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Fred Olen Ray
I would really like to enlighten you about the content and significance of the cheap early 80's Spanish/American horror movie "Scarab", but the truth is that I have no idea what the hell it was about or why it even exists. We've all seen numerous bad movies already, especially horror ones, but "Scarab" truly is the cherry on the cake. This film is imbecilic, dull, overlong, incomprehensible, nonsensical, incoherent, tacky and just plain downright pointless. Rip Torn, Agent Zed from "Men in Black", depicts some sort of deranged scientist who becomes obsessed with an Egyptian deity and reincarnates as him after an out-of-control scientific experiment. The plot description here indicates that Torn's character is a former Nazi, but I've seen no elements whatsoever hinting at that. As Khepara, the Egyptian God, he somehow manages that prominent and influential politicians from all over the world publicly commit suicide, but Khepara's main intentions are never clarified. Meanwhile, there's the dorky and wannabe irresistible reporter Murphy (Robert Ginty from B-trash flicks "The Exterminator", "White Fire" and "Warrior of the Wasteland") investigating the deaths and discovering a connection between the Scarab-murders and a beautiful blond girl who works as a voluntary nurse in a catholic clinic. She turns out to be the daughter of the lunatic scientist and teams with Murphy after many embarrassing attempts to seduce her to put an end to the horror. The painful thing about "Scarab" is having to admit that the basic plot and particularly the Egyptian gimmicks actually hold some potential. Director Steven- Charles Jaffe must have wanted to bring an adventurous Indiana Jones rip-off, with loads of archaeological scenery and palaver about ancient Gods, but the abominable script and inferior production values turned it into the umpteenth laughable and atrocious B-flick of the early 80's. The amount of "What the hell?!?" moments in this film is unfathomable. There's an old guy who points at stuff and subsequently they explode, numerous erotic Egyptian in which topless girls turn into hairy monsters and random images of a village where the inhabitants lay dead in the streets. Robert Ginty has probably always been an incredibly awful actor, but it was never as obvious as here since he's trying to play a heroic and eloquent leading character. "Scarab" doesn't contain any gore, sleaze or excitement that is worth mentioning. It's a retarded film that should remain as obscure as it is now, because not even mind- broadening drugs can make this enjoyable.
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