I have been asked several times what our bloodfest is… Essentially, it is me and my brother reliving our childhood.
Back in the days when the BBC was good (1970s), they used to show a ‘Horror Double-Bill’ on BBC2 Saturday nights. Mum & Dad would usually go to bed, while we stayed up past midnight. If we were lucky, Mum would provide us with pizza and if we had been really good that week, we got a pack of Woodpecker cider to go with it, (one per film). In the 1970s, we thought pizza was so sophisticated, and pre-cut Sainsbury’s pizza was the treat of treats. Looking back on it today, the base was more like corrugated cardboard than pizza base and the cheese I am now sure was recycled rubber and nothing like the pizzas we eat today. The fact that the wedges were sealed on a cardboard foil tray, using a heat-shrink polymer, just conveyed an ‘eau-de-plastic’, to the whole treat when mum served them up after reheating in the oven… Those were the days!
By the early 80s, we were both engaged on college life, studying, and I can’t seem to work out exactly when the real BBC died, but suddenly, there were no longer any horror double bills, just rubbish programmes for the intellectually challenged. We could no longer rely on the Beeb for our horror fix and so from the late 80s, we were renting videos from the Belvedere Video Club, getting beer from Thresher’s Off-licence and stoking up on spring rolls from Belvedere’s ‘Peking Chef’… and so in 1988, our ‘Bloodfest’ was born, though there was a large break in the 90s, when we seemed to always be at opposite ends of the country. When I moved back South from Yorkshire, they soon started again.
We manage to get together on a regular basis at each other’s houses, nowadays with a collection of DVDs and Blue-Rays of the best horror movies we have encountered since the last BF and, accompanied by good beer and good food, watch them and rate them.
Usually it is a free-for-all, but sometimes, we set a theme. We usually rate the films in marks out of ten and on occasions like so find a ‘so bad it is brilliant’ to inflict upon the other.
We usually toss a coin twice… the first toss is to decide if we chose the one we want to watch from the other’s collection (heads) or if we select which one we think the other should watch from our own collection (tails). The second toss is to see who goes first.
On occasions, we might even invite an extremely lucky third party to join us.
That is really about it.
According to my diaries, the October 2015 session was our 43rd Bloodfest.