The head of a theatre troupe Alan (think of a cross between Charles Manson and Timothy Claypole in lurid and very colourful 60’s clothing) takes his fellow thespians (who he refers to as his ‘children’) to an island which is used as a kind of graveyard for dead criminals. He then assumes the role of a religious leader, puts on robe he just happens to have brought with him and proceeds to try and raise the dead using his knowledge of magic. Whilst this (seemingly) doesn’t work they dig up the dead body of a man called Orville. However later on in the film the dead do indeed rise again and get their revenge. They board the actor’s boat at the end of the film.
The director of this film is listed as Benjamin Clark but is in fact Bob Clark who went on to make the masterpieces Dead of Night and Black Christmas. Allan Ormsby who plays Alan went on to direct the excellent Ed Gein biopic Deranged.
This film has an interesting vibe to it that is similar to the counterculture early 70’s vibe of Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left (but without the violence or genuine transgression). This is gritty low budget filmmaking that points to the drive-in but also to the arthouse realm.
The colour palette of the cast’s wardrobe is like watching an acid trip with each character wearing a different very bright colour and when more than one cast member is in the frame together it’s a trip. In fact theres a shot in the movie of the cast members all lines up behind each other and it’s like a spectrum of colour. The audience members on certain substances must have loved this sequence.
This is an interesting film but far from being some kind of 60’s classic. The title is very misleading also.
**and a half out of *****
As this is a new site I thought I’d take some time to introduce myself. My name is Simon and I’m a film aficionado. I studied film for 3 years in London and am undertaking a teacher training course so that I can lecture in the subject.
But before you think that my tastes in film are constrained to the so-called classics of the subject I will have to correct you. I was born in 1975 and remember first hand the birth of video in the UK, the home video boom and also the ensuing Video Nasties controversy. I was lucky in that my parents were very liberal when it came to my viewing habits. The first two videos rented by my parents when we first started bought a VCR were Captain America (a cartoon version from the 60s) and Basket Case. I was much more interested in the latter and wasn’t disappointed. Its still one of my favourite slices of exploitation cinema.
The local video stores were my training ground when it came to learning about my tastes in cinema. Video releases in those days focussed more on the most graphic, lurid and sensationalistic movies with artwork that was just as attention grabbing. I would spend hours in these video stores salivating over video art that featured rotting green zombies, kickass Kung-Fu masters and blaxploitation actresses brandishing shotguns. In other words, I was in heaven.
From there I started to explore more films and even some arthouse movies. I also learnt about the work of auteurs who were highly respected. But before you think I was watching stuffy and boring old nonsense I’d just like to point out that the auteurs I’m talking about are people such as John Waters, William Friedkin and Hershell Gordon Lewis.
I then moved to London to study film and had at my disposal the best cinemas in the world showing all manner of the obscure and cult. When I arrived I went to see a retrospective of Russ Meyer’s work at what I though was an art cinema. It actually turned out to be a porno moviehouse. But I’ll save that story for a later posting ; )
My taste in Film and TV is eclectic to say the least. Within this website I’ll be extolling the merits of Public Information adverts, killer nun movies, gems set in women’s prisons, rape revenge films, animals vs humans shockers…the list goes on and on.
Do you love edgy and extreme cinema? Welcome aboard!