BLOOD HARVEST is a Bloody Good Time!

Blood Harvest is a sleazy slasher starring Tiny Tim that was recently released in a rare fully uncut version thanks to the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome. The oddity directed by Wisconsin based director Bill Rebane (The Giant Spider Invasion) was shot in 1987, which was around the time I was dragged as a small child to a Tiny Tim performance at my local circus. Most kids who go to the circus are usually traumatized by the clowns, but they had nothing on the hulking 6’ 1” ukulele-playing Tim and his super creepy falsetto/vibrato voice as he covered songs from the early 1900s, which still haunts me to this day. For those who weren’t alive in the late ‘60s, Tiny Tim was almost everywhere thanks to a ukulele cover of Tip Toe Through the Tulips. Tim’s fame had run its course when he was approached in 1985 about starring in the film at, of all places, the beer carnival in Lincoln County, Wisconsin.

To say Blood Harvest is kind of a weird film is an understatement. The lovely Jill, played by Itonia Salchek in her singular acting role, comes home from college to find her house vandalized thanks to her parents, who own the local bank. The bank has been foreclosing on farm after farm, and it has turned the entire rural community against her family, who are nowhere to be found. All that setup is kind of for naught as Jill spends the rest of the film half-heartedly searching for her parents by calling around while wearing next to nothing. Almost anyone stupid enough to visit her is then hung upside down in her barn by a masked killer while their throat is slashed and bled like a pig. Well, everyone except for her creepy old ex and his mentally disabled brother played by Tiny Tim, who is in full clown make-up as “The Marvolous Mervo.”

Coming in at the tail-end of the ‘80s slasher boom, the nasty no-budget Blood Harvest compensates for its late arrival with plenty of T&A and literally buckets of blood. There were originally three cuts of the film that have been released up until this point that had various deletions resulting in toned down nudity or violence, and this version is gleefully filled to the brim with both, which is odd considering Bill Rebane’s pre-Blood Harvest catalog is relatively tame in comparison. Blood Harvest is a fascinating oddity worth your time, thanks to not only Tiny Tim’s unnerving performance, which makes you wonder why he didn’t do more horror, but to also Itonia Salchek, who spends the majority of the film screaming in her underwear. Given those two factors I couldn’t imagine another label not only putting this out and preserving it, but giving this film the presentation it probably doesn’t deserve, paired here with a brand new commentary track with producer and co-writer Leszek Burzynski and a performance by Tiny Tim.

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