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FLESH FEAST

Here’s one for you crap movie buffs: a Hitler-resurrected movie starring onetime Hollywood starlet Veronica Lake in her final role. Quite simply, it’s every bit as astoundingly shitty as you can imagine.

The Package
     FLESH FEAST (1970) followed several Hitler-resurrection movies, including snooze-fests like MADMEN OF MANDORAS/THEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN (1963) and THE FROZEN DEAD (1966). FLESH FEAST, believe it or not, is the worst of them all!
     It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this movie is as asinine as it is, as it was directed by the late Brad F. Grinter, whose other films include the legendary Christian gore fest BLOOD FREAK. FLESH FEAST was lensed in Grinter’s native Florida, and intended as a “comeback” vehicle for the fifty-year-old Veronica Lake, of 1940s-era classics like SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS, THIS GUN FOR HIRE and THE BLUE DAHLIA. FLESH FEAST, which Lake helped produce after a long period of alcoholism, mental illness and unemployment, will likely never be viewed in the same light as those films.

The Story
     In sunny Miami Beach the seemingly normal Dr. Elaine Frederick is conducting a series of horrific experiments involving flesh eating maggots. She’s readying her basement/laboratory for the arrival of “the Leader,” but first she’ll need a few corpses to experiment on. These are provided by an assistant who obligingly steals cadavers from a local hospital. Elaine’s other assistants spend their days cowering in the upper rooms of her home, ignorant of the true nature of her experiments.
     It transpires that Elaine is employed by South American revolutionaries who’ve just assassinated a US journalist at the Miami Airport, and so are being tailed by cops. This doesn’t stop the group from inducting Elaine into their latest and grandest project: the resurrection of Adolph Hitler!
     Elaine goes through with this act, but has her own ideas about to what to do with Hitler. Her mother was killed in a Nazi death camp, so Elaine certainly has no love for the Fuhrer. Her flesh eating maggots will come in particularly handy in her upcoming endeavors…

The Direction
     There are bad movies, and then there are movies like FLESH FEAST, which attain an entirely new level of imbecility. Based on this film and it follow-ups (including the aforementioned BLOOD FREAK and DEVIL RIDER), I’d venture Brad F. Grinter deserves a place of honor next to anti-icons like Ed Wood and Edgar Ulmer.
     FLESH FEAST contains so many silly, misconceived and plain inept elements it almost seems pointless listing them, as it’s impossible not to leave several pertinent points out. Let’s see: the film is boring as shit, with an absence of action, gore, or even a coherent plot. Visually it’s a total bust, with flat, TV-worthy one-dimensional set ups. For some reason cinematographer Thomas Casey likes to place actors in weird places within the frame (such as the bottom left hand portion), thus leaving the majority of the screen filled with empty space.
     It’s not uncommon for down-on-their-luck actors to turn to grade-B horror fare, but with this film Veronica Lake went the grade-Z route. Her acting is about on par with everything else in this picture (although she certainly looks the part of a washed-up middle-aged scientist). The video box prominently displays a vintage photo of the young Veronica Lake, thus offering a pertinent reminder of just how impossibly far this onetime superstar fell from grace.
 

Vital Statistics

FLESH FEAST
Viking International Pictures

Director: Brad F. Grinter
Producers: Brad F. Grinter, B.L. Grinter
Screenplay: Thomas Casey, Brad F. Grinter
Cinematography: Thomas Casey
Cast: Veronica Lake, Phil Philbin, Doug Foster, Harry Kerwin, Brad Townes, Martha Mischon, Dete Parsons, Heather Hughes, Dianne Wilhite, Yanka Mann, Craig McConnel, Chris Martell 

     

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