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I remember seeing this title on the marquee at my home drive-in as a child. Watched it and finds it an interesting film, but curious as to why it's not in the Mad Doc series...or is it? The acting isn't bad at all, especially compared to original Mad Doc. I noted that the first scene of the monster's arms look like they were re-used from the Mad Doc flix. The Filipino back-drop of this film, as well as the Mad Doc films, provides something a little different and interesting that stands alone from movies that we're accustomed to viewing. The mono sound with the atmosphere, particularly in the opening scenes, gives the filmgoer the creeps. I do wish I could've talked my parents into taking me to see it way back then!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Definitely this film won't win any awards but it's not boring.
**SPOILERS** The plot is different than you may have heard: A criminal (Langdon) is shot down and dies, but his spirit is reincarnated into the body of a business tycoon (Philip)who has died in the hospital. Satan has done this in exchange for Langdon's soul, and the devil expects Langdon to tempt more humans to evil. Meanwhile, Langdon/Philip changes into a flesh-eating monster when he gets stressed.
Eddie Romero has written a doozy. Philip's wife, who was previously disaffected with her husband, now adores the "new" Philip. Langdon, however, tries to pawn off his wife onto his brother, to keep her far from his deal with Satan and the monster side also. The monster stalks through the city several times and there is lots of pummeling, blood, and entrail-eating.
The monster can be hurt but not killed, and it wanders into an open store one night after sustaining injury from police, on the alert from previous attacks. A blind man meets the monster and hides him overnight, then tends to Langdon. Interestingly, the blind man is a famous criminal from Langdon's era, and the two form a bond both man-to-man and man-monster (imitating the Frankenstein connection somewhat).
The dialogue is bad quite a lot, but some of it is very philosophical, especially in explaining Langdon's dilemma: he wants to die but Satan won't let him. The dialogue between Philip and his wife is better, though the acting is pathetic there.
Monster fans will enjoy this. The makeup isn't the greatest but is effective. The chase scenes are not long drawn-out affairs, and there are enough twists to keep it going.
After recently finding a copy of this on DVD, I brought it home and was amazed to find this was everything I was looking for and a whole lot more. Filmed in the Philippines and directed by Eddie Romero, I was horrified/enlightened by its blasphemous blend of cannibalism, comedy, and deals with the devil gone bad. John Ashley is excellent as one of the most frightening, gruesome, and demented-looking monsters I've ever seen. Entertaining as can be. For me, the only thing scarier than this movie is the fact that I almost never got to see it! Great flick!
This DVD started out promisingly, with movie director Fred Olen Ray in his van at the Drive-In, talking about the essentials for enjoying the Drive-In experience. His girlfriend, the beautiful Miss Kim, emerged from the back seat, and REALLY started enjoying the popcorn she was eating! Then the feature film started. Filmed in the Philippines, the movie was a muddled mess. I kept looking for a yellow moon in the film to account for the movie's title, but I never saw it. The late John Ashley did a credible job of playing the main character Joseph Langdon, alias Philip Rogers. As for his acting career, it was a really long road for John from Bikini Beach, with Frankie and Annette, to the Philippines, with Vic Diaz playing Satan. Despite its shortcomings, the movie didn't commit the unforgivable sin of being boring. In addition, I found a bit of dialog, spoken by John Ashley's character, to be quite profound. "There's no such thing as a dead end. You can always get out the way you came." As you go through life, that's certainly something to keep in mind. There's nothing like a great movie, and this was nothing like a great movie!
Vic Diaz as the almost comedic Satan lends this Filippino horror film
an eccentric flavour that saves it from total oblivion. Ashley isn't
bad either as a damned murderer, inhabiting the body of an American
businessman, forced by Satan to endure of life of evil, but when guilt
gets the better of him, Satan resorts to dirty tricks in order to
compel him to serve. The transformation he undergoes to that of a hairy
beast with super-human strength causes the local police to suspect they
have something out of the ordinary with which to contend.
Ashley plays the tortured soul well enough for the film's limited scope, and he's ably assisted by the statuesque beauty Mary Wilcox as his neglected, but loyal wife. Wilcox has a few risqué scenes in modest attire (although sometimes also clad in a zebra outfit), but it's debatable as to whether that's indeed her in the bizarrely photographed love-making scene. Fans will also recognise the prolific Eddie Garcia as a detective (he also directed), and American Ken Metcalfe ("Up From the Depths") in a minor supporting role playing Ashley's concerned brother.
