Ed Wood is a household name. As horrible as most of his movies are, and as often as he’s been the butt of cruel jokes and ridicule, people still recognize his name. Many can even associate his name with his most (in)famous cinematic train wreck, “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”
While Wood probably didn’t enjoy being the subject of such ridicule – who would? – one would guess that he’d prefer to be remembered at all, rather than be forgotten or overlooked altogether.
The latter is the fate that’s nearly befallen Baltimore DIY genre filmmaker Don Dohler. Best known, if remembered at all, for his shoestring budget sci-fi flick “The Alien Factor,” which found an unlikely home on late night cable TV syndication in the early 1980s, Dohler completed five relatively family-friendly genre films in the 1970s and early ‘80s before becoming fed up with the film business and dropping out of sight.
“Blood, Boobs and Beast” finds Dohler in the midst of a comeback of sorts. He’s returned to the business and is working on the latest in a series of ever-more exploitative straight-to-video productions with his pragmatic business partner Joe Ripple. Sadly, as we soon learn, the video market’s insatiable appetite for blood, boobs and beasts – not necessarily in that order – is once again pushing the filmmaking purist towards the exit door.
There’s no doubt Dohler’s already a legend inside the genre community, as appearances here by J.J. Abrams and legendary make-up artist Tom Savini attest. Yet, director John Paul Kinhart has done the rest of us a public service with “Blood, Boobs and Beast” by introducing audiences to a filmmaker most have never heard of, by shining a much deserved spotlight on a likable, low-key geek and committed family man with an (intermittent) passion for moviemaking.
While the bulk of “Blood, Boobs, and Beast” understandably focuses on Dohler’s filmmaking career, it also explores his lesser-known accomplishments in the underground comics world, as well as his successful stint as publisher and editor of the tips-laden genre magazine “Cinemagic.”
Don Dohler will never be a household name in the same way that the mere mention of Ed Wood’s name has entered out national consciousness. The thing is, he’d probably be okay with that. Because, based on the unassuming guy who looks in this film like a shoe salesman rather than a horror filmmaker, Don Dohler would probably much rather be recognized a little for the right reasons, than be world famous for all the wrong ones.