The Blacktip Island medical clinic hopes this year’s Horror Fest Blood Drive will result in more donations that last year’s record-breaking inaugural horror-themed drive. (photo courtesy of NMCSD)
The Blacktip Island medical clinic will sponsor its second annual Horror Fest Blood Drive Friday to replenish the island’s emergency blood supply, depleted during the busy holiday season.
“The horror shtick started as a joke last year,” island nurse Marissa Sanguine said. “We’d had zero eligible donors three years in a row. Most locals had too high a blood alcohol content to donate, and the sober ones were too scared of needles.
“We thought, ‘the turnout couldn’t get any worse, so let’s have a laugh,’” Sanguine said. “Then as soon as we said we’d be showing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we had people lined up out the door, begging to give blood. Something about slasher movies gets people in the spirit.”
The clinic will show a peer-reviewed selection of classic horror films on multiple screens in the waiting room while donors give blood in the treatment area.
This year’s curated horror movies include:
- Evil Dead
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- Night of the Living Dead
- Dracula (1931 version)
“It’s wonderful how Marissa attracts donors by making the donation process so fun,” said island doctor Azul Tang. “She dresses like a vampire, and even sends costumed volunteers to the island’s resorts to drum up donors.”
Some locals, though, say the themed blood drive is inappropriate.
“It’s ghoulish, focusing on gore when they should be touting how blood donations save lives,” the Reverend Pierre Grunt said. “It cheapens the process and, long term, does more harm than good. You really think that crap doesn’t scare people away?”
Drive organizers were unswayed.
“It’s near impossible to find anyone sober enough to give blood on this island, much less willing to let you stick a needle in their arm,” Sanguine said. “Our donations last year were through the roof, and we aim to break into double digits this time around. If ‘ghoulish’ gets us a few more pints of blood, then ‘ghoulish’ it is.”
Local businesses are also supporting the drive.
“It’s a community effort,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “The Sand Spit’s serving half-price bloody Mary’s to anyone wearing an ‘I Donated Blood’ sticker, and the Tale Spin’s serving fresh steak tartar for lunch and dinner.”
Island residents agree the new approach is a winner.
“Vampire blood drive’s a lot of fun, you know, even if you can’t drink the night before,” handyman Dermott Bottoms said. “Help the island, see a free movie, then get drunk for cheap the next two, three nights. And make some pocket change selling ‘I Donated’ stickers.”