Search - Mantis in Lace (1968) on DVD

Mantis in Lace (1968)
Mantis in Lace
Actors: Susan Stewart, Steve Vincent, M.K. Evans, Vic Lance, Pat Barrington
Director: William Rotsler
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
R     2001     1hr 27min

Look out, it's Lila! A sweet-faced topless go-go dancer, Lila loves mixing S-E-X with L-S-D. Trouble is, when she starts hallucinating, she sees flashing lights and swirling colors. The freaked-out Lila then grabs a handy ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Susan Stewart, Steve Vincent, M.K. Evans, Vic Lance, Pat Barrington
Director: William Rotsler
Creators: Bethel Buckalew, László Kovács, Peter Perry Jr., Harry H. Novak, Sanford White
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror, Exploitation, Psychedelic, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/20/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1985
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Hippy, trippy acid sleaze
Withnail fan | Sydney, Australia | 03/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This little gem is one of the first key films to combine gore with sleaze. Groovy 60s psychedelia, go-go dancers, sexploitation and horror all beautifully photographed by Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider)collide in a kaleidoscope of color and LSD laden sensibilities.The plot concerns a topless dancer, Lila (Susan Stewart)who has taken one too many acid trips. The result leaves her a murderous, psychotic sexual freak who, after making love, slaughters her lovers with two handy weapons of choice - a screwdriver and meatcleaver.The image quality and sound are nothing short of stunning for a film of this ilk. Evidently the transfer used was from the original negative and it certainly shows. The extras on this Something Weird disc are quite amazing. We get an alternative Mantis murder sequence, the wonderful color trip sequence to Alice In Acidland, a go-go loop called Lady in a Cage,a poster gallery with radio spots, and 100 minutes of outtakes filled with gore, sex and ultra groovy LSD visuals. To top it off there are previews for The Mad Butcher, The Curious Dr Humpp and Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks.Something Weird have certainly delivered a wonderful release of a film that defined the underground Grindhouse movement of the 60s."
One Psychedelic Trip
btlfan | Sanger, CA USA | 01/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, kudos to Something Weird Video for the Special Edition DVD release of "Mantis in Lace". SWV has done an excellent job with this DVD. I have never seen this movie before and I've wanted to buy this DVD for some time. I really love this film. I like the way it was filmed. The lighting or lack of lighting, on most of the scenes are great. The lack of lighting makes the film look like a film noir. The scenes where Lila is tripping out on acid are excellent. The colors and the geometric designs that are lighted on the actor's faces are fantastic. The director of photography, Laszlo Kovacks, has done an excellent job of capturing the psychedelic imagery to the screen. The acting is just awful, but that's what makes the film great. The movie is 87 minutes long. It was filmed between November 18-25 of 1967 and released in theaters and drive-ins in 1968. The psychedelic music sounds like early unreleased Pink Floyd recordings. It uses tapes that were cut up and then edited back together at random, backwards tapes, heavy echo, laughter, and strange music. The theme to the movie is really corny, but I found myself playing it over and over again. It's kind of like a train wreck, you don't want to look, but you know you just have to. The special edition DVD includes the original theatrical trailer of the film, an alternate psychedelic murder scene which is the same as the first murder scene, but more psychedelic designs are superimposed to the original scene. Things like fireworks going off, more geometric psychedelic designs, negative exposure of go-go girls dancing, and a fat man in a black mask holding bananas and dollar bills in his hands. The DVD also includes over 100 minutes of out takes, deleted and alternate scenes from the film. This feature doesn't have any sound, but the music and sound effect tapes from "Mantis in Lace" is dubbed in so you can hear the music and effects without the dialog. It's like having the original soundtrack on the DVD. This section also features a much longer version of the movie's theme. The funny thing is that some of the music that is in "Mantis in Lace" is also in the movie "Mondo Mod". This is because the same man, Harry Novack, produced both films. The DVD also includes The following archival short subject films:
1. Sid Davis's classic classroom scare film "LSD: Trip or Trap?"
2. "Alice Goes To Acidland"
3. "Girl in a Cage" Why this short film is added, I don't know why. It doesn't relate to the rest of the DVD.
4. A gallery of Harry Novack Exploitation movie poster art with Harry Novack radio-spot rarities.
If you want to know what an underground psychedelic/sexploitation/exploitation film is, this is the film to watch. I highly recommend it. I am very pleased with "Mantis in Lace. It's everything I thought it would be. This DVD will be played a lot on my DVD player. It's now one of my three favorite DVDs. I am not disappointed with "Mantis in Lace". This is psychedelia at its best. They don't make movies like this anymore. By the way, does anyone know what ever happened to Susan(Lila)Stewart? She's a real H-O-T-T-I-E."
Freak out baby!!!! Yeah!!!!!
the_raven7 | Christchurch New Zealand | 02/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Slow, repetitive, bland, uninteresting - I would use these words to discribe this film, but when you include Technicolor pcyhadelic LSD flip-outs where the "tripee" imagines the heads of men are watermelons and then promtly lops them off, we've got to be onto some kind of a winner!!!! This is the coolest LSD film ever made, bar maybe PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH, for the sheer fact that it could actually induce acid flashbacks, even for those who have never partaken of said substance. However, I wouldn't like to be on any form of Lysergic whilst viewing this monstrosity!! Also, some rather excellent frugging is in evidence throughout, also in said glaring Technicolor, as well as some pretty hideous sex scenes. Oh, and then there's that annoying theme song!!!"
Sex & LSD a Go Go
John Ashley Nail | Decatur, GA United States | 08/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Mantis in Lace" asks the question: Can a movie have too much topless go go dancing? In the case of this late `60s sexploitation epic, the answer is a resounding yes! To be fair, "Mantis in Lace" was made before the cinematic barriers came crashing down in the 1970s, so I guess jiggling mammaries were still considered pretty risqué. Yet I'm sure even the members of the raincoat crowd of 1968 had to be checking their watches halfway into this leaden mix of sex, LSD and murder.

