There are weird horror movies, and then there’s 1987’s Blood Diner.
The horror comedy directed by Jackie Kong—who also directed the very fun hyper-low budget monster flick The Being—ricochets from insane plot point to insane plot point, making sure to milk only the broadest comedy and wildest performances possible out of the screenplay. It already leaves the realm of sensical filmmaking within the first 10 minutes, becoming something you’ve never seen before.
Two creepy brothers, George and Michael Tutman, are watching TV when their crazed serial killer uncle bursts through the door, begging the children to continue on his life’s work of bringing about the return of Sheetar, a goddess from the lost continent of Lumeria. Then, the uncle is suddenly killed by several police officers. Being good listeners, the kids grow up to be well-off small business owners, running the hottest vegetarian restaurant in town. When they’re not chopping up vegetables, they’re chopping up “immoral women,” adding their severed body parts to the composite body they are creating for Sheetar to inhabit. Of course, they can’t do it alone, so they get advice and support from the aforementioned serial killer uncle, who is now a brain and two eyeballs in a jar that communicates to them telepathically.
From this starting point, the movie sets into its own peculiar rhythm, following the murderous brothers and their pet brain as they slice and dice their way through the city’s fitness scene. If you squint, the movie almost looks like it’s making some sort of half-formed commentary on health fads, but it’s impossible to ascertain what the hell that satire actually is.
One thing is clear—this movie obviously takes place in some kind of Super America where everything is about 150% more over-the-top than our “normal” reality. Nude aerobics studios are doing good business until they get shot up by murderers in Reagan masks. The pride of the local wrestling circuit is Little Jimmy Hitler, whose gimmick is incredibly obvious. Old school, ‘50s-style Americana is hastily mashed up against ‘80s new wave with the big hairdos and ridiculous outfits to boot.
By the time the movie gets to its blood-drenched, goddess-summoning climax, bafflingly accompanied by a live rock band who shouldn’t have taken the gig, you’ll either be exhausted by all the dumb spectacle or asking yourself why more movies don’t swing for the fences in the way this one does. My answer to that question—it’s because Hollywood is full of cowards, and it needs more true visionaries like Jackie Kong to make insane movies for insane times.
Blood Diner is not currently streamable anywhere, but you can get a lovingly-remastered Blu-ray version from Vestron Video.