Friday, January 30, 2015

In Search of Blood Mania's Elusive Peter Carpenter

Pull up any reviews for either of Peter Carpenter's 1970/1971 movies Blood Mania and Point of Terror, and you'll see the same rote review. Carpenter was a bad Tom Jones impersonator, the music was bad, the stories were incomprehensible, the women were hot. What's the point if you're just writing the same idiotic blog fifty other people have already cut and pasted from the central hive?

First of all, of course the movies were bad. Rumor is Carpenter had to hustle just to put together the money to keep the productions afloat. But to say Peter Carpenter was untalented, or didn't have enough sex appeal to carry a production is foolish. No, he didn't leading man talent, but he sure as hell had more than sufficient sex appeal to make an independent about a guy who was handy with the ladies. I didn't doubt for a moment in either one of these movies that Carpenter couldn't have bedded these women on, or off screen.

The songs in Point of Terror are bad? No shit, Sherlock. But they're not much worse than any song I would hear if I turned on the radio right now. The three original songs Carpenter supposedly performs in the movie are titled "This is...," "Drifter of the Heart," and my favorite, "Lifebeat." I enjoy all three songs, and if Carpenter performed them he's better than 90% of the standard fare out there. Let me know when you write, produce, star, and sing the songs in your first movie. Carpenter was reportedly a jazz dancer in Las Vegas in his earlier years, and as far as recognizing that his act was semi-ridiculous and campy, co-star Dyanne Thorne stated that everyone was aware of that on set and playing it up. 

Let me get this straight: though. Peter Carpenter was talented and driven enough to write, produce, star in, sing in, and generally carry two entire movies in a twelve month period, but for every other writer on the internet that deserves mockery, not a "hell ya!." ???? 

Almost nothing is written about Peter Carpenter's life, career, or death. If IMDB is to be believed, he died in December 1971 in Malibu, California, of a massive cerebral hemorrhage, although co-star Leslie Simms states in an interview she remembers him dying in the late 70's or early 80's of pneumonia. What an odd enigma Carpenter is. No clear record of either his birth or death. How is it possible he might have made these movies back to back for Crown International, then disappeared altogether for up to a decade before his death? With the advent of the internet we assume all the information in the world is right here at our fingertips. It's strange, and I must confess somewhat exhilarating, that there are still some mysteries out there.   

Lounge singer Tony Trelos (Peter Carpenter, BLOOD MANIA, VIXEN!) spends his evenings performing at the Lobster House, waiting for his big break to crack the Billboard's Top 10.  He has a chance meeting with the beautiful older Andrea (Dyanne Thorne, ILSA SHE WOLF OF THE SS, ILSA HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHIEKS) who happens to be the wife of a powerful record producer. She takes Tony under her wings, offering him opportunities and success in his singing career.  However, things take a deadly turn as Tony is soon enveloped in a twisted web of murder and adultery.  Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get what you wish for!  Featuring Carpenter singing his big hits "This Is...", "Lifebeat", and "Drifter of the Heart", POINT OF TERROR is an exercise in suspense in which there may be no escape! - 

If you want more of Peter Carpenter you're almost out of luck. He had a role in Russ Meyer's Vixen, and starred in one other movie, "Love Me Like I Do," which is out of print. So, if you're one of those with an odd fascination about Carpenter, Blood Mania and Point of Terror are your only road maps.

It's possible the marketing of Blood Mania and Point of Terror helped to elicit the vitriolic response by some reviewers and fans of horror. You see, neither is what we would strictly classify as a horror movie. They're more accurately described as soft porn soap operas with some action and horror. The movie posters and trailers didn't help matters by promising "the outer limit of fear." Rhino didn't do anything to allay the confusion when they included "Point of Terror" in their Horrible Horrors collection. Nonetheless, if you go ahead and pull up any one of the other blogs about Point of Terror or Blood Mania on the interwebs, the second sentence will be an angry declaration that these are not horror movies. No shit, huh, Sherlock?

But I am far from being Peter Carpenter's biographer. I have more questions than answers. The main one being if Carpenter did not die in 1971 why didn't he make any more movies? What happened to him. I'm curious why almost nothing is written about him.
Peter Carpenter of Point of Terror and Blod Mania
Actor/dancer/writer/singer/producer Peter Carpenter circa 1971, on the shoot of his movie Point of Terror. After the movie was released there is no clear record of what happened to Carpenter. He never appeared on film again. 


Pin It


  1. Even being pre-nternet, it's still unusual someone this famous could have just disappeared, and no one has the story.

  2. I also was lead to your dead-end of info with the same pondering about Peter Carpenter. Having rewatched BLOOD MANIA last night, and remembering his similar role in POINT OF TERROR, I just had to know what happened to this guy! The brain hemorrhage in 1971 seems the more likely answer as surely he would he popped up in something else during the following years he was alive? Unless of course he really hit skid row afterwards and wound up with "pneumonia" (AIDS?) smack-dab in the late 70's/early 80's. Either result is depressing.


Blogger Wordpress Gadgets