You already know if you'll like it.
B. Bosaiya | 09/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can I say that can't be surmised by the "plot" description? Either you'll love this double feature or you'll hate it. If you know you'll love it before you see it, then you will. If you're not so sure, then you'll hate it.The plots are thinner than a piece of paper. The characters are as deep as wrinkle on a gnats butt. The acting is as wooden as a... well, you get the point.Pure schlock, just ripe for the picking."
One campy remake and one badly dubbed mad scientist
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Killer Creature, Double Feature
Professor Levin becomes a creature
Dr. Balleau hunts Mr. Brady
Each film has a screaming lady
At the Killer Creature, Double Feature, Picture Show
There are two main sources for DVDs featuring double features of B-movies from the science fiction, horror, and sexpoloitation genres of the 1950s and 1960s. Something Weird brings you a pair of movies with loads of extras such as trailers, examples of exploitation art, and sometimes commentary tracks. Mandacy Entertainment puts together a much simplier package with their Killer Creature Double Features. What you get is a preview of a coming attraction (in this case Francis Ford Coppolla's first directoral credit, "Dementia 13"), the trailer for the first feature, the first feature, a cartoon (a black & white Betty Boop cartoon this week), the trailer for the second feature, and the second feature. Press the right button and you can go through these in order, just like you were sitting in the theater on a Saturday Matinee watching a double feature just like what we have here.
"Bloodlust!" is a 1961 film from director Ralph Brooke, who is telling his own twisted version of Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game." The popular story of a big game hunter hunting men was first film in 1932 with Joel McRae and Fay Wray being hunted by Leslie Banks, and before Brooke got around to his version was remade as "A Game of Death" in 1945, again as "The Most Dangerous Game" but as a 7-minute short in 1953, and as "Run for the Sun" in 1956 with Richard Widmark and Trevor Howard. In the post-"Bloodlust!" era we have had "Woman Hunt" in 1975, "Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity" in 1987, "Deadly Prey" in 1988, and "Lethal Woman" in 1990, as suddenly the story take a decided turn from violence to sex. Suddenly, "Bloodlust!" looks pretty good in comparison.
The story begins with a pair of couples out for a charter boat ride (Oh, no: this film anticipates "Gilligan's Island!"). The captain spots an island he has never seen before and promptly passes out. So his passengers decide to go visit the island where Johnny Randall (Robert Reed), falls into a trap. Pete Garwood (Eugene Persson), Betty Scott (June Kenney), and Jeanne Perry (Joan Lora) get Johnny out of the trap just in time to be confronted by Dr. Albert Balleau (Wilton Graff) and his gun bearers. He invites them back to his home, where stuffed animals and trophy heads are the major item of decor. He engages his visitors in the sort of polite conversation where everything has a double meaning and his guests start to have a clue. Eventually the truth is revealed: Dr. Balleau likes to hunt human beings and has a special room where he displays his trophies captured forever as they were at the moment of death.
Graff plays the part like he was Orson Welles pretending to be Vincent Price. If you like your crazy men to be totally calm, cool, and collected, then this is your guy, although the approach really wears thin. Reed is clearly the only competent actor in the bunch and I can see why being in this movie did not hurt his career as he went on to "The Brady Bunch" and then tried to live the role down in things like "Rich Man, Poor Man." The grizzly tableaus are a pretty good touch to the general camp, and there is a scene where one of the doctor's henchmen is getting things ready for the newest tableau where the idea will turn your stomach even if the visuals do not. The common denominator between the two features on this disc is that the women in these horror films really know how to scream. Although "Bloodlust!" received the "MST3K" treatment in Season 6 (which is available with the short "Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm" on VHS), it is a solid B-movie providing a few chills amidst the camp (4 stars).
