With a title like "Blood Song" and Frank Avalon starring as an axe wielding maniac in a drive-in style slasher movie, you may expect something weird. You wouldn't be disappointed.
There's not a lot to recommend this movie for your average viewer, but for fans of 80s horror, fans of independent underground cinema, those who miss the drive-in or late night movies and fans of anyone of the interesting cast members of this flick (Frankie Avalon and Donna Wilkes being the main draws) this movie is almost a "must see".
On the face of it, it's a very straight forward 80s maniac movie (and an early example at that). Not a supernatural slasher like Jason or Michael Meyers, or a wise-cracking dream killer, such as Freddy, but rather a regular run of the mill serial killer with a very simple back story. It was popular in these movies to have a child experience a trauma and grow up to be a crazed killer with a simple trigger. For Paul Foley (Avalon) that trigger is insulting his flute, a gift from his "Daddy".
There is, however, a supernatural element to the movie and it's used to bring together our killer and leading lady (Wilkes), who for the first portion of the film seem to be occupying two separate movies. Wilkes' character, Marion, has a psychic link to the killer and sees him commit terrible acts. This is used to create suspense or horror to varying degrees of success.
Richard Jaeckel and Antoinette Bower play Marion's parents and turn in solid performances as expected. Donna Wilkes does a good job as the troubled teen who is recovering from an injury and trying to deal with the fact that nobody seems to believe her nightmares are real. Kudos to the writers for giving the Marion character a reason to fall down multiple times right from the start of the movie. Her bad knee makes the horror movie chase scenes that much more believable.
Frankie Avalon's performance here is the real stand out. At times he's a bit over the top, but it fits the genre, the period and the dialogue he was given. In some moments, his inner psychopath really shines. What you never see is the beloved beach movie hero he's famous for and that's a good thing.
There are no particularly clever kills, but the chase at the lumber mill added action I didn't expect from a low budget film.
According to the trivia BCI was forced to use a video source as the master in order to release the movie on DVD. I'm guessing from the 4:3 aspect ratio that the Amazon Prime version I saw used the same source, which likely explains some of the grainy quality and lack of contrast in some scenes.
If you enjoy movies like "Pieces" and "Blood Rage" I'd give this one a shot, especially if you're watching it included with Prime. Be prepared for a trip to the past and keep an eye our for the "Starsky and Hutch" Torino in the H.S. parking lot. I guess that paint job was pretty popular for awhile.