Bordello of Blood (1996)
Bordello of Blood (1996)

Genre: Horror Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 27 min.

Release Date: August 16th, 1996 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gilbert Adler Actors: Dennis Miller, Erika Eleniak, Angie Everhart, Chris Sarandon, Corey Feldman, Aubrey Morris, Phil Fondacaro, Ciara Hunter, Leslie Ann Phillips, Juliet Reagh

 


 

I

n the sweltering heat of Tierra del Fuego (at the ends of the earth), seven treasure hunters, led by Vincent Prather (Phil Fondacaro), seek out the fortunes of a 400-year-old legend. They soon locate a subterraneous cavern, uncovering a tomb that contains the dusty remains of Lilith (Angie Everhart), a dangerous demon woman. When Vincent reunites her with her missing heart (kept in a wooden box), the brittle skeleton comes back to life. She’s the mother of all vampires – and Prather now controls her.

As a “Tales from the Crypt” theatrical episode (based on the comic book series), “Bordello of Blood” features bookending sequences with the Crypt Keeper, who acts as something of a host. The story transitions to upright Katherine Verdoux (Erika Eleniak) and her rebellious, troublemaking brother Caleb (Corey Feldman), who plays loud music, exhibits a wealth of facial piercings, and heads out to a bar to drink and throw darts with fellow wannabe bikers. Looking for a good time, Caleb and his pal Reggie (Matt Hill) saunter down to 325 Beaumont, which looks to be an abandoned mansion. But inside, it contains an exotic bordello, whose entrance is situated through a crematory, which happens to be run by Lilith and her hoard of prostitute vampires.

“Whoa! Two chicks. That’s cool.” When Caleb and Reggie meet bloody demises at the hands of the busty vamps, Katherine visits the police. When they’re of little help, sleazy private investigator Rafe Guttman (Dennis Miller) offers up his assistance, digging into the mortuary-cum-whorehouse, which claims the lives of a great many misguided sinners.

The elaborate makeup effects and gore (hands are thrust into torsos, tongues are stuffed down throats until they burst through chests, hearts are ripped from ribcages, and heads are squashed or plucked from necks) are quite impressive. Even the brief moments with the Crypt Keeper puppet are amusing. The bloodshed, though graphic, is thoroughly creative, utilizing fake appendages and prosthetics – and other mutilative yucks – for successful outrageousness.

Nicely complementing the violence is a pervasive tongue-in-cheek vibe. With comedian Miller at the forefront, the dialogue is riddled with one-liners, while humor infiltrates supporting roles of cops, bar patrons, and even the histrionic rock ‘n’ roll preacher, Reverend Current (Chris Sarandon). Through this persona, the film pokes fun at religion, which is an effective segue into the fantasy of vampires. “We are doing the Lord’s work!” It’s also a sharp contrast to the copious amounts of nudity and sexually-oriented laughs – from dousing vampire breasts with holy water to a hooker with three pierced nipples. Nothing about “Bordello of Blood” is taken seriously, which is the prime reason much of the picture works. It could have been paced better, but the practical effects help to overcome the slower spots.

– Mike Massie

  • 6/10