Blood Harvest - Blu-ray review By
James Whittington, Wednesday 7th March 2018
When this movie was originally submitted to the BBFC for home release in 1989 nearly 3 minutes of cuts were made to the piece. Now, thanks to 88 Films we can enjoy this overlooked slasher in all its uncut gory glory. In fact, the BBFC site tells you "All previous BBFC cuts waived and material originally pre-cut by company restored" so hurrah!
88 Films are also giving us the chance to view in a new HD transfer and restored from original materials. But the main selling point is that the legend that is (or more accurately was) Tiny Tim, he of "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips" fame playing Marvelous Mervo, a man who had suffered brain damage and walks around singing obscure songs whilst dressed as a clown. This decision to cast Tiny in the role was questioned but director Bill Rebane stood by the decision and overall, it works.
The plot, which is paper thin, deals with a masked man who is on the rampage, tying people up in his barn and slicing their throats whilst a Marvelous Mervo stalks the land, trying to entertain those who will listen to him and a young girl, Jill who has returned to her home after several years away.
I'll admit it, I've never seen Blood Harvest before as its reputation for being a tad clunky and badly acted put me off a bit, but now I can see why it has such a loyal following. Yes, the actors are as wooden as the sets, basically hanging around to be killed off, but it has an innocent (if that's the right word to use) charm to it. Tiny Tim, who gets top billing here, is perfectly cast as the off-kilter clown who spends his days singing, talking to himself and looking through windows. He also gets the chance to sing the eerie and pretty creepy theme tune too. Well, if they hadn't that would have been a huge missed opportunity. The effects are well done and there are some very creepy moments within the last half hour that does make you feel incredibly uneasy and is the reason why it got into bother with the BBFC in the first place.
88 Films has some nice extras on here, none of them newly made but taken from what looks like to be a sort of homemade EPK from the time. Complete with titles that look like they've been created on an old Amiga computer they are of their time and indicate the limited resources that were available to the crew. The inclusion of the "Nightmare" alternative credits sequence demonstrates just how low budget a movie can get.
Also, the sleeve is reversible, and the short booklet contains a modified chapter from the 2016 biography of Tiny Tim.
In other hands this could have just been another forgotten slasher chucked onto Blu-ray but in the hands of the 88 Films team it's been given a release a lot of mainstream movies would be proud of. For more info click here.
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