Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flesh and Blood

B-movies are a great place to find vintage beefcake, so much so that the popular site, Brian’s Drive in Theater, has an entire section called “B-Movie Beefcake” (and an overflow section called “More B-Movie Beefcake”).

Today’s post is about two b-movie studs, William “Bill” Joyce and Robert Winston (who also went by his full name, Robert Winston Mercy), both of whom starred in cut-rate horror films that were made in the mid-1960’s but not released until 1971 to fill double-bills. These films also feature similar subject matter: one is about flesh-eating zombies, the other about sacrificial blood drinkers.

I Eat Your Skin stars soap actor William “Bill” Joyce, a tall (6’5”), well-built stud who at times looks like he could have played Superman (his forehead is frequently assaulted by a runaway lock of hair) and at other times looks like Bill Murray’s handsome older brother. He’s hairy-chested, broad-shouldered, and muscular, if a little flabby around the gut – but not bad for 1964.

Joyce plays Tom Harris, a writer who travels to a Caribbean island to research voodoo legends for a novel. There he chances upon the lab of a cancer researcher who has discovered how to turn the locals into zombies by using snake venom – and is being forced by his evil boss into creating a zombie army to conquer the world.

Blood Thirst stars Robert Winston as Adam Rourke, a New York sex crimes detective who is brought to the Phillipines, by his old buddy Inspector Ramos of the Manila Police Department to help solve a string of bizarre murders involving the girls who work at a local nightclub.

Winston, with his muscular but beefy build and chiseled-granite handsomeness, looks like the offspring of a Rod Taylor-Hugh O'Brian one night stand. Rourke solves the murders, which involve a cult devoted to blood sacrifice and a monster whose head looks like a blob of bubblegum spit out by the 50 Foot Woman. Winston gets tied up with his shirt ripped open, so at least there is some gratuitous bondage.

Both films are pretty awful, but they do have the redeeming quality of showing off some mid-60s hunkiness.