Body of Prey (1966), aka The Revenge of Doctor X / Revenge of the Venus Flytrap (1970)
Your father will be the rain! Your powers are lighting!
Oh my. This is a hard one to write about.
About every ten years or so I discover a film so bad I am mesmerized and left stunned that such a film actually exists. These are the films with inept dialogue, out of focus or poorly composed photography, terrible acting, poor production values and direction by people better suited for selling fertilizer. In the 70’s I discovered The Incredible Petrified World (1957), which is my vote for the most boring film ever made. In the 80’s, brothers Medved introduced me to Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and Robot Monster (1953), which are terrible films but at least entertaining. In the 90’s, I watched Bio-Drome (1996), which my dad called the worst movie he had ever seen — “El grande stencho“!”
Along the way I was introduced to a film called Manos: The Hand of Fate (1966), which was actually a government experiment levied upon the public to induce and assess narcolepsy in movie-goers. The millenium opened with Battlefield Earth (2000), which is my vote for the worst expensive film ever made, and Road to Perdition (2002), which along with Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), the only films I have ever walked out on. Now, in 2015, I discover Revenge of the Venus Flytrap (1970) on an Alpha Home Entertainment double bill DVD with Larry Buchanon’s In the Year 2889 (1967). Revenge of the Flytrap? What the hell is this? Alpha notes the film was written by the notorious Edward D. Wood, Jr. I quickly forked out $10 to one of Ron Adams henchman and was the proud owner of perhaps the all-time worst DVD double-bill ever pressed.
The film stars James Craig (The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941; The Cyclops, 1957), who looks and barks like Richard Boone with a dash of pencil-thin mustached Lon Chaney, circa mid-1940’s Universal Inner Sanctum series. Craig plays Dr. Alex Bragan, a high-strung rocket scientist who takes his boss’s advice and takes a break with a trip to North Carolina and later to Japan. While in North Carolina he digs up (in a cattail marsh!) a Venus Flytrap specimen and carts it back home. There he nurtures it and takes it on a trip to Japan, where he expands his vacation as a mad scientist botanist who splices a Venus Flytrap with a Japanese marine flytrap (WTF) and some of his own blood and there you go.
Before I get too far, I should point out that you won’t find an IMDb entry for “Body of Prey” (the films original title) or “Revenge of Doctor X” or “Revenge of the Venus Flytrap” (Alpha’s concocted title) or “The Double Garden” yet another release name. It is listed on IMDb as Venus Flytrap. There’s not much written about it, but internet sleuthing and a fine review by Dave Sindelar on the MKCHF, reveals the film’s rich and confusing production history. Frankly, I am amazed it reached a DVD pressing. I don’t know if this was penned by Ed Wood, Jr or not and it really doesn’t matter. This film is BAD anyway you look at it. Basically this piece of crap sat in a warehouse and was never finished. After being found (a found footage film!) various releases in the public domain were cut claiming different “talents” with artistic provenance (“directed by Eddie Romero”). The dialogue is so strange I wouldn’t be surpised if the film is traced back to Wood —”Unless I miss my guess, my creation is so powerful now it could devour anything….”
About the only thing noteworthy in this film is a few shots of topless Japanese diver girls and one insanely inept monster that looks like an onion blossom with dreadlocks on a human torso with red catchers gloves for hands. Wow.
Still, Revenge of the Venus Fly Trap is a lot of fun, playing like a twisted amalgamation of Day of the Triffids, The Bride of Frankenstein, Mutations, Zaat (1971), and The Terror Beneath the Sea (1966). But don’t for a minute think that this makes for a good film. Don’t bite on this tantalizing image of a monster with an inverted rutabaga for a head. Don’t you do it. Don’t buy this DVD HERE for $5.99.
Eat that goat!