Ten years ago, seven scrappy B-movie websites came together on a lark to mass-review a single B-movie, The Brain From Planet Arous (1957). Little did they know that from those innocuous beginnings would rise a shadowy organization whose nefarious plans for world domination centered on exhaustive reviews of minor movies which were more entertaining than the movies themselves: The B-Masters Cabal!
The lineup of the Cabal has changed some over time (what’s this “real life” that gets cited so often?), but the diabolical character of the Cabal and the ridiculous lengths to which they will go to review off-kilter cinema have only intensified. And in honor of the 10-year anniversary of “Brainathon ’99,” we offer — Stingathon ’09! The little-seen and less-respected drive-in horror flick Sting of Death (1966) had best hope for no mercy, because it will receive none!
|1,000 Misspent Hours and Counting||Jellyfish Man wrecked the radio earlier, so there’s no way to call for help. Consequently, Richardson rounds up all the university people, and sends them off on their boat to get Cap’n Assface to a hospital. Too bad Jellyfish Man has already taken a hatchet to the planking on that boat’s bottom, huh? The boat lasts just long enough to get too far down the canal for anybody to come to the rescue, then sinks right smack in the middle of Jellyfish Man’s pack of trained Portuguese men o’ war. Guess I don’t need to feel bad about being unable to make any headway on that script for Beach Party Holocaust anymore, do I?|
|And You Call Yourself a Scientist!||William Grefé then found himself confronted by the necessity of visualising something described in Al Dempsey’s screenplay only as “half-man, half-jellyfish”. In collaboration with makeup man and perpetual movie corpse Doug Hobart, Grefé rose to the challenge by whipping together a monster so hilariously, so mind-bogglingly inept, it almost circles right back around and becomes a work of sheer genius.|
|The Bad Movie Report||This is a small bit of levity in a flick that is noticibly bereft of even the smallest dollops of (intentional) humor. We are invited to laugh at the wimmin-folk, all in a tizzy ’cause they need more time to get prettified, or the men-folk, for being befuddled that their good intentions have earned them such ire. However, what we should take from this instead is an essential lesson that will allow us to more easily get through the next hour of screen time: If any character in this movie were to appear on Jeopardy opposite a bag of hammers, the smart money would be on the hammers.|
|Badmovies.org (special guest star!)||Most of the time, when the monster is on the screen, we do not see it. We see its webbed feet and some drooping tentacles. I spent more than half of the movie thinking that the killer was a Rastafarian SCUBA diver.|
|Braineater||Grefé displays his fascination with those wiggling, jiggling orbs you often find along the beach:
Also, I understand there are jellyfish involved.
|Cold Fusion Video Reviews||But first — more dancing! As featured prominently in the credits, and even more prominently in the original theatrical trailer, Neil Sedaka contributed the song to which they cut a rug by the pool, “Do the Jellyfish.” He does not appear in the movie (despite his “Special Singing Guest Star” credit, nor is the song terribly memorable, but you’ve got to play up your star power where you can. And hey — more semi-choreographed white kids shaking what they’ve got! How can you go wrong?|
|Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension||The merry partiers hit the dock and instantly begin perpetrating some of the most appalling White People dancing I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen Horror of Party Beach and The Creeping Terror. It looks like a “Know Your Enemy” segment from a particularly crude Black Nationalist propaganda film.|
|Stomp Tokyo||Incidentally, there are apparently only two other films known as Sting of Death – a 1921 silent film from the UK and a 1990 Japanese domestic drama. There’s not a lot there to challenge this flick for rights to the name recognition. Certainly no gyrating posteriors, no candy-colored bikinis, no annoying early ’60s pop tunes to grab hold of your neurons for days on end – all things which present themselves in an unrelentingly repetitive fashion during the 1965 Sting of Death‘s scant 80 minutes. One would think it would be possible to endure just about anything for 80 minutes so long as it were regularly punctuated by the sight of attractive young women clad in not very much and jiggling about like well-postured seizure victims, but it turns out that’s just not true.|
|Teleport City||Grefe’s duo of South Florida monster movies concern themselves with things that are quintessentially south Florida: bikinis, go-go dancing beach parties, The Everglades, swamp mummies, jellyfish, and of course, airboats. I don’t know when exactly Florida passed a law saying all films set in Florida had to include at least one airboat scene, but it’s obviously a law. People have often complained that nothing brings a film’s momentum to a screeching halt quite like a scuba diving scene, but I’d put a prolonged “toolin’ around in an airboat” scene up against even the dullest diving scene any day. Luckily, Sting of Death doesn’t ask us to chose between the two and includes them both.|
|The Unknown Movies||It goes without saying that Sting Of Death is a laugh riot. While I would not put it up as high as such classics as Troll 2 and the works of Ed Wood – it’s from a merely inept mind, not an insane one – it’s still a movie that bad movie lovers will savor. In fact, I find it hard to believe I hadn’t heard of this movie before. I feel a sting of shame because of that.|