Incense for the Damned (1970)

Incense for the Damned (1970) movie poster

director Robert Hartford-Davis
viewed: 08/10/2016

Obscurity is at a premium these days, but after watching “Freedom Seekers” a.k.a. “Bloodsuckers” a.k.a. Incense for the Damned, I might have nailed it.  This strange and pretty crummy film seems indeed lesser known on ye olde internets.

Adapted from a novel called  Doctors Wear Scarlet by Simon Raven, it’s a post-Manson trippy hippie vampirism flick with Patrick Macnee and Peter Cushing slumming along.  Cushing is an Oxford don, whose son has run off with some strange young woman and a cult in Greece.  The team that is sent to rescue him from the cult find him to be well under its sway, either by drugs or indoctrination.  Whether they are vampires or just really think they’re vampires is a fuzzy notion.

But it’s possible that there could be a compelling story lurking below the surface here, of youth culture rejecting roles of established society, being under the sway of things both real and imagined.

But it’s cheap and choppy, flailing at high-mindedness.  On the positive side, it skitters through camp, and almost becomes genuinely worthwhile.  Though, in the end, that worth may still be reliant upon its obscurity than its actual qualities.

Packaged by Something Weird with Blood Thirst (1971) in 2001 and maybe no longer in print, the double feature DVD made it worth my while.

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