Okay, catchup time. As
threatened promised over the last couple of days, it's every crappy movie I watched for the last couple of months time:
The basic story concerns a playboy writer who travels with his agent, and a couple of other more disposable characters, to 'Voodoo Island' where he uncovers a fiendish plot by the boss white man. The boss white man is blackmailing the local maverick misguided scientist with the beautiful daughter (standard fixtures on small Caribbean islands at the time) into turning the 'natives' into indestructible zombies with which he can take over the world. The zombification process involves taking snake venom (via stock footage) and putting it in a nuclear microwave with a big flashing DANGER FORESHADOWING! sign on it, then injecting it into hapless natives. Mwahahaha! To help him in his scheme White Boss Bloke dresses up as a voodoo-doo priest, Papa Whatever, and goes around chopping off women's heads at orgiastic ceremonies. When he decides to chop off the blonde (and somewhat humpable) scientist's beautiful daughter's head, things go a bit wrong for him.
This movie probably does have one claim to fame, it boasts what may well be the the world's first on-screen zombie suicide bomber. A zombie carrying a box of explosives, helpfully marked 'Explosives', walks into the spinning propeller of the heroes' plane. Kaboom!
A couple of shots later, as our heroes (they weren't actually in the plane at the time) run away from the wreckage, and other unexploded zombies, we get a wonderful panning shot that lets us see, along the beach, the shadows of the entire film crew cast by the setting sun.
In the end you'll be glad to know the whole island* is blown up when the scientist deliberately overloads the nuclear microwave with the big flashing DANGER FORESHADOWING sign on it.
Avoid at all costs; I have made it sound far more fun than it actually is.
*or at least, a very small model of it.
There, that was relatively painless wasn't it?
The jokes and situations came at you thick and fast in the show. The film is a lot slicker, and the characters aren't played for laughs as much, but it just didn't deliver for me. The design and lighting are too good, when the action segues into our characters moving in an animated, modelled, or drawn - almost cartoon-like, landscape (which happens a lot) it all looks too well done. The only way I can think to explain it is when you see a drawing in a film or in an advert that is supposedly done by a child but is so obviously done by an adult trying to draw like a child. It somehow becomes incredibly phoney. I'm not explaining this very well am I? I do know that I thought it was very long. I was surprised to find it was only 97 mins long; I thought I had been watching it for at least 2 hours. The music was good.
"Now Franchot, the time has come to test our new brain. We must feed this memory circuit through the emotional quotient rectifier to determine if there is any residual impurity....
(Seventeen or so switches switched, buttons pushed, and rheostats twiddled later...)
"I've introduced into the console the electrolitic limiters which should disallow interference with the programmed patterns function within the body mechanism. Actuate the heart circuit. Excellent! Before we can recall our first creation, we must attempt to override his emotional index by stepping up the voltage and transmission frequency...
(More buttons, switches and rheostats are expertly fondled and suddenly screen is full of red flashing lights! The buttons, switches and rheostats are expertly, but rapidly, fondled in reverse order till they stop.)
"It's obvious the frequency and voltage boost will not effect an override... Franchot, remove number nine from the thermal freeze casket and prepare him for brain transfer and total astro-mobilisation....
It's like music, like some free-form jazz science fiction scat singing. I wonder if he made it up as he went along, improvising around a few key points, or if someone actually wrote those lines and he learned them? I like to think the man is winging it. The Ella Fitzgerald of crap SF films.
*Strungle v. To simulate the act of strangulation by clutching the stranglator to your own throat, while pretending to struggle to be free. An act commonly seen performed in any cheap movie containing a giant octopus. A word I coined while watching Gog a couple of years ago.