“Predating both the social realism horror of I, Zombie etc and the junkie-porn vogue sparked by Trainspotting, it has an ancient vampire preying on heroin addicts in Edinburgh tower blocks” – British Horror Revival
In 1993, inspired by the success of US indie features such as El Mariachi, Scottish Writer-Director Bruce Naughton was keen to make a straight to video feature that would have enough commercial edge to make some money. Shot on grainy 16mm in a real Scottish council estate and with locals and friends making up the minuscule crew, BLOOD JUNKIES was eagerly previewed in the monthly film press of the day. The much anticipated film never materialised however and was quietly forgotten in those pre-internet days. Until now and this is its story…
Is this the greatest film ever made? No. Is this a lost masterpiece? No, but it is a film which is amazingly fun, oozes passion, ingenuity and was made at a time when it was REALLY difficult to make a micro-budget feature.
Each frame, full of purposeful exploitation cues shows how difficult a task the filmmakers faced and ensures you root for not just the protagonist but for the success of filmmakers themselves.
Where did it go and why have we not heard of it? Against the odds, Bruce and his team were eagerly set for VHS superstardom after having struck a seemingly fantastic deal with a large US horror film distributor. Unfortunately this success was never to be as the real-life horror was far worse when they soon discovered the distributors were really a front for a fundamental religious organisation, hell-bent on buying horror movies to ensure they were never released to a public susceptible to satanic possession.
Lost for 20 years, the only remaining copy of BLOOD JUNKIES was recently found on a long forgotten cutting-copy video tape hidden in a crew members attic. Missing a few reels, it is now finally available to stream – for free via Tartan Features.
This is a movie for anyone who has tried to make their own film, who understands the struggle, hardship and sometimes crushing blows dealt. It is also hugely enjoyable. Sit back with your friends, a small beer (or twenty) and take yourself back to the glory days of exploitation film.
BLOOD JUNKIES was directed and written by Bruce Naughton and produced by Keith Bradley. It has been released by Micro-Budget Feature Collective Tartan Features.
The film is accompanied by a Q+A recorded at a rare 2019 screening featuring Bruce and ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ director John McPhail, a 1994 ‘making of’ by producer Keith Bradley and the original trailer.