As the go go dancer Lila ("Lila" was this movie's alternate title), Susan Stewart has a vague English (maybe Dutch?) accent, à la Dolly Read from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," and an acting style akin to John Waters' late star Edith Massey. After dancing her set, she picks up a "hippie" (you can tell he's a hippie because he's wearing a dorky earring that resembles a homemade Christmas ornament) and takes him back to a warehouse owned by her father. They drop acid and have tepid sex on a mattress, while Lila sees all the swirling colors that signify all cinematic acid trips of this time period. But when she thinks she's being force-fed bananas (?) she freaks and stabs her faux-hippie one-night-stand in the back with a screwdriver, then hacks him to bits with a meat cleaver that happens to be handy. Then it's time for more topless go go dancing! The whole movie follows this pattern: Lila dances, picks up a man, does acid, freaks during sex and kills him. In between the go go dancing and LSD carnage are scenes of two "Dragnet"-style cops investigating (poorly) the murders. There's also one "casting couch" scene, apropos of nothing, in which an aspiring stripper--who looks like Kate Mulgrew--has sex with a bar owner (the only scene to give a flash of female full-frontal nudity and a bare male backside). Through it all we repeatedly hear the theme song, "Lila," so hypnotically awful you'll remember it long after you've forgotten the movie.

Despite its problems, "Mantis in Lace" does have its charm. The camera work by Lazslo Kovacs is excellent, giving this cheap movie a more polished look than it deserves. Pat Barrington has a small part as a belly-dancing stripper, and while she's not a much better actress than Stewart, she's certainly a more interesting one. The movie's concept is a pretty inspired mix for its time, if only director William Rotsler had used the premise to its fullest potential, starting with a real script. The Something Weird DVD release features an alternate "LSD murder scene" that's a lot more interesting than the one in the final film. There also are 100 minutes of outtakes, and while their inclusion seems like a good idea, I defy anyone to sit and watch these scenes--which, other than featuring a bit more blood and yet another go go dancer, differ little from what's in the final cut--without hitting fast forward. Rounding out the extras are an LSD scare film, a tedious LSD-themed nudie loop/morality tale, and a short featuring a crazed-looking stripper writhing about in a bamboo cage.