BLOOD HARVEST (1987) – Category: Enjoyably bad movie elevated by kitsch value in the casting As if 1960’s folk singer Tiny Tim wasn’t creepy enough in real life here he is in the 80’s slasher flick that is famous purely because of his presence in it … in clown makeup (AAAAAH!). This review will start off with a major spoiler, so stop reading right now if you actually want to watch this thing as if it was a real movie.
Tiny Tim is NOT the slasher in this film. I often wonder how many copies of this flick have been sold over the years based purely on the fallacious word of mouth that the psychotic- seeming Timster supposedly played a Jason Voorhees style slasher in this movie. Blood Harvest starts out letting the audience THINK Tiny Tim, or Marvelous Mervo as his character is named, is the killer as he hoists a dead body up like a side of beef while singing an eerie parody of a nursery rhyme. We also get a few scenes of Mervo talking to dead bodies and positioning them on furniture like a macabre version of a little girl’s tea party.
Anyone with an eye for movie cliches, though, can tell early on that Marvelous Mervo is not our killer. His seemingly normal brother is, and he’s gone crazy over being rejected by the movie’s heroine, Jill. He’s scrawled threats all over Jill’s house, killed her parents, various friends of hers and her college boyfriend. He’s had Mervo truss them up in a barn and let them dangle upside down with their throats cut, thereby providing us with the cheat scenes that make us think Tim/ Mervo is the killer. Meanwhile Jill just hangs around her family’s home like an idiot while the body count increases and the most inept sheriff in horror film history fails to figure out what’s going on.
By the way, Jill is played by Itonia Salochek who, after starring in this film, removed an “o” from her name and began going by Itonia Salchek. Under that name she went on to become one of the most beloved stars in American screen history. I’m just kidding! Despite changing the spelling of her last name she wound up never appearing in another movie.
The dialogue in this movie will have you rolling with laughter. Very little of it makes sense and doesn’t seem to have been written by anyone who has ever spoken English out loud. It’s like the cast members are each reading from separate pages of the script and not noticing that what they say to each other comes across as a series of non sequiturs. There’s very little action, virtually no suspense, no actual story and worst of all, no scenes of Tiny Tim slashing anyone. Our star just wanders around acting nuts and forever wearing the clown makeup from his family’s circus days before his brother killed them off long before the events in this movie. And, yaaawn, just when it looks like the real killer is finally dead the last shot of the movie shows him open his eyes. There was never any sequel, however.
Blood Harvest was brought to us by Bill Rebane, one of the bad movie world’s most popular regional filmmakers. What Larry Buchanan was to Texas, what H.G. Lewis was to Florida and what William Girdler was to Louisville, KY Bill Rebane was to Wisconsin. His other legendary bombs, like The Capture of Big Foot, The Giant Spider Invasion, etc, were all filmed in that state. Rebane also made the Terror at Halfday portion of Monster A Go- Go.
Blood Harvest came out during the ongoing concerns about America’s dying family farms in the 80’s and even makes that national tragedy part of the plot, which leads to another disappointment. Given the proclivity of low- budget filmmakers like Rebane to reissue their flicks under multiple titles to cash in on them over and over again I can’t believe Wisconsin’s Andy Milligan didn’t re- release this bomb under the title Blood On The Scarecrow to piggyback on the success of John Mellencamp’s pro- farmer anthem Rain On The Scarecrow. That’s not the Psychotronic spirit!
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.