|STING OF DEATH
|Copyright 1965 Essen Productions Inc.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 22 November 2009
- Dr. John Hoyt - The hero. Yay.
- Dr. Richardson - He might be an expert on jellyfish, but he is an amateur when it comes to picking out clothing. Somebody, anybody, explain to this man that he is too old to wear what he wears.
- Karen - She does not mind being the object of affection for a disfigured lab assistant, so long as he does not touch her. Ew! Gross! No touching! Ew! Ew!
- Sheriff Bob - His detective work worries me. In general, if he finds a dead body, he brings it to Dr. Richardson and asks if the scientist has ever seen bite marks, welts, or claw wounds that look like that. In short: "I dunno what ate 'em. Do you?"
- Hank - He has a red silk shirt. He dies.
- Louise - She wears a flowery dress. Look for the flowery dress. That's Louise.
- Jessica - There is a girl named Jessica in this movie. I just know it!
- Donna - I didn't know her name until she was gone. Maybe that's why she left.
- Egon - Dr. Richardson's creepy assistant (he could appear in a zombie movie, as a zombie, without any makeup) who is a werejellyfish.
|All right, I need to start off by telling you that this is indeed a movie about a monster that is half man, half jellyfish. Most of the time, when the monster is on the screen, we do not see it. We see its webbed feet and some drooping tentacles. I spent more than half of the film thinking that the killer was a Rastafarian SCUBA diver.
The killer is not a Rastafarian SCUBA diver. It is definitely a bipedal jellyfish.
Do you know what? I need to tell you something else about this movie. Most of it is supposed to take place at Dr. Richardson's house, which is on a remote island on the edge of the Everglades. On this remote island there is a huge house with a pool, a laboratory, and electrical poles and power lines.
So, now you know what to expect. Let's talk about the story. Karen and her girlfriends are all excited about spending some time hanging out around the pool. Then John drops a bombshell: a boatload of cool kids from the local college is coming over for a party. The girls all squeal with delight, then rush off to change out of their already formal clothing into even more fashionable party attire. Despite the fact that more than two dozen biology students are about to have a swingin' party at his house, Dr. Richardson decides to leave the premises to check on some of his experiments.
I offer that Dr. Richardson should be held personally accountable for the sharp increase in teenage pregnancies that occurred in Florida during the 1960s.
Oh, and as the party gets ready to begin, I want to complain about my complete inability to identify different characters. Dr. Richardson is easy; he's the old guy with the huge mole on his forehead. Karen and John are fairly easy as well, because they are the two main characters. The last person who is readily identifiable is Egon; his deformity makes him stick out like Quasimodo at a disco. Otherwise, everybody else becomes an incoherent muddle of humanity. I hear the names, I even see who is addressed by which name, but the associations never stick. Part of the problem is that Karen's friends change their clothing often. Right after I realized that Louise was the girl wearing the flowery dress, the dress disappeared. Where did the flowery dress go? Which one of you girls is Louise?
Identifying Sheriff Bob is also easy. He wears a uniform and only appears once.
It is imperative that I get back on track, so bear with me. When the college students arrive on Dr. Richardson's island they all start dancing. I have a major problem with the scenes of people dancing in this movie; it's the one girl wearing the black bikini swimsuit. The garment is more than a little big in the butt, and the camera was positioned on the ground behind her. As a result, I kept experiencing flashbacks of Shub-Niggurath's panties from The Pink Angels. I did not want to remember that, but I did. That is not a happy memory. Not a happy memory at all.
Besides dancing, the only other thing the partying kids do while they are visiting Karen is to surround Egon and mess with him. "Har-har! Look at the freak!" Karen screams at the other kids to stop, while John just indifferently stares. Eventually, Egon gets away from his tormenters; the students return to dancing, and Shub-Niggurath's panties flutter free in the breeze once more.
Why those bikini bottoms on that girl? Why that camera angle? Why couldn't the camera spend more time focused on the one girl with the skin-tight outfit that looks great on her shapely hips? Why is everybody wearing stripes? Why are the stripes going every-which-a-way? Why do I feel like I am caught in a stripe blizzard? Why me?
During the party, one of the girls (it's either Louise, Donna, or Jessica) goes for a swim in the pool. Neither she nor any of the other party-goers notice the Rastafarian SCUBA diver that enters the pool and swims after the frolicking girl. It is not until Louise (or Jessica, or Donna) is doing a floater that one of the other students notices. Then the jellyfish monster climbs out of the pool and slaps some poor sap in the face! The poisonous demon runs off, leaving the stunned group with a party that has had the fun let out of it.
All of the kids who came by the party boat climb back aboard and head for the mainland. Too bad for them that Egon takes an axe to the boat before it leaves the dock. They get halfway across the bay when the boat suddenly sinks! By itself, being dumped into the water is not a big deal to the students. They're all young and strong swimmers. The problem is that Egon, half jellyfish that he is, has a trained pack of Portuguese Men of War that he sics on the screaming students. The deadly jellyfish swarm the terrified swimmers; there are no survivors.
