Husband and wife archaeologists adopt an infant they discover abandoned at an ancient temple, one constructed by devil worshippers.
As the mysterious child grows into adulthood, only his adoptive father is troubled by the boy's strange and violence prone behavior.
A Sacrifice in Blood was written especially for the Mystery Theater by Milt Wisoff, and starred Patricia Roe, Ralph Bell, Don Scardino, and Ian Martin.
Although its narrative wanders all over the place, thanks to writer Milt Wisoff cramming 16 years into 54 minutes, and the event compression is tight enough to make the story trip over its self made wrinkles in time, such as when the Stamplers (Patricia Roe and Ralph Bell) are able to return, almost instantaneously, to the distant ancient temple where they found Michael (Don Scardino) as an infant, A Sacrifice in Blood offers just enough creepy moments of suspicion and chillings hints of horrors committed that I feel it's worth recommending to horror fans.
Things were mentioning and/or praising:
1. With the exception of the promised ending of "Gothic Horror", all the disturbing stuff occurs off stage and, again, save for that ending, does not involve the principal characters, the Stamplers, in any way. They learn about these things after the fact.
2. The listener is left in the dark about a great many things. Michael's strange experiments at the Academy are never gone into detail, nor is the horrible thing that Michael did to the Fielding child ever described. When Steve Stampler calls the child's mother, the listener only hears his side of the conversation. The listener's own imagination is left to fill in the uncomfortable gaps.
3. Don Scardino's performance as Michael is odd and off-putting in its aloofness and emotional distance. Michael is never rude, nor does he sound the least bit mean-spirited, but he never sounds emotionally engaged when talking with his parents. He also has a habit of appearing out of what seems to be nowhere.
I think these things help A Sacrifice in Blood overcome its narrative shortcomings and stumbles, just enough to create an entertainingly weird and spooky way to pass 54 minutes.
TRIVIA: Older genre fans might recognize Don Scardino's name. He not only appeared in Squirm, the notorious killer worm film from 1976, but he also had a sizable role, as the tragically doomed Ted Bailey, in William Friedkin's controversial (and unjustifiably maligned) 1980 thriller, Cruising. Today he is a sought after director for television.