"Atom Age Vampire" is the dubbed American version of the 1960 Italian film "Seddok, l'erede di Satana," which would translate as "Seddok, the heir of Satan." Apparently in 1960 Italians were worried about Satan while in the United States it was the threat of atomic radiation that punched buttons. The story begins with Jeannte (Susanne Loret) getting dumped by her boyfriend, Pierre (Sergio Fantoni). She takes off in her car, goes over a cliff, and ends up with one side of her beautiful face being horribly scarred. Unable to stand seeing her disfigured face (her long blond hair covers it a lot of the time), Jeanette is convinced by Monique Riviere (Franca Parisi Strahl), the ravishing assistant to the famous Professor Alberto Levyn (Alberto Lupo) to be the guinea pig for his new cure-all, Derma 28.
The good news is that the serum cures Jeannette's disfigurement. The bad news is that it wears off after a while and the professor needs fresh pituitary glands to make more Derma 28. The good news is that since the professor has fallen for Jeanette he is motivated to make more serum. The bad news is that he starts killing people to get the fresh pituitary glands (suddenly I am flashing on "Pink Flamingos" and waiting for somebody in this film to look at a corpse and yell, "My God, her pituitary gland is missing!"). Meanwhile, a police inspector (Ivo Garrani) is investigating the deaths, which is a good thing if you want the madness to stop but a bad thing if you like seeing the professor mutate into what the American title for the film would have you believe is an Atomic Age vampire. The movie degrades substantially at this point and not even Armando Trovajoli's above average score can salvage it or get us to the ending soon enough. But once again there are no complaints on the ability of the women in this film to scream.
At least "Atomic Age Vampire" comes up with some good scientific babble about radiation and there seems to be a running gag that everybody finds the professor's mementoes from Hiroshima to be interesting. But if you have not seen a badly dubbed Italian movie for a long while this will remind you exactly what they are like. The film is directed by Anton Giulio Majano, whose last screen credit would be for doing the screenplay for Goffredo Alessandrini's 1986 adaptation of Ayn Rand's "We the Living." But Mario Brava "Seddok, l'erede di Satana" is not. Garrani's performance makes it clear everybody else is overacting and even small children from around the world will find the creature more laughable than anything else. The end result is lame, but not pathetic (3 stars).
That has the double feature averaging 3 1/2 stars, but we round up because of the trailers and the packaging concept (the cartoon was okay). We are making every effort to get back on schedule this week, so join us this Saturday night for our next double feature, "Night of the Bloody Apes" ("La horripilante bestia human") and "Feast of Flesh" ("Placer sangriento"), another double feature from those crazy people down as Something Weird."
Atom-Age Camp and Bloodsimple
L. S. Slaughter | Chapel Hill, NC | 08/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Atom-Age Vampire (aka Seddok, Lerede di Satana) is a great piece of Grade Z camp from Italy circa 1960. Susanne Loret and Albert Lupo star as Dr Levin and Jeanette, doctor-patient lovers squeezing out the devoted Betty Paige lookalike, Assistant Monique. Pierre shows up occassionally looking for Jeanette (nevermind he dumped her earlier) as she undergoes the doctor's glandular experiments to regain beauty lost in an automobile disfigurement. As she gets prettier, the doctor gets more hideous for some reason. Poetic, yes, but no explanation is given. Meanwhile Monique gets more desperate until the Doctor uses her glands to keep Jeanette beautiful, and a woeful housekeeper named Sasha sulks through it all as Armando Travojoli's lovely score accompanies it all. ATOM AGE VAMPIRE is one of the greatest of the shoestring Italo-French quickie classics. The dubbed dialogue is priceless ("I want to possess you... creatively!!!", "Can't you convince yourself that she will remain like this.... LIKE THIS!!!!" and a hundred or so variations of lovers sighing "Pierre..." "Jeanette!!"... "Oh, Pierre!!!" Top it with great fashion: leopard fur coats, pre-mod sunglasses, trench coats.As for BLOODLUST, it's a bit of 60s nastiness adapted from THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, remade a hundred times. Has some feral moments, and some authehtically scary sections."