Being at the mercy of creatures that are usually at the mercy of the winds and currents is a terrible way to go.
As the movie progresses, more of Karen's girlfriends fall prey to the two-legged jellyfish horror. It's a good thing they started the movie with more women than men. By the time this is all over, the ratio might be about right. Incredibly, nobody suspects that Egon could be behind it all, even though he is often given to gloating about jellyfish. When Egon finally works up the courage to express his love to Karen, she is not overjoyed with the idea of his zooids fertilizing her eggs. So Egon kidnaps her, and then tosses the comatose girl into the water as romantic music plays (he has an underwater lair). Now the rest of the cast finally realizes that Egon is the monster. As the hero, John chases after the misshapen fiend that is absconding with the damsel.
At some point in here, Dr. Richardson appears sans shirt. Remember how the Morlocks looked in "The Time Machine" (1960)? Specifically, do you remember what their chests looked like? Dr. Richardson's chest looks like that. Ugh. First Shub-Niggurath's panties and now Moorlock moobs. By they way, you should never, ever do a Google search for "moobs." That which has been seen cannot be unseen.
Once he gets back to his underwater lair (an air-filled cave), Egon turns into the jellyfish monster. His transformation looks, at best, like he was slow to duck when a banana cream pie was thrown his way. At worst...well, let's just say that there is a Japanese word for what it looks like. Fortunately, the buk***e phase does not last long, and when John finally appears, he is faced with a fully transformed Egon - who looks like a Rastafarian SCUBA diver with a big plastic bag on his head. Go figure.
The hero defeats the monster, Egon melts, Karen cries, and the underwater cave catches on fire (yes, really; sorta). The end.
Good riddance, because this film is not an enjoyable experience. I spent five minutes trying to figure out why Dr. Richardson's mole kept changing size, wasted at least half an hour in a vain attempt at determining which girl was which, and had to be forcibly shaken awake by my wife after a random combination of stripes moving in five different directions at once caused me to fall into a trance-like stupor.
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|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Jellyfish have webbed feet, buckles, and contour-shaping rubber pants.
- Beer floats.
- Jellyfish kill their prey by suffocating them with guacamole.
- A Portuguese Man o' War is indistinguishable from bagged cotton candy.
- There is a reef in the middle of the Everglades.
- The only difference between Deer Park Spring Water and the Florida Everglades is that one of them comes in a bottle.
- Incense can be used as field-expedient solder.
- Believing that people hate you is a healthy emotional outlet for a rapist/murderer.
- Human blood is like Miracle Gro for jellyfish.
- Jellyfish + electricity = fog.
- 1 min - Maritime signal flags?
- 10 mins - Did a bug crawl across the camera lens or are extraterrestrial paramecia invading the Earth?
- 14 mins - John's shirt would be perfect camouflage if he were to stand in front of those shutters.
- 21 mins - That is one pretty pooper.
- 34 mins - Look out, the jellyfish has an axe!
- 37 mins - Oh, Dr. Richardson, those are some bad shorts.
- 47 mins - Donna, you are ruining your white dress. Not even Woolite can save you now.
- 54 mins - I think that she is in a hotel room.
- 56 mins - Now I'm sure it is a hotel.
- 62 mins - Notice that the door handle is different between outside scenes and inside scenes.
- 67 mins - "What happened to your shirt?" "The smelt are spawning!" "Oh."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||John: "For a long time now he's been trying to convince us that it's possible to cultivate a giant Man o' War." |
Sheriff Bob: "Well, is it possible?"
Egon: "It is; I know it. Nobody would listen to me, but I know it is."
Dr. Richardson: "No it isn't, Bob. Not by any method we know. They never get bigger than eight inches across."
John: "We tried to raise them in captivity, but they begin to die within an hour or so. Egon thinks you can breed them like cattle. You know Egon."
||Student #1: "The engine, it's stopping!" |
Student #2: "Look, jellyfish!"
Student #1: "There's more of them!"
Student #2: "They're...they're all over!"
Student #1: "They're attacking!"
||Donna: "What are those things in the tanks?" |
Dr. Richardson: "That is a fine collection of Physalia."
Jessica: "Portuguese Man of War, silly. Some people call them jellyfish."
Donna: "Never seen them before."
Jessica: "They blow up on the beaches sometimes. Sting like mad if you touch them."
John: "Those tentacles contain a poison that's nearly identical to the deadly venom of a cobra."
||Dr. Richardson: "Two of the girls are missing, one has been killed. Egon, have you seen Ruth?" |
Egon: "No, Doctor. Who scared Miss Karen? Is somebody trying to hurt Miss Karen?"
John: "Egon, there's a maniac loose around here. We've got to go to the mainland for help and get Karen and Louise to safety. We've got to go now."
Egon: "We can't go, Mr. John."
Dr. Richardson: "What do you mean, Egon?"
Egon: "Look at the boat."
Boat: "Blub, blub."
Dr. Richardson: "When did that happen?"
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|One of the girls (Louise, Donna, or Jessica) is attacked while swimming in the pool. Then the Rastafarian SCUBA diver jumps out of the water to go after the other college students.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
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