Film Review: The Bloodthirsty Trilogy (1971-1974)

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy is a set of films being released by Arrow Video next month. It includes The Vampire Doll, Lake of Dracula, and Evil of Dracula. These were directed by Michio Yamamoto, who worked as an assistant director behind Akira Kurosawa on Throne of Blood and Kihachi Okamoto on Samurai Assassin. While this trilogy of horror films isn’t at all like his early work in the samurai genre, it is an awesome example of seventies horror.

I was really pleasantly surprised by these films. These were meant to capitalize on the classic Dracula films made famous by the iconic Hammer Films Studios. For me, however, they did a lot more. Sure I’m a fan of some of those European classics, but these films put an Asian spin on them that I had never before witnessed. So I guess, I’m a rookie in this sense. I know some people out there have seen these films on TV and through various obscure DVD releases with crazy dubbing and blurry picture quality. I’m glad that I didn’t have experience with those, and got to skip directly to the upgrade. The best part about this release, in fact, is that it will do great things for people like me who have never seen them, as well as the old pros of Asian cinema.

As far as Arrow Video goes, this was a clean and colorful restoration. I really think people that saw the old transfers and cheesy TV versions will love the new look and sound that this release provides. I was also glad to see that it was something different from the company as a whole. I didn’t need another release of something like Killer Klowns… or Last House… that I already owned on Blu-ray. Those are releases that can wait until the next Arrow sale, and even then I’m not sure I will want them.

So in the end, the titles included and price point makes this is pretty plausible purchase for me as a collector. This is a cheaper release at thirty-five bucks, that includes three films that haven’t had a wide distribution of such a high quality release. The films have great lighting, vivid seventies gore effects, and the strange aesthetic from classics of Asian horror like Jigoku and House. So if you’re into vampires, Japanese schoolgirls, Argento-ish lighting, and great collection pieces, I highly recommend this release.

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I'm here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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