THE CREMATORS (dune rollers) (1972 U.S.) D/W/P: HARRY ESSEX
Harry Essex was a screenwriter (his first credit is for co-writing the story MAN MADE MONSTER was made from) who wrote or co-wrote movies during the 40`s and 50`s, including DRAGNET, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE. During this time he also directed two of his own, MAD AT THE WORLD and I, THE JURY. Despite all of this, his return in the early 70`s resulted in two godawful sci-fi horror movies, the notorious OCTAMAN and this obscurity based on Judy Ditky`s story The Dune Rollers (from Astounding Science Fiction magazine). A scientist in a small coastal town discovers some mysterious small stones washed up on the shore. When attacked they emit radiation and glow. This summons a big glowing fiery orb from the sea (it landed there from space 300 years ago) that tracks the stone, engulfing and incinerating anyone in it`s path, leaving behind only ash. The orb is a cheap but kinda interesting photographic effect by Doug Beswick. He also designed the OCTAMAN suit with Rick Baker and his later credits (for various techniqes including stop-motion animation) include FLESH GORDON, PLANET OF DINOSAURS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and EVIL DEAD 2. It`s a shame that it`s all so slow, dull and incoherent. Robert Caramico (who shot ORGY OF THE DEAD) was the cameraman. With Maria De Aragon (WONDER WOMEN).