Reviews

Flesh Feast (1970)

I’m always keyed up for a quick trip to Miami. Grinter, don’t fail me now.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Brad F. Grinter, brothers William and Harry Kerwin, Doug Hobart, Thomas Casey, and a handful of auxiliaries funneled Florida’s palm trees and cheap motels into a legacy of weird films. From Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things to the inhuman Blood Freak, the hotspot was always piping. Today, any film even remotely related to this red-letter group implores a watch. Including the indecisive Flesh Feast. I think.

“Produced by Veronica Lake and Brad F. Grinter!”

That’s great for the badass rep, but not so much for the movie. Flesh Feast is the directorial debut of Mr. Brad Grinter — frequent smoker and loving father of Blood Freak. Here, Grinter plops down 1940s Hollywood siren Veronica Lake in a suburban home, films her walking around a lab, and tries to make a connection between maggots and a cure for the aging process. Brad also debuts his patented role as a keyed up, chain-smoking cop. Then hit-men air their grievances, nurses pop pills, and a leg (kind of) meets a hacksaw. There are also a few decomposed corpses hanging in the basement, courtesy of cheapo effects magician Doug Hobart (Blood Stalkers). Then, Bill Rogers shows up for two minutes, sporting his make-up from A Taste of Blood. I was ready to call it a night. Suddenly, a knock emerged at Ms. Lake’s front door.

It was Adolf Hitler.

Flesh Feast may be a mess of arbitrary ideas, random absurdity (“Look Daddy, I don’t have to wear my eyepatch anymore!”), stagnant photography, and robotic dubbing, but there’s still one good reason to see it. Namely, Adolf Hitler. With unheard-of tact, this film instantly erases 70 minutes of mildly amusing tedium with 60 seconds of Naziploitation insanity. I rewound. I rewound again. Brilliant. The uncomfortable hilarity of Blood Freak is sorely absent from the sluggishly tame Flesh Feast, but thanks to that ending, things still get hot. As Veronica says, “This one is for democracy!” Amen.

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