Having seen this a couple of times years ago on dupe VHS, and never particularly liking it, I thought I'd give it another go on Blu-ray, as it has now surprisingly been released on the format uncut in the UK by 88 Films. Oddly, despite the fact that the film is entitled Bloodsucking Freaks, 88 have chose to separate the 'Blood' from the 'Sucking' on the cover, but I'm not intending to nitpick. The film itself is scarcely plotted, vaguely about a theatre owner, Sardu, whose magic shows of torture and murder are actually using real victims and not actors. Mostly women, they are being abducted from various locations for the purposes of being used in the show, or to be kept in some sort of dungeon downstairs.
Considering that this was made in the mid seventies, it certainly is a nasty, depraved little number. Yes, the gore is not always up to Tom Savini standards, and it is thoroughly amateurish at times (Joel M Reed could hardly be considered a master of his art) but it refuses to acknowledge any barriers, and even today there are bound to be a few things in here that make any viewer wince. It does periodically feel like the entire endeavour was to create something to shock and nothing else, which may be true, thus the endless torture and screaming can occasionally become a little wearing. However, there are elements of sadomasochistic eroticism present, albeit not realised as well as they could be, plus it marks itself as a precursor to what would eventually become known as the 'torture porn' sub-genre of horror that popularised itself from Hostel/Saw onwards (although I think it has justifiably ran out of steam now). Personally I think the writer/director was influenced by The Sinful Dwarf which was released a couple of years previous to BSF, and with which it shares a number of elements such as the depraved dwarf himself along with the dungeon of captured women and the intensity of some of the lengths gone to in the name of shock. Whether one considers it to be entertaining or not will of course depend on the viewer. The nastiness forces you to keep your eyes on the screen, whilst the silliness will infrequently instil a laugh or two. Mostly though BSF earns its place, rather questionably I guess, in film history for being one of the forefathers of torture porn.