Bloodlust (1976)
By: Michelle R. on December 14, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Monarex (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 4:3. English DD 2.0, Spanish DD 2.0. 90 minutes
The Movie
Director: Marijan Vadja
Starring: Pochath, Ellen Umlauf, Birgit Zamulo, Gerhard Ruhnke
Screenplay: Mario d'Alcala
Music: David Llewellyn
Country: Switzerland
AKA: Mosquito der Schänder; Mosquito the Rapist
Born in 1931, German labourer Kuno Hoffmann suffered a traumatic childhood, born deaf and beaten and abused severely on a daily basis by his alcoholic father. Imprisoned for nine years on theft charges, he emerged with an obsession for self-improvement via the occult sciences. Hoffmann read widely on Satanism and black magic, focusing compulsively on rituals involving necrophilia and vampirism, as he believed these practices would make him "good-looking and strong". In 1971-1972, police and morgue attendants across Germany were baffled by a series of bizarre grave robberies. At least thirty-five bodies were exhumed and mutilated, with evidence of sexual molestation attempted with several female corpses. Hoffmann later shot and killed three victims, drinking blood from each. Captured and arrested in May 1972, Hoffmann readily confessed and despite his defence pleading insanity, the court decided otherwise and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Marijan Vadja's 1976 feature Bloodlust is based on the tragic life and heinous crimes of Kuno Hoffmann.

A young accountant (Werner Pochath) who, due to repeated bashings from his sadistic, drunken father in childhood, is deaf and mute, lives a lonely existence in a small town. His inability to communicate, coupled by his strange fascination with dolls, leads to ostracism and ridicule from his office colleagues. His only friend is a constantly spaced-out girl living in the dismal boardinghouse he resides in. When Pochath witnesses the girl's father beating his son, he suffers a disturbing flashback to his past (being forced to watch his own father molest his sister) which leads him on a gradual downward spiral to madness. He begins breaking into mortuaries and violating corpses, drinking their blood with a pipette and stealing body parts to store in jars in his black-painted room, making it resemble a macabre museum. When his neighbour and only person he could relate to falls to her death after climbing on the boardinghouse rooftop, Pochath is overwhelmed with despair, completely losing control of all reality…

This exercise in morbidity has its highs and lows. Veteran exploitation actor Werner Pochath is excellent as the deaf-mute (who's name is never revealed) driven to insanity by his past. His performance has a truly haunting presence - he doesn't utter a single word for the entire running time, yet manages to tell us a hell of a lot along the way. Equally as impressive is the grim and disturbing atmosphere director Vadja manages to sustain, successfully mixing strange dreamlike sequences, repellent imagery and grotesque set pieces. His deliberate use of washed out, dreary black, brown and grey colour schemes add to Bloodlust's depressing, misanthropic mood. There is some not very convincing gore, however special effects take a backseat to the perverse impact of the story. On the downside, the movie is dragged down by some very slow pacing and drawn out scenes which would even test the most patient viewer. A totally gratuitous lesbian scene between two grizzled prostitutes is completely out of place and only succeeds in cheapening the film's dark tone. Some plot details could have also been developed a bit further, such as Pochath's odd relationship with the young girl in the rooming house where he lives, as well as providing a more satisfying conclusion, as the ending is quite abrupt.
Bloodlust is unspectacularly presented in full-frame, transferred from a below-average, grainy stock print.
Audio is available in English and Spanish Dolby 2.0 tracks – the English track is serviceable enough, though optional subtitles would have been a welcome bonus as the film suffers from one of the worst dubbing jobs I've ever sat through.
Extra Features
The disc is a true no-frills affair – just the original theatrical trailer. And that's it – Monarex hasn't even bothered to include chapter selections.
The Verdict
A twisted, little-known Euroshocker based on an equally harrowing case study which is not without its flaws, but is buoyed by some first-rate acting, unsettling visuals and a compelling story.
Movie Score
comments powered by Disqus

>SHARK WEEK (2012) DVD Review

>DANGEROUS MEN (2005) Blu-ray Review

>UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (1992) Blu-ray Review

>THE LAST WARRIOR (2000) Blu-ray Review

>DIAMOND DOGS (2007) DVD Review

>BONE TOMAHAWK (2015) Blu-ray Review

>LET US PREY (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MACHETE (2010) Blu-ray Review

>THE MECHANIK (2005) Blu-ray Review

>DIRECT ACTION (2004) DVD Review

>NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review

>MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review

>CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review

>POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review

>DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review

Post Apocalypse Discussion Forum
Waxwork Records by MaxTheSilent
Phantasm V??? by McSTIFF
Inside (└ l'intÚrieur) by MaxTheSilent
Red Christmas - new local horror by brett garten
Zack Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017) by Rip
BLAIR WITCH (2016) by Dr. Obrero
14 Guests, 0 Users
Latest Comments
Last 20 Comments
Most Read Articles
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review 1. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) Blu-ray Review
POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review 2. POLTERGEIST (2015) Blu-ray Review
MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review 3. MOSQUITOMAN (2005) DVD Review
DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review 4. DRIVEN TO KILL (2009) Blu-ray Review
NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review 5. NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) Blu-ray Review
Contact Us
Australian Horror News and Reviews
Digital Retribution aims to bring you the latest news and reviews from the local genre scene. If you see or hear something that might be of interest to our readers, please get in touch!

For promotional and advertising inquiries, feedback, requests, threats or anything else, visit our Contact Page.