I Eat Your Skin (1971)

Rating: C+

Dir: Del Tenney
Star: William Joyce, Heather Hewitt, Dan Stapleton, Betty Hyatt Linton

Oddly, I was munching on a pack of pork scratchings while I watched this, and that’s closer to skin-eating than anyone in this movie gets – it was retitled the 1970’s to double-bill with I Drink Your Blood. The original name, Voodoo Blood Bath, is a better fit: pulp author Tom Harris (Joyce) heads to Voodoo Island, with his annoying publisher and even more irritating wife, to get ideas for a new book. And boy, does he; within ten minutes, he’s seen a local decapitated by a machete-wielding zombie. Not long after, the zombies try to capture the daughter of the local scientist (every island has one), so something is clearly up. Killing natives is one thing, but when they start going after Caucasian virgin girls…

Though I suspect she doesn’t remain virgin for long, since Harris seems to think he’s James Bond (and this movie shared one location with Goldfinger). Not that this seems to bother the voodoo-ists much. The plot is similar to Plague of the Zombies, made two years later, though this sat on the shelf for seven years and lacks the extra bizarreness of Hammer’s Cornish setting. The zombie effects are pretty poor – hardly beyond a third-rate Jekyll & Hyde – but the story keeps moving. There are also occasional moments of coolness, such as the zombie with a box of explosives, heading relentlessly towards the aircraft which is the only escape route for the good, e.g. white characters. Hardly a classic, admittedly, this is still much less painfully tedious than the average 60’s b&w horror.