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Enzo G. Castellari
In the prehistory of man, 12,000 years ago, two members of a superhuman tribe abuse the treasured secret of eternal youth. They use the methods of ritual cannibalism on the children of their own tribe and when discovered by the 'Queen' of the tribe, they are cursed to an eternity of old age with no chance to ever die. Now, in present day Los Angeles, their only hope to recapture eternal youth is the ritualistic sacrifice of a 16-year-old female virgin. Their existence is discovered by an investigative reporter and a young runaway child and this leads to an unexplained and terrifying confrontation. Written by
Now I've seen my fair share of garbage over the years. Hell, I admit to actively seeking it out. But nothing prepared me for this little wonder.
Yeah, yeah, yeah I can hear you all say. We've seen Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, we've seen all of Ed Wood's little wonders, we've even sat through a Fred Olen Ray movie marathon. FORGET IT! You ain't seen this.
OK, let's start with the plot which is actually fairly complex for a film of this quality, it's also totally ludicrous. Incestuous, murdering cave siblings are cursed to live for eternity living off the flesh of the young until they can sacrifice a virginal descendant of the tribe when two stars with silly names come into alignment. In a whirlwind 10 minutes of celluloid the brother rents a room, marries the landlady, has a daughter with her who becomes a teenager and runs away from home due to turbulent family life. From there she meets two other runaways who coincidentally live with the sister of the cave pair. The kids rumble their game, zombies rise from the ground, laser beams are shot from eyes, and the two 'eternal' siblings are killed.
Got that? Right. It gets worse. Everything about this film goes way beyond amateur, from the 'old person' make up, to the Persian rug cavemen clothes, to the dissolve shot ageing FX. The lighting is abysmal; spot lights are shone straight into the set giving each shot an early silent film style ring of shadow around the edge of the shot. The acting is appalling, especially from the grimacing Crackers Phinn. The plot progresses at bizarre speeds, some scenes dragging on for way too long and other plot points zooming past at top speed.
Despite all of the above (or perhaps because of it) I love this movie. I really could bang on about it for days but I won't. If you ever find a copy (which isn't easy) you have to see it. I defy you to find anything worse in such a truly wonderful way (Invitation To Hell comes close).
Horror fans will also be interested to see a very early appearance by Linnea Quigley, who shows from an early age her willingness to take her top off.
Oh yeah, there's a 'shock' ending too.
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