The Flesh Eaters (1964)

Unrated   |    |  Horror, Sci-Fi

The Flesh Eaters (1964) Poster

A group of young adults trapped on a desert island find the water inhabited by a violent form of flesh-eating organisms.

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1 October 2016 | Hey_Sweden
| "Hey, you think maybe they just kooky?"
Jan Letterman (Barbara Wilkin), the personal assistant to an alcoholic, washed up actress (Rita Morley), hires charter pilot Grant Murdoch (Byron Sanders) on behalf of her employer. Grant is to fly them to Provincetown, but inclement weather forces them to land on a deserted island. There, a German accented scientist named Peter Bartell (Martin Kosleck) is conducting experiments centered around the existence of tiny, silvery flesh consuming creatures that thrive in the water.

"The Flesh Eaters" is noteworthy for such things as being a very early gore film (one of the earliest NOT made by Herschell Gordon Lewis and Dave Friedman), for inspiring a musical act of the same name, and for forcing George Romero to change the title of his legendary "Night of the Living Dead", which was originally going to be called "Night of the Flesh Eaters". It's pretty entertaining as far as schlock horror goes, although it is somewhat overextended. Sometimes it does get silly, tiresome, and overly talky. How one responds to comedy relief beatnik character Omar (Ray Tudor) may be strictly a matter of personal taste. This viewer found his shtick amusing at first, but thought that he wore out his welcome quickly. It has decent atmosphere, good black & white photography (Carson Davidson was the D.P., John Carroll the operator), appropriate music by Julian Stein, and some enjoyably grisly makeup effects. The script by co-producer Arnold Drake has its moments, with some snappy bits of dialogue.

The acting is as bad as you come to expect from such fare, for the most part, with the jut jawed Sanders particularly clunky as the hero. Kosleck, fortunately, rises to the occasion with a wonderfully theatrical portrayal that is in the tradition of countless mad scientists in countless B pictures.

Not bad, for this kind of entertainment.

Future director Radley Metzger was the editor on this show.

Six out of 10.

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