2.5/10
4,091
89 user 41 critic

Zaat (1971)

PG | | Horror, Sci-Fi | January 1971 (USA)
A mad scientist transforms himself into an aquatic killer.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Grauer ...
Wade Popwell ...
Paul Galloway ...
Gerald Cruse ...
Sanna Ringhaver ...
Dave Dickerson ...
...
Deputy Sheriff (as Archie Valliere)
Nancy Lien ...
Girl Camper
Russell Holcomb
Gloria Brady
Del Galloway
Hal Nearhoof
Jim Merrill ...
Boy on porch
Elizabeth Barton ...
Girl on porch
Bob Knowles
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Storyline

A mad scientist (and apparent former Nazi) unleashes his master plan: to transform himself into a mutated walking catfish, gain revenge on those who have spurned him, and kidnap nubile young women to similarly transform so that he can breed. Or something like that. Written by <crow_steve@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hydra will rip at your senses and plunge you into a quagmire of revulsion... See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Attack of the Swamp Creatures  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview, writer Ron Kivett said the script was inspired by an article he read about a species of 'walking' catfish that could live in water and on land. The article theorized that the fish were possibly a mutation. Doctor Leopold refers to the same species of fish in his voice-over narrative. See more »

Goofs

When Walker Stevens is in bed and Rex is talking to him, the shadow of a boom mic is persistently visible before Martha joins him and the monster spies them through the window. See more »

Quotes

[Dr. Leopold's opening voiceover rant]
Dr. Leopold: Sargassum, the weed of deceit. Sargassum fish - mighty hunter of the deep! What an inspiration you have been in my plot! Your life of hiding, waiting... stalking your prey. At just the right moment... ATTACK!
[chuckles]
Dr. Leopold: I love you. I hope I'll be a good imitator. And my friend, the shark. Cunning, swift... wretched humans, they're afraid of you! I admire you. Soon, I'll swim with you! They'll be afraid!
[chuckles]
Dr. Leopold: Oh, mighty scorpion, dangerous beast of the ...
[...]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why not a 1?
14 May 1999 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

Yes, I gave it a 2, dammit. The underwater photography is tolerable and there are a couple of suspenseful attacking moments. Basically, however, this movie rambles on pointlessly, much like the "walking catfish" mutant and the government agent who tracks him in the last third of the movie.

The first 20 minutes of the movie is in (hilarious) voiceover, and you begin to wonder if they lost the soundtrack ala Creeping Terror and Beast of Yuca Flats. Then the characters actually start speaking on-screen and you wish they had lost the soundtrack. The dialogue seems to bear no resemblance to the onscreen goings-on. I suppose it establishes some plot points and clarifies things for the audience, but there are so many ramblings and offshoots that you just kinda of give up and give in.

The "monster" looks like an early draft of a Silurian costume from Doctor Who, with a fur neckpiece (??). The skinny, balding bad guy is on-screen for only a few minutes before undergoing his transformation, but imprints himself indelibly in our minds thanks to his stripping down, his hamhanded maneuvering himself into the transformation tank, and his omniscient voiceover narration.

And the fish! What is it with the fish? The opening narration dwells on them (giving us a good impression of Jacques Costeau as a Nazi gone bad), and at least one murder scene decides to insert random shots of fish in-between cuts. There seems to be some kind of implied ecological nature-takes-vengeance message here somewhere, but like everything else, it is lost entirely in the rambling dialogue.

Basically, the movie is pretty much a waste of celluloid. A few good moments, as I've seen far worse underwater cinematography. Watch it if you dare.


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