A hard-bitten down-on-his-luck charter pilot (Byron Sanders) is hired by an alcoholic movie actress (Rita Morley) and her nubile personal assistant (Barbara Wilkin) to fly them to Provincetown. But mechanical problems and ... more »an impending storm force them to land on a deserted island habited by a German scientist (Martin Kosleck) harboring secret experiments and an even darker past.Featuring taut direction by Jack Curtis and punctuated by snappy dialogue from screenwriter Arnold Drake "The Flesh Eaters" has cemented its cult classic status as being one of the first gore films. Released in various censored incarnations over the years it is presented here in the original cleavage-baring and gore-drenched theatrical version.System Requirements:Running Time: 87 Min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: HORROR UPC: 030306772998 Manufacturer No: DVD7729« less
Charles Phelps | McKinney, TX United States | 10/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an avid fan of this movie, I have multiple versions of it ranging from the original Monterey VHS tape, various "boot" VHS tapes and DVDs, and finally both the MPI Dark Sky DVD (sold here) and a Retromedia review copy DVD direct from the source. Here are the findings based on independant research, viewing various versions, the Arnold Drake/Tom Weaver/Fred Olen Ray interview on the Retro disc, and from just flat out watching both DVDs side by side thanks to 2 DVD players, split screen, and lots of patience from my wife:
The MPI/Dark Sky DVD being sold here is Jack Curtis' original print/edit. This same version was sold to TV in a very slightly edited version that was later released by Monterey Home Video in the 80's. This is NOT the slightly edited TV print. It IS the whole (original) shootin' match.
The Retromedia copy is the theatrical print/edit that basically had about 4 minutes of "insert" shots added by theatrical distributor Michael Ripps because I suppose he didn't think the film was shocking enough! For "artistic" reasons (or more likely to accomdate the extra footage and keep the running time around 86 minutes), Ripps also re-edited some of the scenes to remove roughly 4 minutes of footage from Jack Curtis' cut. Although touted as the "uncut" version, it is not uncut.
The MPI/Dark Sky DVD print IS missing the following compared to the Retro version: 1) A 2 second insert shot of a bloody hand in the opening sequence. 2) A 1.5 second insert shot of a white sign advertising "SEAPLANE CHARTER FLIGHTS" that was added to cover a scene edit. 3) A 4 second replacement shot with a close-up of "Bartell" twisting a knife into "Miss Winters". 4) A 4 second replacement shot with a close-up of "Bartell" inserting a hypo into "Grant's" arm. 5) About 3.5 minutes of the infamous Nazi flashback sequence, which replaced about 19 seconds of Bartell's flesh eater history speech. This has been added as a bonus feature to the disc for those who wish to see it. 6) The red color-tinted "blood in the eye" sequence. Here, it appears in black and white. In the Retromedia interview, Arnold Drake says that Jack Curtis did the color tint sequence before the film was turned over for distribution, so in theory, it should be here as well.
With the added Nazi sequence as a bonus feature, the disc is only missing about 10 to 12 seconds of inserted/replaced footage that wasn't in the original movie to begin with and about 6 seconds of color tinting.
If you must have those 12 seconds of (not really) cut footage, search eBay. The "DVDs" sold there are usually the theatrical cut.
However, this version of the film includes everything else: ALL the footage edited out from the theatrical version, all the blood, all the gore...the cutting of the flesh eaters out of Grant's leg, the skeleton supply boat captain, the see-through Omar, Bartell taking the "easy" way out...EVERYTHING.
The film looks better than it ever has and the audio is crisp and clear. It appears Dark Sky had access to the original film elements whereas the theatrical print on the Retro disc looks a couple of generations removed. The extras include the Nazi sequence with outtakes(!), and a couple of TV spots. It is a five star disc all the way except that it is missing all the great special features the Retro disc was going to have. Retro made it all available when Dark Sky was discovered to have full distribution rights. What would've been nice is a 2-disc edition with both the director's cut and the theatrical cut with all the extras. That would truly have been the definitive edition.
For not including the Retro bonus features (and possibly the theatrical cut as a bonus), I dock it a star. I would dock it 2 stars but the film presentation is too good for this DVD to warrant a 3 star rating."
"These things want flesh, any kind of flesh!"
