Blood Beat (1982)

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What a gloriously strange film. It recently became available on DVD under a slightly different name. Like Idaho Transfer, most of the cast and crew would never make another film. Written, directed and shot in rural Wisconsin by a French filmmaker and edited back in France, it tells the story of a young man who brings his girlfriend home to meet his family at Christmas. The man’s mother (Helen Benton) is psychic, and the girlfriend (Sarah, played by Claudia Peyton) happens to be possessed by the spirit of the mother’s sister, who “turned to evil”. The spirit manifests itself as a glowing blue samurai warrior and is whipped into a killing frenzy any time Sarah is aroused.

The connection between the “sisters”, the samurai, and the girlfriend is vague, but some World War 2 stock footage is thrown in to cement the arrangement. After a few backwoods locals are dispatched via ceremonial sword, a psychic battle in two parts takes place. Sarah eventually becomes the samurai, and the remaining members of the clan team up to battle her using low-budget 80s special lighting effects.

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