BLOOD SONG (ONLINE)
Frankie Avalon, 1982
I recently wrote an article on Frankie Avalon for Norwood Media and researching my man sent me on a couple of merry chases. A couple of films stuck out from his filmography that I had to look into. One was 1974’s The Take starring Billy Dee Williams. Frank plays a slimy little mob informer with only a couple of scenes and I had to ask myself why he would take such a job. Like, literally, why? What were the circumstances? Was he seeking work? Did the producers seek him out for the role? The other film that caught my eye asks these questions in spades.
Blood Song (1982) is an “independent slasher flick”. And Frankie Avalon plays the slasher. Bam. End of article. Why on earth would Frank make this movie? Actually, though, this one might be easier to explain than The Take. Perhaps down deep in Frankie’s soul, he always wanted to play the bad guy. Or in this case the psycho. Think Harry Connick in Copycat. Anyways, let’s take a look at Blood Song.
As a youth, Paul (Avalon) had witnessed his father murdering his mother and her lover, leaving the little guy traumatized. He subsequently spends his life in an institution until, after 25 years, he murders an orderly and escapes…taking his beloved wooden flute with him. Meanwhile, poor Marion (Donna Wilkes) is still hobbled as a result of a car accident caused by her drunken father, played by Richard Jaeckel, by the way. Paul is murdering his way to Marion’s small Oregon town and Marion is starting to have bad dreams featuring murders; in fact, they are premonitions. You see, when Marion was in the hospital, she received a blood transfusion. The donor? Paul, the unhinged, flute-playing murderer! The deadly tune he plays is the “blood song”!
It’s not great. Let’s get that out of the way. For some reason, though, it took two directors to knock this one out. One of them was Alan J. Levi, a television director who directed no other feature films. He directed a TV movie about toxic waste, The Last Song (1980), that starred Lynda Carter and Paul Rudd – but not that Paul Rudd. His only other directing credit was 1987’s The Stepford Children (starring Barbara Eden and Dick Butkus!).
The film was co-written and produced by Frank Avianca. And here’s where we may have uncovered the source of Frankie Avalon’s involvement in this movie. Avianca had previously been singer Frankie Sardo who had a couple of minor hits in the late Fifties and was part of the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour in February of 1959. Did the producer of Blood Song, a former Italian-American pop singer, reach out to Frankie Avalon, also a former Italian-American pop singer, and ask him to appear in his picture? Did they know each other in the past? And the other producer of this film? Lenny Montana, the guy who played Luca Brasi in The Godfather! Montana had been a pro wrestler before becoming an arsonist for the Colombo crime family. You can’t make this up, people. Apparently it was Montana who thought of Avalon for the role of the heavy after having seen Frank in a darker episode of Fantasy Island. Might be a bit presumptuous but maybe these two Italian-American producers reached out to their paisan to appear in their picture.
Carol Lynley was supposed to be in Blood Song but managed to escape. This film was deemed repugnant enough in the United Kingdom to be “seized and confiscated” under the “Obscene Publications Act”. See “Video Nasty”. This film is fascinating to watch. It helps that it was filmed on location on the Central Oregon Coast. Check This Out today…if you dare!