Shockingly, at least to myself, I had not heard of Blood Diner, or its female Asian American director Jackie Kong, until I saw her in In Search of Darkness: Part II, Shudder's continuing documentary series about 1980's horror movies. In it she talks about being the only female minority director at the time directing cheap, often comedic horror movies, and she's an amusing interview to be sure. I was intrigued.
I decided to start with Blood Diner as it was the fourth film she made, and I figured by that time she had a bigger budget, and probably worked out all those young director kinks. I'm not sure I chose wisely as...it's not good. I mean, it's very clearly intentionally bad; the film started out as a sequel to Herschell Gordan Lewis's Blood Feast, another movie that's intentionally bad, even if it seems like it's trying to be good. But it just never seems to stick the landing, with jokes that aren't funny, gross out effects that are not outlandish enough to be amusing and so instead just remain gross, and save for one moment where a naked woman busts out karate moves, it never seems to subvert the sexist horror movie cliches it depicts.
Not sure I'll give any of her earlier films a try, although the cast of her first film, The Being, which includes Martin Landau, José Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, and Ruth Buzzi certainly has me curious, so perhaps it will make it to next year's countdown.
I watched Blood Diner free on the Roku Channel. The print was really good, and unedited, but you do have to sit through commercials several times throughout the film.