Brian C. Lawton | Brooklyn, New York United States | 08/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow again! Another thiller diller from the years of Chiller Theater This one kept me out of the water more than Jaws and still gives me the creeps. The story concerns that of an ex-navy pilot, a has been lush of movie actress and her assistant and one whacked out beatnik Stuck on an unknown small island also inhabited by a Mad Scientist. The group soon learns how crazed thier host as they find the island surrounded by his experimental glowing,flesh eating ameoba of which the title comes from. The film still holds a great deal of suspense and surprisingly just the right amount of gore for its day (1964?) Martin Koslesk is at his fiendish best as Dr. Peter Bartell who definely holds his own in the villain catagory. and the drinking scene between him and "Omar" the beatnik is one the great,true tense moments in horror history,I'm a little confused as for the decription of the dvd say color and I know this to be a Black & White with the exception of few seconds at the end Via "William Castle" effect. "Hey Doc you think they want the world to hate 'em cause of some guilt complex....Heyyy you think they just kooky?!""
"There's something weird out in that water, something that e
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 11/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Apparently there may be a couple of different version of the film The Flesh Eaters (1964) floating around, but this is the only one I've ever seen, so it's the only one I can comment on...I do want to take a moment to thank another Amazon reviewer named Charles, who very clearly, and appreciatively, delineated the differences between the DVD version that was originally supposed to be released, versus the version that eventually was released. Written by Arnold Drake (Who Killed Teddy Bear), and directed by Jack Curtis, whom some may know through the late 60s animated series Speed Racer (English version) as the voices of Pops Racer, Lionel Racer, Inspector Detector, and others, the film features perennial silver screen Nazi villain Martin Kosleck (Bomber's Moon, 36 Hours, Morituri) and daytime soaper Byron Sanders ("The Doctors", "Search for Tomorrow"), who, apparently, was the model for Salvador Dali's oil painting "The Crucifixion". Also appearing is Barbara Wilkin (I Saw What You Did), Rita Morley ("The Edge of Night"), and Ray Tudor, whose only other film credit is a movie titled Five the Hard Way (1969), better known to Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans as The Sidehackers, featuring the indomitable Ross Hagen, who doesn't not appear in this film.
The movie opens on a young couple frolicking on a good-sized boat. They end up going for a swim, followed by some ominous, yet kookie sound effects...that can't be good...and it isn't, for the couple, at least. Next we're at a seaport somewhere in New York City (see the Empire State Building in the skyline?) and we meet a hunky, granite jawed, all American charter sea pilot named Grant Murdoch (Sanders). Seems Grant's has some fiduciary issues (he's in hock up to his eyeballs), and is forced to accept a business proposition to fly a boozy actress named Laura Winters (Morley), and her buxomlicious secretary Jan Letterman (Wilkin) to a place called Provincetown, despite a wicked awesome tropical storm moving into the area. The trio take off, but soon run into difficulties as the plane's engine conks out, and they had to set down on the beach of what they believe to be an uninhabited island...turns out the island isn't completely uninhabited as no sooner do they land than they meet Professor Peter Bartell (Kosleck), a marine biologist camped on the beach studying shellfish, or so he claims. The group shacks up in the Professor's tent while the storm blows over, some stuff happens, the plane is eventually lost, Ms. Winters is in need of her `medicine (one of her suitcases, left on the plane, was filled with nothing but booze), the beach is cover with the bones of fish corpses, and Grant begins to suspect the Professor has more of an interest on the island than just crustaceans. Soon it's discovered the waters around the island are teeming with microscopic, parasitic flesh eating life forms, and the group has no means of escaping. But wait, there's some dingus on a raft coming towards the island, a really annoying hepcat, beatnik, be-bopping fool named Omar (Tudor), who sadly makes it to the beach intact...eventually Bartell's relationship with the parasitic creatures along with his evil plans becomes clear, all leading up to a real doozy of a finale.
