Ray Dennis Steckler had just completed filming the last scene, when walking to his car, he saw Coleman Francis drunk and lying in the gutter. Steckler felt so bad about Francis's condition that, even though he had finished work on the movie, he offered Francis a role in it. Steckler added some scenes just to give Francis some work and some badly needed cash, which he gave Francis in advance. Steckler and his crew were astonished when Francis showed up for work the next day sober, clean-shaven and nicely attired. This was a bit of a problem since Steckler had wanted him to play the part of a disheveled bum. Francis had used the advance pay to buy a decent second-hand suit, a shave and a haircut. See more »
Ray Dennis Steckler once again proves his greatness
Ray Dennis Steckler is the fascinating film maker behind the amazing mid-60s films "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies", "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo", and "The Thrill Killers". This, a lesser known effort, is none the less entertaining.
Steckler stars as "Charles Smith", a private eye hired to track down a woman who stole a big bag o' heroin (played by Steckler's real life wife, Carolyn Brandt). Charles Smith falls for the dame, of course, and they plan a double cross (actually a triple or quadruple cross. It gets complicated.)
Steckler has a wonderful, self-depreciating humor in this performance (a charm missing from his "Creatures" acting job). He plays much of the movie for laughs (like the scene in which a gal jumps on top of him to kiss him, knocking over the entire couch Steckler is sitting on). Brandt is not as entertaining as Steckler, and looks very bored throughout all her scenes, which makes the couple's love scenes interesting to watch.
The movie also contains one of the greatest actor/film makers of all time, Coleman Francis, the man behind the legendary "Beast of Yucca Flats", "Skydivers", and my personal favorite "Night Train to Mundo Fine". Steckler gave the part to Francis as a favor, as Francis was down on his luck at the time. Coleman is natural and likable in his three brief scenes as a laundomat owner that Smith confides in.
Over all, Body Fever has several loose ends, poor acting, and silly dialog, but these add to the charm. If you are a fan of all things Stecklerian (and you should be) check this movie out.
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