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Curse of the Swamp Creature

USA 1966
produced by
Larry Buchanan dor Azalea Pictures/AIP
directed by Larry Buchanan
starring John Agar, Jeff Alexander, Francine York, Shirley McLine, Cal Duggan, Roger Ready, Bill Thurman, Tony Huston, Annabelle Weenick, Charles McLine
screenplay by Tony Huston, music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When hotelowner Frenchie (Roger Ready) realizes one of his guests, West (Bill Thurman) is looking for oil in the region, he and his lover Brenda (Shirley McLine) figure it would be a great idea to rip him off - but unfortunately their accomplice Richie (Cal Duggan) is a bit clumsy and kills West ... which is a problem inasmuch as West is supposed to meet a geologist, Rogers (John Agar) the next day.

So Brenda decides to pose as West's wife and go and explore the nearby swamp together with Rogers. Out in the swamps, Brenda and Rogers stumble upon a scientist, Trent (Jeff Alexander), who secretly works on an experiment to turn humans back into fish-creatures and make them his slaves (ah yeah). For some reason, Trent invites Rogers and Brenda to stay at his place, and eventually, he drags Brenda off to his laboratory and makes her his fish-(or rather swamp-)creature.

Meanwhile though the natives, who are all members of a snake cult, have decided to revolt against Trent because he has used their borthers, sisters, parents, relatives, neighbours for his mad experiments quite a few times too often. Ultimately they have become an angry mob heading for Trent's abode, but he tries to threaten them with his swamp creature - but Trent's wife Pat (Francine York), who has been suppressed by her hubby for way too long, can make the creature realize that she once was Brenda and her so-called master was actually the man who turned her into a monster in the first place.

Ultimately the creature turns against its creator while Rogers and Pat make a safe getaway and emerge as lovers ...


Now this is what I call a really bad film on all accounts:

The direction is unimaginative to the point of being totally bland, and at times the film looks like the work of amateurs, and not even especially gifted ones. The actors are uniformly wooden and the fact that their characters are uniformly one-dimensional does not help one bit either. The special effects, especially the creature, are ridiculous at best. The musical score only rarely matches the mood of the film, if ever.

... and then there's the setting of this film: Obviously the film is supposed to take place in the swamps (hence the title and many references in the dialogue), yet there is no swamp to be seen. Instead, outside shots seem to have been taken around a few ordinary single family houses near some lake. And then what about the natives ? They are all played by black actors, yet no indication is made that the story takes place in or even near Africa. And of course, the natives all also seem to live in ordinary single family houses - I don't really get it.

I admit, if you like bad movies and have a few (as in more than one) beers with it, you might find even this one sort of funny ... but it's far from the fun you might be having watching a good bad movie à la Ed Wood and the like ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD