Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1970. Tonylyn Productions Inc.. Story by Mark Thomas McGee, Screenplay by Jack Woods. Cinematography by Mike Hoover. Produced by Jack H. Harris. Music by Jaime Mendoza-Nava. Film Editing by John Joyce.
Mark McGee and future visual effects artist Dennis Muren made a low-budget horror film as a student project in 1967 that was then taken over by Jack Woods for this wider release version. Adding extra scenes, including bumped-up visual effects and a film score, rewriting much of the dubbed dialogue and, most strange, removing sequences of stop-motion animation, it’s a precursor to Evil Dead that has two couples on a picnic explore a cave in which they find a book of demonic incantations. Opening it up and reading its contents, they awaken the presence of creatures that chase them through sunny meadows and turn them into evil creatures lusting for flesh. It’s schlocky fun and the bad acting only makes it that much more hilarious to behold, though the characters are so dull that it is not the loopy Carnival Of Souls-style indulgence you might be hoping for.