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Sting of Death

USA 1966
produced by
Richard S. Flink, Joseph Fink, Juan Hidalgo-Gato for Essen Productions
directed by William Grefé
starring Joe Morrison, Valerie Hawkins, John Vella, Jack Nagle, Sandy Lee Kane, Deanna Lund, Lois Etelman, Blanche Devereaux, Doug Hobart, Judy Lee, Robert Stanton, Tony Gulliver, Ron Pinchbeck, John Castle, Barbara Paridon
written by Al Dempsey (= William Kerwin), music by Al Jacobs, Lon E. Norman, songs by Neil Sedaka, special makeup effects by Harry Kerwin

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Karen (Valerie Hawkins) pays a visit to her father, marine biologist Dr. Richardson (Jack Nagle) on his island where he studies the local marine wildlife, and she has brought her friends (Sandy Lee Kane, Deanna Lund, Lois Etelman, Blanche Devereaux) for company. And while she soon falls for her dad's new assistant John (Joe Morrison), her friends make fun of his other assistant, disfigured and deformed Egon (John Vella), who apparently only Karen has sympathy for. It gets even worse when a bunch of students from the nearby college come over to celebrate Karen's arrival, and all humiliate Egon for his looks, upon which he takes off in his boat. Not long after, a giant jellyfish with a humanoid body (Doug Hobart) hides in Dr. Richardson's pool, and when one of the partying students takes a swim, he attacks her, and also the guy who tries to save her. The students take off in a hurry, but the jellyfish monster has sabotaged their boat, and she sinks in the midst of a jellyfish field, which are quick to kill everyone.

Back on the island, Dr. Richardson and John take two of the girls (Deanna Lund, Lois Etelman) to the remote lab where Egon actually lives - but the two girls are killed by the jellyfish monster - which it has been revealed to the audience (not to any of the protagonists though) is actually Egon who has a machine that turns him. Panicked, the Doctor and John return to his home, where they find another of the girls (Blanche Devereaux) murdered by the monster. Apparently, the monster has also sabotaged the Doctor's radio - as in his only means of communication with the outer world - and while Richardson and John try to fix the radio, they leave Karen in the care of Egon, which really wasn't the smartest move ...

 

Ok, so this is a low budget monster movie from the mid-1960s that despite the obvious influences from the already waning beach party craze has a very 1950s vibe to it - so in other words, if you look for originality or ingenuity, you might want to look elsewhere ... but if you're up for a good time with a movie that's clearly a child of its time, then this one's just the walk down memory lane you've been looking for, a film that's entertaining despite of or maybe even because of its shortcomings - including a silly looking monster that's not entirely convincing, some pretty wooden acting not at all helped by stilted dialogue, and clichéed and flat characters with very little in terms of arc. On the plus side, the film moves at a steady pace, really tries to deliver the excitement it promises, and at least some of the shots of the Floridian Everglades are pretty cool. So basically, not great, but if you're into this kind of movie at least great entertainment!

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD