The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THE REVENGE OF DR. X (1970) ***

When Kenneth Crane, the director of The Manster directs a mad scientist movie from a script by none other than Ed Wood Jr., you know you’re in for something special. (Never mind what the credits say. They were lifted from The Mad Doctor of Blood Island.)

Like The Manster, it was backed with Japanese money, has Japanese settings, features Japanese supporting players and has a climax atop of a volcano. Though not directed by Wood, a lot of his signature touches are evident and make up for Crane’s lackluster pacing.

It basically plays like a vegetarian version of Frankenstein.

James (Bigfoot) Craig stars as mad scientist Dr. Bragan. He yells and screams a lot (“How in the hell can anybody be so utterly stupid as to build a rocket base on the coast of Florida?”) while a rocket takes off. He has a conniption and his colleague suggests he take a vacation in Japan. On his way to the airport, his car breaks down and he takes it to a mechanic who specializes in “Snakes and Gas”. While waiting to get his car fixed, he digs up a Venus flytrap and smuggles it aboard his flight. (If Samuel L. Jackson was on board, the movie would’ve been called Venus Flytraps on a Plane.)

He goes to relax in a house in the country (That happens to be right next to an active volcano!) equipped with a greenhouse where he and his assistants try to strengthen the plant. He also has midnight rendezvous’ with the plant where he tells it, “Your mother was the soil! Perhaps the lightning will be your father!” He then has his team of topless bathing beauties to swim to an island to get another plant and combines the two. Then he pulls a Frankenstein and raises the plant onto a platform where it’s struck by lightning!

After the experiment, it becomes a hulking rubbery looking plant monster with flytrap hands. When it looks like it’s going to die, the hunchback assistant feeds it a puppy and it gets better, but after the hunchback teases the monster it attacks him. The monster uproots itself and terrorizes a nearby village. After it kills a child, simple Japanese villagers grab their torches and chase it. When Bragan discovers it’s a murderer he decides to kill it. “I will destroy my creation. My work of genius. Now I have to find a small farm animal!”

If you were concerned Bragan was going to do something lewd with a sheep or something, don’t worry, because he actually uses a goat to lure “Insectavorus” out into the open.

When the monster gets the drop on Bragan, they both fall into the volcano.

Or at least I think so.

Like Wood’s Bride of the Monster, this scene is so badly edited; you really have to think hard about what the hell’s going on. First you see the monster grab Bragan then two dummies fall off a mountain top, then there’s a shot of lava.

At least the goat lives.

The movie’s also got lots of stock footage, badly dubbed dialogue and tons of cheesy muzak. All this sounds a lot better (or worse depending on your point of view) than it really is, but Craig’s overacting coupled with Wood’s awful dialogue (“Unless I miss my guess, my creation is so powerful now, it can devour anything!”) is the main reason to watch it and the plant monster is good for a few laughs.

AKA: The Devil Garden. AKA: The Double Garden. AKA: Venus Fly Trap.
Tags: ed wood, horror, r
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