There's not much horror, and what there is can often be too dark to discern, but the film does improve after a slow start at least achieving mediocre status, including the witty banter of Diaz's omnipotence, and equally, moronic dialogue from the sultry Wilcox. There's a couple of twists (e.g. the banished blind man with whom Ashley forms an alliance) that generate some interest and the climax in the tall grass lends some sympathy to Ashley's condemned character, but don't expect too much for your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Beast of the Yellow Night" is nothing more then your average shape-shifter film. Barrowing ideas from classic werewolf style movies, A man is staring death in the face, but has an opportunity to live once again. He has a visit from Satan himself, and makes a deal to sell him his soul for life. Now the Devil's slave he must find new followers for his new master. Unfortunately this is done by transforming into a hairy green beast. (who reminds me of the aliens in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla) As he returns to his normal life he begins the well known inner struggle with his alter form. But unlike most films that do this there is very little struggle, he sort of goes into this depression where he just wants to die, and doesn't care about his life. Such as when he awakens from a transformation and simply walks around town with a blood stained shirt. I found this idea interesting as I've never noticed this element so vividly put in a film like this. The acting is of course poor, but what really upsets is the transformation. There's only one, at the very end of the movie, which is done in such an outdated fashion, that was done better in the 40s. Lighting problems occurred often and it was difficult to see characters faces, this helped with the beast's imagery, but fails when applying it to normal characters. The representation of Satan though in my opinion is decently done. He doesn't necessarily have a solid state he stays in the whole film. He alters from a man, to a sort of brown mist form. The mist forms around animals and such in some scenes, applying Satan is every where, and him no necessarily be the snake or lion we think him to be. With absolutely no sub-plots or anything close and holes in the story, the film is really affected. 3/10
"A man is saved from certain death by selling his soul to the devil,
who charges him with recruiting others to his evil cause. As part of
his terms for relinquishing control of his soul to Satan, the man is
cursed to endure transformation into a hideous creature and stalk his
victims by night. The local authorities want to find and destroy this
murderous creature before it can take another victim, while the man
looks to find a way to end his cursed existence," according to the DVD
Filmed in the Philippines, with director Eddie Romero. It's difficult to completely understand the story; approximately, it's Faust becoming the Werewolf with a touch of Frankenstein, after a time warp.
It's more interesting, at this point, to assess the career of star John Ashley. When he mysteriously appears in the present, doctors remove bandages from Mr. Ashley's said to be horribly disfigured face. Instead, a bearded Ashley looks better in 1971 than ever (in films since the 1950s). Ashley's characterization (as Joseph Langdon aka Philip Rogers) isn't terrific, but it's valiant; probably, his career lacked worth material. Vic Diaz (as Death aka Satan) is entertaining, in the tastiest role. And, Mary Wilcox (as Julia Rogers) is the blonde dish Ashley samples.
A bad man makes a deal with the devil to stay alive. His reward a pile of rotten meat and existence. The devil has plans for him. The man must occasionally turn into a beast and reek havoc on the surrounding area. There is another part of the plot, his relationship with his min- skirt wearing wife. He has not treated her well, but because she loves him, she puts up with his inconsistencies, including coming back from the dead in a hospital. He knows that there is no good end, but he has been made invulnerable, so he must carry out the wishes of his master. The problem lies with what the desired end is. When dealing with he devil, we must recognize his powers and, since we don't know how extensive they are, our hero (anti-hero) has no real free will. That's the rub. He meets a snarly old blind man who has a checkered past and philosophizes constantly. The central character would like to die. The interesting thing is that after his resurrection he is a pretty kind man, thoughtful and gracious and caring. I don't know. It's so darned obtuse that I just never got a handle on it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During the 10-year period 1968-'77, Filipino director Eddie Romero
collaborated with American actor John Ashley on no less than 10 motion
pictures. First up was the little-seen "Manila, Open City," to be
quickly followed by the so-called Blood Island trilogy ("Brides of
Blood," "The Mad Doctor of Blood Island" and "Beast of Blood"), and
then the film in question here, "The Beast of the Yellow Night" (AND,
later on still, films with such titles as "The Twilight People," "The
Woman Hunt," "Beyond Atlantis," "Savage Sisters" and "Sudden Death").
Nowhere near as pulpy or as fun as the Blood Island trilogy, "TBOTYN"
is something of a labor to sit through, sports a confused and confusing
story line, and never adequately answers a good number of questions
that the film itself raises. In it, Ashley plays a U.S. Army deserter
named Joseph Langdon, who, when we first encounter him in the jungles
of southeast Asia in 1946, is fleeing from his pursuers and near death.
He is saved by a portly, acerbic sort of fellow, who the viewer soon
divines to be no less a figure than Satan himself (amusingly portrayed
by the great Filipino mainstay Vic Diaz), and gives up his eternal soul
in return for his salvation. Flash forward 25 years, and we find
Langdon's soul inhabiting the body of wealthy industrialist Philip
Rogers, who, after a disfiguring accident, awakens with Langdon's
precise facial features (at least, this is what I THINK happens here).
Langdon's mission: to bring out the latent evil in the man he is
inhabiting. The problem: Rogers' hotty wife, Julia (well played by
yummy Mary Wilcox, whose work I had recently enjoyed is such
psychotronic winners as the woefully underrated "Love Me Deadly" and
the shlocky thrill ride ""Psychic Killer"), whom he becomes
understandably attracted to. The even bigger problem: Langdon/Rogers'
tendency to morph into a hideous-looking, gut-ripping, indestructible
monster at the most inopportune moments....
