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Flesh Feast (1970)

Review

Author
Date
03-27-2003
Comments
Flesh Feast
Runtime
72 minutes
Countries
Cast and Crew
Director
Effects
Production Company

It's possible to make a good film involving mad scientists, South American revolutionaries, and Hitler. If one doubts that, then watch The Boys from Brazil. It may well to be possible to make a good film containing all the above, plus maggots. That question is left unresolved at the end of Flesh Feast (1970), a minuscule-budget shocker written and directed by Florida auteur Brad F. Grinter (Blood Freak), and starring former beauty Veronica Lake (Sullivan's Travels, The Blue Dahlia).

When an undercover reporter is killed, his editor Ed Casey (Phil Philbin) steps in to unravel the case. What he discovers is a nefarious plot involving (natch) a mad scientist (Veronica Lake), South American revolutionaries (Brad Townes, Dete Parsons), Hitler (Chris Martell), and Maggots (themselves). I feel I reveal nothing of importance by saying that three of those four come together in a climax that is both shocking and terrible, but for all the wrong reasons.

Flesh Feast is a bad film. Really bad. Badly written. Badly filmed. Badly acted. Badly scored. Badly edited. Even the sound sucks. It seems the whole film is either out of sync or sloppily dubbed. If not for the terrifying sight of a Hollywood has-been over-acting and throwing maggots, there would be nothing to recommend. Even fans of maggots will be disappointed. Their titular activities are barely shown, and their much-ballyhooed final confrontation with der furher is a let down.

As bad as it is, Flesh Feast has a better reputation than it deserves. It neither a passable film, nor is it aware of its own short-comings. It is as if the director, stars, and producer (Ms. Lake herself) thought they were making a worthy film. It lacks both the wit and talent to be good camp, and the courage to wallow in its own bad taste. What's left is flat, boring, and lifeless. Veronica Lake came out of a twenty-year retirement to make this turkey. It was to be her last film before her early death in '73. In the Forties and Fifties, she was a stunningly beautiful, if not stunningly talented, star in old Hollywood. It's too bad she left as her epitaph: "maggots eat Hitler's face, and it's still really boring."

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