of advertising there. Well, let’s just see what Blood Mania has to offer as far as entertainment.
The plot: Ridgeley Waterman, a wealthy but bed-ridden old man, signals for his daughter Victoria to bring him his breakfast but when she gets there, he constantly belittles her. Victoria tries to be nice to him but his insults continue, then he begins insulting his doctor, Dr. Craig Cooper, and comments about how the fact that Craig has yet to respond to any of Victoria’s attempts to seduce him is one of the few joys he has left. Meanwhile, Craig is lying in bed at his home before he is roused from his sleep by his girlfriend Cheryl, who invites him into the bath with her. As he is finishing, he answers a phone call and tells the person on the other end that they are not supposed to call him at home and says he doesn’t care if he needs the money, but then relents and says he will see what he can do. Back at the Waterman’s home, Victoria, who is a nymphomaniac, makes a pass at the pool boy but as he races off, Craig arrives and she quickly gets her clothes back on so she can greet him. When he enters, he asks why Nurse Turner isn’t there, then chastises her when she tells him she sent her home as she is there with her father. Craig begins his check up on Ridgeley, who is angry that he can’t get the results from his tests, but Craig finishes his exam and tells Ridgeley that he wants Nurse Turner to be there at all times. As Craig goes to leave, Victoria attempts to seduce him again but he turns her down again, as he has work to do. Returning home early, Craig and Cheryl start kissing and undressing when someone knocks on the door. After they get dressed, Craig opens the door and a man named Larry walks in. After introducing him to Cheryl, Craig asks her to go upstairs so he can talk to Larry in private. Larry tells Craig that he wants $50,000 in two weeks or else he will go talk to the district attorney about what he had done. Craig tells him that he doesn’t have that kind of money but Larry tells him that isn’t his concern and he should use his new connections to try and get it. Later, Cheryl talks to Craig about what Larry is blackmailing him over and Craig tells her that while he was in med school, he had performed some illegal abortions to some people that Larry had introduced him too and that is what he is being blackmailed over. The next day, Craig finishes his check up on Ridgeley and then gives Nurse Turner a prescription to pick up. As he goes to leave, Victoria asks to speak with him, showing him her latest painting. Victoria then asks if he is really having tax problems and offers to help him pay them off and Craig tries to refuse at first but when she begins kissing him, he gives in and they end up having sex. As they lay in bed afterwards, Craig tells her that he needs $50,000 and Victoria tells him that she doesn’t have that much money but knows how to get it, refusing to go into details about it. Meanwhile, Cheryl invites Larry over to try and convince him to leave Craig alone and he tells her he will if she sleeps with him but after raping her, he goes back on his word. That night, Victoria slips into her father’s room and uses some of her drugs to poison him, reveling in the fact that she will soon be rid of her father. Craig and Nurse Turner discuss Ridgeley’s death and when Craig goes to talk to her about it, he is shocked to learn that she killed her father for him. Craig goes to call the police but changes his mind and calls the coroner to list the cause of death as a stroke. Later, Victoria goes to meet with her father’s lawyer to discuss the funeral and reading of the will and the lawyer says everything has been arranged but the will can’t be read until two weeks, as her sister Gail must be present for the reading, much to Victoria’s displeasure. Some time later, Gail arrives at the house with Kate, an older woman that she is friends with, and Victoria introduces them to Craig and then goes to escort Craig out, inviting him to dinner and telling him not to make plans afterwards. Later that night, Craig and Victoria talk and she tells him when she would be able to get the money to him and Craig says he will pay her back but Victoria says she doesn’t want the money as she has him and the two embrace and kiss before having sex again. At the reading of the will, Ridgeley has left Nurse Turner some money, set up a trust for Craig to spend on medical research, but leaves the bulk of his estate to Gail, with a stipulation that Victoria has exclusive use of the house and money for it’s upkeep and a living allowance but can not sell the house in her lifetime. Hearing what the will states, Victoria cries out that it isn’t fair, as she was the one to care for their father while Gail left, and begins screaming out in rage and grief at the turn of events before Craig takes her to her room and lays her down in her bed to rest. After giving Nurse Turner some instructions for dealing with Victoria, Craig goes to leave but is stopped by Kate, who is concerned for Gail’s safety. Craig says that she has nothing to worry about but Kate, who has her own relationship with Gail, says that she knows Craig is involved with Victoria and warns him not to try and go after Gail now that she has the money instead of Victoria. The next day, Craig invites Gail to come with him on a few house calls and she accepts, much to Kate’s displeasure. After the house calls, Craig and Gail spend the afternoon at a medieval fair before walking along the beach, where they start kissing. When they return to the house, Victoria sees them fooling around by the pool before they head inside, where they continue kissing before they end up having sex. Later, Gail returns to her room to find Kate packing and when she asks why she is leaving, Kate tells her that a woman like her needs to be with people that are like her and she can’t see herself staying here anymore. After she leaves, Gail goes to see Victoria and talks to her about the will, offering to split the money with her. When Victoria refuses, she comments on how nobody seems to want the money, and Victoria correctly guesses that she had offered to help Craig with his money problems but he refused. Gail tells Victoria that she wants to take care of her and tells Nurse Turner she can leave but after Gail heads up to bed, Victoria kills her. Later, Victoria calls Craig and when he asks for Gail, she tells him that she went back to New York and when he asks what is going on over there, she hangs up on him. Craig rushes over to find Victoria painting and when he asks where Gail is, she tells him she is gone. He decides to check for himself and soon discovers Gail’s body, and realizes Victoria was using her blood to paint with. Deciding to cover up the murder, Craig carries Gail’s body out to his car, wrapping it up before placing it in the back. He then tells Victoria that not to answer the door or phone until he returns. Victoria kisses and hugs him but then suddenly starts screaming and as Craig looks where she is looking, he sees Gail’s body leaning against the wall. When the body falls to the ground, Victoria keeps screaming but Craig is shocked to see Larry enter the room, grinning wildly at Craig. Craig sadly looks over at Victoria’s painting, which shows him carrying a skeleton, and he realizes his life is now over.
This was a decent attempt at a thriller but pretty much fell flat on it’s face. The acting was ok at best, with Maria De Aragon (Victoria) putting in the best performance among everyone there. Peter Carpenter (Craig), Leslie Simms (Nurse Turner), and Eric Allison (Ridgeley) were also good but everyone else honestly felt a little stiff and robotic in some of their deliveries. The story was actually good, with a lot of scheming going on between several characters; Craig trying to pay off his blackmailer, Victoria trying to get Craig, Kate trying to get Gail, and Victoria trying to get her inheritance. The drama and tension were decent but they couldn’t really do much to save it from the acting. It’s a decent time suck movie or worth watching if you are curious but not necessarily worth hunting down to watch.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5