Friday, March 1, 2019


Invasion of the Blood Farmers (1972) d. Ed Adlum (USA) (77 min)

After a local townsperson staggers into a Jefferson Valley bar gushing blood from every orifice before dropping dead, “renowned pathologist” Professor Roy Anderson (Norman Kelley) and his assistant Don Tucker (Bruce Detrick) are shocked to discover that the blood cells themselves are reproducing at a greatly accelerated rate. Along with Anderson’s daughter (Tanna Hunter), who also happens to be Don’s Best Girl, and police chief Frank Spano (Frank Iovieno), our heroes discover that a cult of druids have moved into one of their neighbors’ farmhouses with a nefarious plot to raise their beloved Queen Onhorrid from the dead.

Shot in upstate New York by once-off director Adlum, screenwriter Ed Kelleher (who also co-wrote Shriek of the Mutilated with Adlum), editor Michael Findlay (who directed Shriek of the Mutilated, Snuff, and any number of porn/exploitation flicks), and his equally renowned bride Roberta Findlay descended on bucolic Westchester County with 8½ bottles of stage blood to make their movie based, like so many other classic B-movies before them, on the strength of a zany title. The budget was $24,000. The cast was paid in double digits and beer. The result remains one of the greatest achievements in schlock/shock cinema history.

Originally intended to be an “invaders from space” saga, Adlum realized that such a premise might require expensive props and costumes, whereupon the decision was made to make our antagonists “druids” (because, as the director states, “No one knows anything about them.”) In keeping with the title, our main heavy Egon (Jack Neubeck) and his underlings are dressed in denim overalls and straw hats, though their ringleader Creton (Paul Craig Jennings) opts for the basic black robes.

In addition to the schlocky effects and dodgy storyline, what elevates Invasion to classic Turkey status is the array of performances ranging from the ridiculously overripe (with Jennings and Kelley jockeying for top honors) to the leaden (Hunter and Erickson) to the unabashed non-acting of the thickly accented Iovieno. The cinematography is credited to “Frederick Douglass,” though Adlum reveals on the audio commentary track that Fred Aronow (later the music editor for The Sword and the Sorcerer and Sam Raimi’s Crimewave) served as the primary cinematographer, and both Findlays and future award-winner Frederick Elmes (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet) also took turns behind the camera.

While it would have been fun to see additional scenes of blood-bursting, we have to make do with lots of scenes of twitching, gurgling victims lying prone in various barns being slurped dry (scenes that were cut to appease the MPAA… and then replaced when the film was released!)

"Don! Come quick! You won't belieeeeeeeeeeve what's happening!"


Scanned from the original negative materials

Audio Commentary with director Ed Adlum and actress/costume designer (and the movie’s main poster girl) Ortrum Tippel aka Mrs. Adlum, moderated by author Kier-La Janisse, (House of Psychotic Women)

“Nothing You’d Show Your Mom: Eddie Adlum’s Journey through Exploitation, Coin-Op and Rock n’ Roll” (22 min)

“Harvesting the Dead” with actor Jack Neubeck (12 min)

“Painful Memories” with cinematographer Frederick Elmes (5 min)


Invasion of the Blood Farmers is available now on Blu-ray from Severin Films and can be ordered HERE:


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