Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ray Brooks, Jenny Hanley, Luan Peters, Robin Askwith, Candace Glendenning, Patrick Barr, Tristan Rogers
Written by: Alfred Shaughnessy
Directed by: Pete Walker
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 96
Date: 08/09/1974

The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)

2 Stars (out of 4)

'Show' Stopping

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

English exploitation director Pete Walker, best known for Frightmare (1974), House of Whipcord (1974), and House of the Long Shadows (1983), made this murder mystery involving a group of young people, and the result is slightly less engaging than a good episode of "Scooby-Doo."

Several actors accept a job in something called "The Flesh and Blood Show." They travel to a small town, to a run-down old seaside theater that apparently hasn't been used in years. No one is there, and things look suspicious. Not to mention that there's no indication that they will ever be paid for their work. So what do they do? They start improvising a show! Of course, people start getting killed off, and the show's intrepid director starts investigating.

The trouble is that the characters are so interchangeable that I was unable to remember who was dead and who was left, and which was which. Never mind that the entire setup is ridiculous. Walker does provide a generous amount of female nudity, even though blood and gore are on the low side. (It's funny how English and American priorities are so opposite.)

He also uses a special 3D ending to show the murderer's backstory. On Kino Lorber's Blu-ray, this ending is simply shown in black-and-white on a regular Blu-ray player, but apparently pops out if you have a special 3D Blu-ray player and a 3D TV. You can also see the ending on two separate extras, one geared for those old-fashioned red-and-green glasses -- which are not included; you'll have to see if you have an old set lying around -- as well as the more updated 3D. There's also a new video interview with Walker and a trailer.

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