CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE (1966 U.S.) D/P: LARRY BUCHANAN W: TONY HOUSTON
An oil prospector (Buchanan regular Bill Thurman) is murdered by a thief in his hotel room at a remote off-season fishing town. The killer`s girl (in cahoots with the hotel management) poses as Thurman`s wife for the benefit of visiting geologist John Agar, and off they go into the swamps to look for oil. They eventually become the guests of a mad scientist (Jeff Alexander, who`s quite enjoyable) busy creating gill-men (we only see a hand for most of the running time). He feeds one a turtle. They don`t live long, so he chucks them in "the swamp" (he lobs the corpses off a poolside diving board (!), then we see stock footage of alligators). Black locals who mistrust Alexander communicate with drums and perfrom a "snake dance" complete with fire, skulls and bongos. When the main sexy dancer is cornered by a white would-be rapist, he says "there`s no-one here but us chickens". Eventually we see a gill-man (Thurman in a monster suit with ping-pong eyeballs) who sacrifices himself and Alexander in the swamp/poool. Agar ends up with Alexander`s beautiful prisoner wife (Francine York). Shot in Uncertain, Texas, this undeniably bad film is my favourite of the 8 notorious tv movies Buchanan made for A.I.P. It has the atmosphere and just the right vibe to entertain insomniac "differently abled" movie fans. With Annabelle Weenick and Houston (who`s script is an uncredited re-write of VOODOO WOMAN).

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