Horror-comedies seem to gain a lot more respect from critics than a straight up horror flick. Perhaps it is because they are aware of themselves, and don’t take themes nearly as seriously. For Blood Diner, however, no one ever had anything good to say from a mainstream point of view. In the horror kingdom for hardcore fans, the case was very different. Horror buffs demanded that everyone see this gem of the genre. After all, it was banned in specific provinces of Canada! It just had to be good. There was no denying it.
It’s the 1960s. Young brothers Michael and George (Roxanne Cybelle and Sir Rodenheaver) are left alone at their home for twenty minutes, while the radio warns of a maniac with a meat cleaver on the loose. The front door, apparently made of cardboard, is then smashed apart by a man with a meat cleaver in hand! The boys are not scared though. It’s only Uncle Anwar (Drew Godderis), covered in blood and staring at them both; lovingly of course. He’s checking up on them to make sure that they’ve been practising their hypnotism. Police surround the house and order Anwar to walk out. The boys watch their uncle leave the home, soon hearing multiple gun shots. Anwar is dead. Twenty years later, George and Michael (Carl Crew and Rick Burks) dig up the grave of their dead uncle, and steal his brain. They are planning an ancient feast, thousands of years old, to bring back the Egyptian goddess, Sheetar. With the talking brain Anwar as their guide, they will conjure up a night of horrors never even thought imaginable!
At the Tutman Diner, which the crazy brothers own, the food is to die for! Nobody knows that the flesh and parts of humans are to blame for Mikey and Georgie’s secret recipe. With Uncle Anwar in a jar behind the scenes, the grown boys frequently ask him for the next stages in the completion of the unholy feast. “Lungs and livers from two sluts” are among the wacky to get list items. Vegetarians and white trash are high on the menu, and no one is the least bit suspicious. Though, detectives Mark Shepard (Roger Dauer) and Sheba Jackson (LaNette La France) are slowly unravelling the mystery, from the dead aerobic dancers to various other victims. Michael and George need to create a new body for Sheetar to live in; one made completely out of different female (and sometimes feline) limbs. The body has to be perfect. An homage to 1963's Blood Feast, this party is about to get real messy! Ventriloquists and bouncers will wish they had never messed with the brothers of Blood Diner.
This ridiculous and cheesy B-movie about the Tutman boys messed up in their late uncle’s cult is high in gore and gross-out scenes. It wouldn’t be right to say that the gore saved the film, but it certainly made it more enjoyable and easier to watch. It may be a horror comedy, but it’s filled with crazy situations that, you’ll either laugh at till you die, or scream “what in God’s name is going on?”. When Michael and Georgie are aiming to pick up a couple of ‘trashy women’ at the local night club, a bouncer prevents them from entering. In front of everybody, the Tutmans throw the young man into the street, where a car runs over his head. SPLAT! What do people do? They all start laughing like good citizens. It really is one of the better moments in the film, where it seems the cannibalistic brothers are more suitably dressed for 1977. Their outfits are odd, tight, and a disco flashback.
I can’t say everything was perfect though. As cheesy as it was, it came across as lame when jokes about wrestling, people speaking over one another, or actors trying to convey an accent clearly does not work well. Editing was weak, and half the time I felt as if the actors were all just friends of the director. I hand it to George and Michael though. They have their characters all fleshed out and ready to serve. More “what in God’s name” moments happen, such as punching, punching, and more punching. The chief of police, Miller (Max Morris) takes offense to detective Mark making jokes at a crime scene, and punches him right in the gut! The poor guy. What’s even more out of place, though ever so funny, is when a customer makes a gay joke about wrestling in the diner, and Georgie punches his lights out! Nobody seems to notice. Never say anything bad about wrestling when he’s around. You may just get what that same customer later received. A choking that spewed vomit over all of the customers, in yet again, another “what?” scene. The vomiting man was okay in the end, but no, nobody found it to be awkward.
A plot develops when a young virgin girl (Lisa Elaina) is reeled into Michael’s grasp by hypnotism. It is a nice change in story. She is comforted by him after hearing about the death of her friends at a nude aerobics class, shot for cable TV. He invites her to a wrestling match, where brother George ends up fighting wrestling champ, Little Jimmy Hitler. We all know the real reason these guys are hanging around her. She will be the sacrifice to the great Sheetar. Over the top, but entertaining, Blood Diner was released on VHS by Vestron Video. The flick is trash, and you never find yourself in love with the story. Luckily, the comedic scenes follow through with their purpose; usually.
George ends up running over a biker more than six times because the large hog just won’t die. The brain known as Anwar yells at his nephews, furious with their idiotic antics. We never do find out where his voice is coming from? A chef who is dying to know Tutman’s secret recipe has a cowboy dummy whom he gives a high pitched voice to through ventriloquism. I seriously believe that he has a few screws loose. Though, doesn’t everyone in this movie? Blood Diner partly turns into a zombie film near the end, and the great Sheetar is resurrected from her slumber. Lightning bolts, stomach mouths, and exploding ears! The creativity is non-stop. First they greet you, then they eat you. Fair enough. This may turn into something too nutty for some viewers. Strict fans of dark horror should be hesitant, though the mush of body parts and high death toll definitely aren’t for the faint at heart. Before you can decide whether this movie is up your alley or not, drive down to Tutman’s Diner and order a take-out. Rent it!