Fri 10 Feb 2017
I EAT YOUR SKIN. Cinemation Industries, 1971. William Joyce, Heather Hewitt, Walter Coy, Dan Stapleton, Betty Hyatt Linton, Robert Stanton. Screenwriter-Director: Del Tenney.
Forget the title because it has almost nothing to do with the movie itself. There’s no skin eating, let alone full-on cannibalism in this low budget independent horror film. Originally titled Zombie Bloodbath and then later Voodoo Blood Bath, I Eat Your Skin wasn’t released to theaters until several years after it was made and then only under a title meant to allure drive in theater moviegoers. Paired on a double bill with the gory grindhouse feature I Drink Your Blood (1971), this was the rather tepid, clunky one that apparently disappointed those seeking the same intensity as the main feature.
For that reason, along with a title that suggests it’s something other than what it is, I Eat Your Skin has received a bad rap. Now don’t allow me to give you the impression that it’s somehow a neglected gem or a great horror movie just waiting to be rediscovered. It’s neither of those things.
But it’s an actually fun, almost innocently so, mid-1960s horror movie that never takes itself too seriously and has a great calypso vibe.
Think of it as a throwback to the zombie movies of the 1930s and 1940s wherein an intrepid protagonist seeks to investigate the strange things happening on a remote island. The special effects are lousy and the dialogue isn’t memorable, but there’s everything you would expect in such a movie including a madman employing a scientist to create an army of the living dead.
As a late night – make that a very late night – feature movie, this one isn’t half bad. Definitely recommended for zombie fans.