Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yeah, I'll bet the first aid kits in Hell are a little scarce...

Hell's Bloody Devils  (Independent International Pictures, 1970)

Before the Camera:

Broderick Crawford  (TV's Highway Patrol)

Scott Brady  (Gremlins)
Kent Taylor  (Brain of Blood)
John Gabriel  (he was the original Professor in the first Gilligan's Island pilot!)
Keith Andes  (...And Justice For All)
Jack Starrett  (First Blood)
Erin O'Donnell  (Saintly Sinners)
Robert Dix  (Live and Let Die)
Vicki Volante  (Blood of Dracula's Castle)
John Carradine  (Peggy Sue Got Married)
Anne Randall  (Westworld)
William Bonner  (Orgy of the Dead)
Emily Banks  (Gunfight in Abilene)
Colonel Harland Sanders as himself (!)

And look fast for:

Greydon Clark  (director - Without Warning '80)
John 'Bud' Cardos (director - Kingdom of the Spiders)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Al Adamson

Produced by Al Adamson, Rex Carlton, Jerry Evans, Fred Gebhardt and Robert Kinoshita

Written by Jerry Evans

    The very first thing I'm going to say in this review is meant to really kind of weird you out - get this - Broderick Crawford, the aging top billed star in this movie - once hosted Saturday Night Live! Which means this movie has a direct connection to MacGruber. Weird, right?
    But I digress.
    What we have here is a typical Al Adamson movie - starting out as one movie and ending up as something fairly different. Here Al started a crime thriller in 1967 called Operation M which would have been a Bond knockoff (as so many movies were in 1967), right down to the credit sequence and John Barry-esque title tune from Nelson Riddle. But as often happened with Al's movies, the money ran out before the movie was finished. (And legend has it that the original executive producer Rex Carlton committed suicide right around that time due to a large debt owed to the mob...makes you wonder...). Three years later biker movies were a hot genre, so Al grabbed up this footage, added some bikers to the already convoluted story and voila! Hell's Bloody Devils! And never one to waste money, they kept the 007-y titles and theme song, altered just enough to make them fit the new version of the movie.
    There's an awful lot of plot to lay out if I go all linear and tell it step by step - let's see how much I can boil it down - FBI spy guy Mark Adams (Gabriel) is after nazi supercriminal Count von Delberg (Taylor), who has teamed up with the mob in a counterfeit money caper.  Adams goes undercover in the mob to get close to von Delberg's clique. In addition to his mob dealings, the Count also has a biker gang at his beck and call and sends them out on various nefarious missions. During his time undercover, Adams manages to schmooze with both von Delberg's daughter (O'Donnell) and an Israeli agent (Volante) also after the Count; hang out with FBI honey Banks;  drop in at a pet shop run by John Carradine (?); get hit on by a 16 year old (played by 20-something Randall); duke it out with Jack Starrett (the nasty cop who wants to shave Rambo... dry in First Blood); and go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and meet Colonel Sanders (!). More plot and some action ensues and it all comes down to a thrilling climax in a burning shack with a extraordinarily big basement, which is the Al Adamson version of a Bond villain lair.

"Tastes like chicken, eh? Why no, young lady, never heard
that one before!"
You have to experience an Al Adamson movie to truly understand it. The stories pretty much never make any sense, you just have to let them flow over you and try not to drown in them. This particular effort was considered lost for many years, but thankfully it was found. It's not the equal of Dracula vs Frankenstein (my favorite Adamson movie - mashing three unfinished movies together for some bewildering cinema) but this one is pretty good. (Remember the yardstick we're measuring 'good' with - the Al Adamson yardstick!) Everybody is fun acting in their movie (whichever one they were hired for) with William Bonner and Vicki Volante the big links as they appear in both sets of footage (with Volante's ever changing hairstyle a clue to the passage of time between shoots for her). The old pros add some screen value, and thank goodness Al worked out a crew catering deal with KFC in return for an onscreen commercial starring the real Colonel Sanders as it is the most blissfully surreal moment in a movie that doesn't lack for weirdness. If you'd like to see how to cobble a finished movie out of a pile of unfinished film footage with spit and baling wire - then I definitely recommend this to you. If you insist on having movies made all at once and making sense - move along. There's nothing for you to see here.

Let's Get Out of Here ?
At around 1:31, John Gabriel knows it's a wrap.

Eye Candy ?

We got our first two-fer as both Emily Banks and Anne Randall make the list in the 60's hottie glory! Welcome aboard ladies!

Emily Banks

Anne Randall


Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "Hell's Bloody Devils is a safe bet for
those who don't mind a little scotch tape on their movies."
 Thanks Buddha Man, and til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. So the one question we put to all pieces of true art: Did it turn a profit?

    As for your title, not only are the first aid kits in hell scarce, they are comprised solely of razor blades and styptic pencils. Or maybe it's caustic pencils. Either way, there's little comfort to be had there.

  2. I thought all the mash ups were rather entertaining but nothing beats Col Sanders!