The Flesh Eaters(Dark Sky Films, 10.25.2005)
When presented with three Dark Sky Films releases of such varying genres as the three that I have reviewed this week, I was expecting almost anything from The Flesh Eaters. A part of me was hoping for a zombie gore-fest, but instead the horror was much more subdued. Byron Sanders plays a pilot struggling to pay his debts and keep his head above water. When a Hollywood star offers him three times his normal fee for a charter flight to New York, he cannot refuse, despite the threat of an oncoming storm.
Grant, Laura (Rita Morley), and her assistant Jan (Barbara Wilkin) cannot escape the weather and are forced to land on an island to seek shelter until the skies clear. They are horrified to discover the remains of a corpse that has been eaten clean to the skeleton. They meet a scientist (Martin Kosleck) on the island whose strange behaviour causes increasing concern as the three struggle to uncover the truth behind the unusual happenings on the island.
This 1964 film is not without its charm. While the performances are lamentable and the script laughable, it is difficult not to enjoy this textbook b-movie. Gratuitous bra and bathing suit shots, reprehensible special effects as well as some, at times, graphic gore, the film does put a smile on the viewer's confused face.
The DVD includes deleted scenes, dubbed "The Nazi Experiments." It adds little to the film and it is clear why it was removed, but as ridiculous as the plot and acting are, one wonders why bother to delete that scene in particular. Perhaps it works best as an insight into the making of a double feature's lower-half.
While not the apex of movie making, The Flesh Eaters is not an unenjoyable film. Worth it if only for the shot of the hipster beatnik floating out to sea with a gaping hole in his stomach, and the giant spider-creature that attacks at the film's climax. Laugh-out-loud moments abound in a way that one only gets in b-picture horror. -- Mark Devitt