The Flesh Eaters (1964)

I’ve wanted to see this ever since I saw a trailer for it at Mu-Meson Archives a few years ago. Needless to say the full film probably couldn’t quite live up to the trailer, but it was still fun, although it really is the sort of thing that, if you’re not into this sort of thing already, you probably won’t be converted to its pleasures. And it should be said upfront that its “legendary gore film” credentials have been overstated; although it seems to have been made long before Mr Lewis’ Blood Feast (it’s copyrighted 1962), it didn’t make it into cinemas until well after it, and Lewis vastly outstripped it anyway in terms of explicitness and quantity, and also by being in colour rather than monochrome. And yet there’s pleasure to be hand from Flesh Eaters even so. Director Jack Curtis never made another film, and spent most of his career as a voice-over and dubbing artist (on imported Japanese TV cartoons like Marine Boy) and writer Arnold Drake worked in comics; they meshed well on this pulpfest about Nazi scientific experiments going, you know, in directions that could only lead to, you know, the creation of flesh-consuming monstrosities. It’s an unabashed B movie, performed by an assortment of low-level TV talent (one of whom apparently modelled for none other than Salvador Dali. Fucking hell) and shot on such a low budget that most of it takes place out of doors on a beach and the only real interior location is a tent. And beatnik comedy relief. Oh god/dess, the beatnik comedy relief. You’ll never be so happy to see someone devoured from inside out. Cheap and nasty in so many ways, and it may have logical problems that even I noticed, but there’s a lot less entertaining trash out there, and a lot more poorly made trash too. God/dess knows I’ve seen some of it myself…

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