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The tree did it!

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Not Rated
Copyright 1967 Orbita Film
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 20 August 2008

Capsule Review:    

Several vacationing Americans enjoy the hospitality of the friendly but reclusive Baron von Weser (Cameron Mitchell) on a remote island. The group contains many of the usual suspects: a rich older man and his adulteress wife, a stalwart young man, a pretty young girl, and a botanist. There is also a woman who uses her camera so often, and to snap shots of things so mundane, that I am sure she must use the hundreds of useless pictures she creates to wallpaper her house. Heck, she could probably surface the driveway with them. What I am trying to say is that she takes a lot of pictures.

Baron von Weser's passion is creating new species of plants. He shows his guests one carnivorous specimen that is large enough to catch mice, perhaps even guinea pigs. Which makes it all the more strange to me that the vacationers do not immediately suspect a killer tree when people begin turning up dead under mysterious circumstances and with bizarre wounds. Of course it's a man-eating plant! Well, in this case, a blood-sucking tree.

Two things stand out about this film. The first is that nobody ever just runs away from the tree; they stand there quaking with fear until it finally wraps its branches around them. Simply walking away from the vampiric tree would have rendered it harmless, because it is not mobile. Instead, the victims allow the tree to latch onto them with its blood-draining flowers (yes, flowers) that puncture the skin and leave the person looking like they were murdered by a torx screwdriver salesman.

The second thing that caught my attention was the way the Baron and young hero abuse their bicycles. Motorcars are not common on the island; bicycles are the primary form of transportation. Rather than propping the bikes against a tree, or carefully lowering them to the ground, every time the men dismount they just let go. The bicycle then topples onto the asphalt. **CRASH** Another abused bike. My old Trek 870 has a cracked shifter, because a careless driver hit me (I rolled up the hood and lay there waving at him through the windshield while I yelled, "What am I doing on your hood?"). Watching that pair treat their bikes like redheaded stepchildren made me cringe a bit, even if it was amusing.

Things I Learned From This Show:  

Green Dot There is a solution for vegetarians who love the taste of beef.
Green Dot The trick to raising beautiful plants is talking to them and feeding them blood.
Green Dot "You were about to touch my giant gardenias." is not always a euphemism.
Green Dot If a man sleeps with your wife, it is perfectly acceptable to use his fishing pole without asking permission.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 7 mins - "The last thing he said was 'Rosebud.' Do you think it's a clue?"
Green Dot 15 mins - I would call you a dumb slut, but I don't understand what he said either.
Green Dot 32 mins - Have you tried drinking a little warm milk or counting sheep? "I'm restless; perhaps having sex with someone other than my husband will put me to sleep." sounds like an excuse.
Green Dot 50 mins - Bike abuse!
Green Dot 56 mins - More bike abuse!
Green Dot 57 mins - Break the cycle, not your cycle; stop bike abuse before it starts.


Prof. Demerest: "This island is a horticultural wonderland. I can't wait to talk to the Baron!"

Mr. Robinson: "I mean I'm sick of seeing my wife behaving like a..."
Mrs. Robinson: "Like a what? Come on, say it. Well? Are you afraid?"
Mr. Robinson: " prostitute."

Ms. Callihan: "It looks like a cucumber, but it tastes like meat!"

Prof. Demerest: "Don't you see, no man could have killed him?"
Mr. Robinson: "A vampire could."
David: "Did you say 'a vampire?'"

Baron: "You mean that you believe one of my experiments got loose and caused all of this?"

Baron: "Get rid of him. Use discretion, he was a nice man."

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