An alcoholic actress, her personal assistant, and their pilot are downed on a secluded isle by bad weather, where a renegade Nazi scientist is using ocean life to develop a solvent for human flesh. The tiny flesh-eating sea critters that result certainly give our heroes a run for their money - and lives.Written by
First released in Phoenix, AZ, on March 18, 1964. It later had a re-release in 1968 which removed a flashback sequence showing the original Nazi human experiments with "the flesh eaters". See more »
When the film opens, the camera follows a taxi driving on a wide highway in New York City, The car is a 1959 Ford. However, in the next scene when the taxi stops in front of a building and the driver gets out, the car is now a 1960 Dodge. See more »
Hey! Wonder what makes 'em do it? You think they want the world to hate 'em? They wanna be punished because of some guilt complex? Hey - you think maybe they just kooky?
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Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »
Reviewers have not mentioned the gorgeous cinematography of THE FLESH EATERS, which is the work of the director, Jack Curtis, working under a pseudonym, Carson Davidson. Virtually every scene was shot outdoors in the merciless sun of summertime Long Island, but Curtis's lighting banishes unsightly shadows from the actors' faces; indeed, in many moments the exteriors are shimmering, almost silvery in their beauty. Deep focus and shallow focus are utilized with particular effectiveness. The women in the film are very good-looking, and as captured on film, they appear warm and absolutely delicious.
Another useful note is that THE FLESH EATERS was scripted by comic book writer Arnold Drake (The Doom Patrol, Marvel's Captain Marvel, et al). Arnold storyboarded the film, so every shot has the careful, formalized composition of a well-drawn comic strip. One shot, a sterling example of deep focus, sticks with me: the right profile of the hero dominates the left-side foreground of the frame. In a moment, two or three tiny figures at the far-removed shoreline move left to right, from behind the hero's head, and in perfect focus. Self-conscious? Yes. Striking? Absolutely.
Finally, Curtis & Co. shot THE FLESH EATERS silent, which is NOT apparent.The post-production looping matches flawlessly to the performances, and the voices have weight and presence. (Curtis had experience in the dubbing of foreign films for the American market.)
The gratuitous but not uninteresting Nazi-lab sequence was not shot by Curtis, and has none of the visual beauty of the rest of the film. Its shock value, though, is strong.
I rate THE FLESH EATERS AN "8" not against all films, but against other films of its type. As B exploitation, it is ingenious, nastily amusing, and immensely satisfying.
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