Regarding those monstrous transformations, screenwriter/director Romero leaves it pretty unclear WHY Langdon/Rogers is being punished by Satan in this manner...unless it has something to do with the character going near a church, or making love to a woman, or feeling any sort of decent, human emotions. Who knows? Again, why is the monster made suddenly vulnerable to bullets at the film's end, after being invincible up till that point? Just because he said a prayer for a dying blind man? Who can say? And while I'm posing some imponderables, what's up with the film's title, anyway? The only "yellow" on display in this film are the ocher-colored vapor swirls that sometimes surround Satan when he manifests himself. Could that be it? Anybody's guess. Besides these instances of fuzzy writing, "TBOTYN" gives us the usually likable Ashley in a fairly wooden performance, some unimaginative lensing by Romero, and few if any scares or even moments of suspense, even though there are, surprisingly, numerous scenes involving blood and guts on display. On the plus side, these Filipino horror pictures always feature interesting-looking, exotic locales, and this one is no exception, although it might have been nice if Romero had managed to squeeze in a few more gorgeous Filipino women as additional eye candy (as he did, for example, in my favorite picture of his, 1973's "Black Mama, White Mama," a distaff "Defiant Ones" starring Pam Grier). The film gives us one excellent performance, at least: Leopoldo Salcedo as Inspector Santos, the head cop trying to hunt down the maniacal killer; Salcedo underplays nicely and invests his cop with a good deal of dignity and smarts. Another plus: the memorable and at times lovely score by Nestor Robles; how strange to find such a nice piece of music in this film, of all films! And as for this DVD itself, from the fine folks at RetroMedia, it sports a decent-looking (though far from pristine) print of the film, and comes with a number of interesting "extras." In the one called "Remembering John Ashley," Ashley's widow, Jan, as well as director Fred Olen Ray and some of Ashley's other friends, reminisce about the man and his work; this "extra" is, I hate to admit, far more interesting than the film itself. "The Beast of the Yellow Night" is not quite (as they would say in Tagalog) "walang kwenta," but it sure does come close!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is another of those bottom of a double bill $1.50 exploitation
trifles that was given a fun title to match its (usually far superior)
In any case Joseph Langdon(John Ashley) is a career criminal, who finds himself dying in the jungle. A mysterious stranger offers to save his rotten life, in exchange for unquestioned servitude. Some marble mouthed whining and a bag of rotten meat later, the deal is sealed.
Langdon comes to as formerly injured businessman Philip Rogers, with a whole new life, a thriving business empire and a buxom blonde wife, Julia (Mary Charlotte Wilcox).
Seems like a pretty sweet deal, until Phillip woodenly marches to the (correct) conclusion that his benefactor is Satan himself (Vic Diaz) and his new eternal mission is to awaken the latent evil in the folks he comes across. Philip can be harmed, but cannot die in the process.
The thing is, Philip/Joseph royally sucks at it. While he's making stroke victim face and spouting platitudes that would make a college kid who just discovered the writing of Dylan Thomas blush, he not only fails at any actual evil.....but makes poor Julia fall in love with him again (perhaps she has a fetish for monotones).
The Devil is indeed in the details, so hydrogenated Satan adds a bonus to the deal. Since his protégé sucks at evil in human form, Philip becomes a mauling monster at night, with a face that looks like it was made out of a Vogon's armpit putty. The silly putty changes color randomly throughout the film from brown, to gray, to green-ish. I'm assuming it depends on which classic movie monster the barely gore producing killings and mannerisms are being stolen from in that instance.
In any case, there's lots of boring speechifying about good and evil, one really awkwardly shot sex scene, and a random as can be blind man who tries to help our tortured "hero" out of the various predicaments a demonic Silly Putty monster can get into on a day to day basis.
Said random blind man then tries to help mush mouth find a place to hide until he can break the Devil's pact, Julia nearly gets murdered, and the kind sightless stranger gets killed for his trouble by police looking for Joseph/Phillip.
However, since monster mash and his monstrous alter ego are still capable of feeling expressionlessly sad over the kind helper's death magically breaks the vow.....and finally our protagonist takes a bullet. Joseph can finally die in peace, and pieces.
Some more psychobabble, and roll end credits.
Director Eddie Romero has produced some enjoyably trashy romps,had obviously had a good handle on the genre given the length of his career, and why he thought an exploitation film was an excellent platform for half baked philosophical and ethical lessons is beyond me.
One star for Vic Diaz being his delightful self and scenery chewing through Satan's silly dialog with wickedly smarmy abandon and half open shirts. Fast forward to his scenes, as they are the best part of the film.
One star for a slightly past her prime Mary Wilcox being quite attractive, pending the degree of camera angle.
The rest is dull as dishwater.
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