Ben eventually reveals that he believes Julie is the reincarnation of her great grandmother Barbara Merriday and that he was Barbara’s lover in a previous life. Ben gives Julie an antique locket with an authentic portrait of Barbara…who looks just like Julie. Ben also seems to know details of the Merriday family history heretofore only known to Julie’s Aunt Sarah (Jeanette Nolan). Are Ben and Julie really reincarnated lovers? Is this a scam perpetrated by someone with intimate knowledge of the family—like Aunt Sarah? Is Ben just plain crazy? But if he is, how does he know so much about Julie’s family?
For most of its running time, My Blood Runs Cold holds its cards closely and functions nicely as a low-budget thriller. Actor William Conrad (TV’s Cannon, radio’s Matt Dillon) directed a lot of TV episodes in the 1960s, but this was one of his few feature films at the helm. He takes advantage of the seaside setting, using the waves and washed-up seaweed, for example, to hide most of the corpse on the beach. He also recognizes that his picture is targeted toward teens and thus doesn’t miss an opportunity to show hunky Troy with his shirt off or shapely Joey Heatherton in a bathing suit.
My Blood Runs Cold isn’t an unknown classic thriller waiting to be discovered. It has its flaws (especially the drawn-out ending), but still works as a consistently interesting B-film with two likable leads. It’s the kind of movie you might have seen as a second feature at the drive-in in the 1960s…and driven home thinking: “That was better than I expected.”