May 5, 2006

STING OF DEATH

Special Singing Star Neil Sedaka!


The swamps of the Florida Everglades have always fascinated me; it seems lik
e such a beautiful place, filled with rich and interesting wildlife.And maverick director William Grefe chose, in 1965, to make his first horror feature in these Everglades; "Sting of Death".

Karen Richardson and four of her friends goes on a midterm vacation to the Everglades to spend the time at her father’s place.
Deep in the swamps her father, Dr. Richardson, and his assistant
Dr. John Hoyt, both of them marine biologists, are studying the local marine wildlife. Normally a quiet and peaceful job, but lately they have been busy helping out the local police department with the mysterious disappearance of a Fisherman in the area, and some equipment has also been stolen from Dr. Richardson’s lab.
When Karen and her Fri
ends are getting ready for a big party, the Sheriff arrives with some bad news. It seems that the missing fisherman has turned up dead, and the Sheriff wants Dr. Richardson’s opinion on the cause of death.
Dr. Richardson comes to the conclusion that the injuries on the body of the fisherman resemble the same wounds one might get from a Portuguese Man-O'-War jellyfish. But the wounds
appear to be made by an enormous specimen of the Jellyfish, and this particular jellyfish doesn’t grow much larger than eight inches.
But
Egon, the two doctor’s personal assistant and handyman does not agree. He has a theory that the Portuguese Man-O'-War can grow even larger than the one that could have made the wounds, and that the jellyfish can be cultivated while they are in captivity. The two Doctors reject Egon’s theories, as he is only a handyman, and not a marine biologist like them.

But it seems like Egon might be correct after all, and it doesn’t take long before the Teenagers and the two doctors are in terrible peril.
It seems that good old Egon, who is being bullied constantly by almost everyone except Karen, has a horrible dark secret.
And where is Egon when people are being attacked by a huge Jellyfish-like creature when they wander carelessly away from the rest?
Where is Egon when a boat load of te
enagers gets tipped over in the swamp and all the teenagers die horribly by several baby jellyfish?...


William Grefe’s drive-in classic from 1965 is a hilarious cheese filled ride of a horror film.

The plot itself is amazingly a
bsurd, and many of the actors are overplaying, but there are many good qualities about the film.
Most of the location scenes for example are beautifully shot and are full of The Everglade’s vivid colours.
And the plot, however absurd and weird it is, is sort of catchy and exiting.

One of the most memorable scenes in this film is without a doubt the infamous 'Jellyfish dance' sequence with the extremely funky song by Neil Sedaka.
F
or almost five minutes all the kids are dancing to this hilarious tune and Grefe keeps giving us close-ups of the girls doing their butt shaking. Beautiful!

The horribly bad jellyfish effect, mostly made out of a diving suit and inflated plastic bags, just adds to the cheesy goodness of this film.
One might start thinking of "Creature from the Black Lagoon" when you hear the plot of the movie, but this film has little in common with the old universal flick, and this is probably the world’s first and only jellyfish monster movie!

So "Sting of Death" is recommended for those of you who are looking for some good old drive-in fun or just a cheesy monster movie.

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