Archive for the ‘Michael Stanley’ Tag

Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)   7 comments

attack

In 1920, a group of people we care nothing about abandon their sinking ocean liner in the North Atlantic and hit the lifeboats.  They end up on a thickly forested, warm island.  Lifeboats drift, after all.  They have to find water and food to survive, but spend most of their time standing around complaining about Morgan, the grumpy, rich guy you love to hate.  Morgan is obnoxious, but at least he has a personality.

morgan

“Morgan, are you drooling again?!”

A guy who looks like George Peppard’s son, finds a creek and boy is he thrilled.  Unfortunately, it turns out to be filled with acid.  The corrosive brook melts his face and he’s toast.

peppard

“I love it when a plan comes toaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!”

After the Peppard-melting incident, the group begin to feel a bit homesick and we learn that one of the women comes from an Iowa farm and she digs sailors.  Mrs. Gordon, the only character we might have even mild feelings for, says dreamy, yet practical things that boost the troops’ morale.

As the gang sleep peacefully around the fire, crazed, toothy, 16-inch natives jump them and begin to snack on the castaways.  Instead of running full speed to the shore to build a huge fire and survivalist junk like that, the crew do a kind of Bataan Death March through a forest in Connecticut…I mean, some foreign land.

not

Not Connecticut or anything.

Their pokey speed means they’re constantly at the mercy of these nasty little dolls.  Many don’t make it.  It would be tragic if you cared about any of these people, but the wooden acting, prosaic dialogue, and just lack of suspension of belief make that impossible.  Will they make it?  Who cares?

island

“I sure wish we weren’t on this island.”
“Yeah.”
“Do you like crullers?”

The horrendous earworm theme killed any possible drama and the director, Michael Stanley, was out of his element.

donny

“Shut up, Michael.”

Then came the moonlit beast creature attacks.  Ferocious, ankle-biting crazies with glow-in-the-dark eyes launch themselves toward our heroes with reckless abandon.  People scream, wrestle dolls, and flail about helplessly as the little buggers screech and bite.

do the

“Let’s do the beast creature tonight!”

It’s fun to watch.  In fact, it’s odd that there’s no beast creature wrangler credit because the people who chuck the little beasties onto the victims are talented.  The diminutive critters have voracious appetites and grip like pitbulls.  There’s even an homage. Really?  Yes, it’s a tribute, of sorts, to Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS.  At one point, Mrs. Gordon, lost in thought, turns around to see dozens of the little bloodsuckers staring at her from the trees.  A moment later, they’re hurling themselves at her and there’s no escape.

tree

“Ready…set…hurl!”

Amazingly low production values and a sound crew who phoned it in knock the wind out of ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES and it was winded to start with.  During a night scene, I swear they miked the fire.  I could see mouths moving, but all I heard was crackle crackle.  I recommend watching this with a group of like-minded friends as I did.  If you can slog through the dull conversations, you’ll enjoy the Olympic beast creature toss.

bc

“I’m coming to get you, Barbara.”

I watched ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES with the #Riffotronic crew on Twitter.  Thanks, @adw1661 and @DmathchesLive who allow me and other weirdos to watch strange and wonderful films with them every Saturday night.  I may never forgive you.

haunty

 

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