This movie definitely had its flaws, the main one being the didactic, expository scripting, but in terms of sleazy, schlocky sci-fi cinema, it most definitely hit the spot. One of my favorite scenes involved Grant getting some of the parasites on his leg, and Professor Bartell performing some on the beach surgery with his knife...after removing the creatures from Grant's badly injured leg, Bartell yells to Jan for bandages, to which she promptly removes her shirt...hello eye candy...hotchie mama! Okay, she was wearing a bra, but still, you gotta love a woman of action, willing to doff her clothing in a time of need. As far as the performances, I thought most did very well (I really hated Tudor's beatnik character, but found solace in his eventual fate). Were they predictable? Perhaps, but predictable with flair... Kosleck's played a similar character in numerous films, but I never seem to get tired of it...you wacky mad scientist types, how could I not love you? As far as Sanders, well, he just seemed like a soap opera actor in a sci-fi/horror film, his strong features placing him squarely in the role of the hero. I think my favorite character was of Laura Winters, played by Rita Morley. I couldn't decide if I liked her character better drunk or sober. Drunk, she was pretty funny, while sober, she was kinda smarmy, condescending, and just a lot of fun to watch. Some aspects of the film didn't really jibe for me, like after Grant's incident with the parasitic creatures chewing up his leg and subsequent hack surgery, we see him bounding about like he was never hurt (perhaps the filmmakers forgot to tell him he was supposed to be injured, or his character was a quick healer). Also, if Ms. Winters was the complete boozehound she was made out to be, I would have fully expected her to be suffering from a serious case of the D.T. (delirium tremors) once she was cut off...one last thing, what the hell was Bartell doing with a giant solar collector on the beach? Ah well, given how much fun I had with the rest of the film, I suppose these were relatively minor points. The special effects were pure bargain basement, mostly involving someone manipulating the film negative (scratching it or such), but it worked for me (when you're dealing with minimal budgets, you sometimes have to resort to the most economical methods). The creature effects near the end were most excellent, and I was surprised to see a couple of fairly gory sequences. All in all, given this was director Curtis' one and only film, I'd say it was one hell of an effort, and definitely worth checking out if you dig this sort of thing. One interesting credit has Radley Metzger as the film editor here...if you're unfamiliar with Metzger, he's basically one of the pioneers of adult cinema, and the inspiration for Burt Reynolds' character in the Paul Thomas Anderson Boogie Nights (1997).
The widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic picture on this Dark Sky Films DVD release is most excellent in terms of clarity, much better than I would have expected, and the audio is very clear. Extras include two trailers for the film, along with a deleted, lurid, Nazi experiment sequence, and outtakes. It seems Fred Olin Ray's Retromedia group was originally going to release this DVD, and they even got film historian Tom Weaver to do a commentary track, but that didn't make it to this release, which is too bad as I'm sure he would have a lot of interesting bits of information to relate.
By the way, the artwork on the DVD case for this film may give the impression the film is in color, but it's not...it's glorious black and white, through and through (I guess there was a color sequence near the end in one version of the film, but that's not the version on this DVD). "
Let The Flencing Begin...
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein | under the rubble | 10/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film opens with a guy and his gal taking a playful ocean swim near their boat. She splashes about, laughing while he jumps in. Her laughter turns to panic when he doesn't surface. She looks at her hands, now covered in blood. The screaming begins! Next, we are introduced to a drunken moviestar and her beautiful assistant. They're in need of an airplane. Enter the local sea-plane pilot, who takes the ladies aboard. Along the way, the plane conks out, forcing a landing on a small, seemingly uninhabited island. Our three castaways are soon met by a scientist who just happens to be up to no good! You see, he's a nazi, looking for a horrific experimental lifeform that sunk on board a german sub during WW II. You guessed it, he's looking for the FLESH EATERS! Thankfully, a perfectly stripped human skeleton washes ashore, bringing a smile to his face. He knows his critters are alive und vell! FLESH EATERS is a cool 1962 terror treat for lovers of sick cinema (like me). I especially enjoy Omar the beatnick and the plastered miss hollywood. They're annoyingly fun, and their death scenes are ghoulishly memorable. The little beasties themselves are a wonder of low-budget moviemaking! Pinholed into the actual film, they appear almost 3-D as they devour their prey. I'm still amazed by the scene where the scientist drops a couple of them into a test tube w/ tweezers. Today, they'd spend 10 zillion dollars to equal this effect! You gorehounds will get a warm feeling from the wet work in this one. Pretty gruesome for it's day! FLESH EATERS belongs in any horror-fest lineup..."
Early 60's entry
Tina Roosa | Lorain, Ohio United States | 12/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"into grisly cinema. A group of people get stranded on an island, surrounded by a sea of voracious flesh-eating organisms. The mad scientist with them experiments on these organisms, and on the people he's stranded with. He finally causes the organisms to mutate into a giant, gelatinous creature, whose appetites have magnified. The erstwhile survivors figure out how to eliminate the mutation, thus saving themselves from death.
I saw this when I was but a wee lassie. It is truly a grotesque and horrifying film (well, most of it is, anyway). The scene with the scientist feeding the flesh-eaters to the Gilligan wannabe is truly horrible. It is a forgotten classic in the genre of 60's horror films. This film pushed the envelope, broke some barriers in what could be considered some really graphic bloody violence in horror. This was no spoof, no men-in-suits walking carrots movie. This is a real blend of suspense and horror, and well worth the investment."