Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rare Flix: Terror is a Man

I owe you one, Machete Maidens Unleashed.  Today's film is Terror Is A Man, a film produced in The Philippines in 1959.  If you didn't see it, the aforementioned Maidens is a Documentary about how a whole slew of films were made in the area over a few decades.  The place was cheap, the place was pretty and the place was chock full of people willing to do whatever you want!  This is one of the earliest ones, as the bulk of them came out in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.  The film comes to us from Gerry De Leon, who was behind a number of other Philippine films like The Mad Doctor of Blood Island.  The story is simple: it is a variation of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  It is not a unique idea (obviously), but it is done interestingly here.  To find out what 'island charm' brings to the table, read on...
In a time before Psycho and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we got silly stuff like this.  It is not unique to this film...but it is still silly.
In the Story proper, a man floats to an island by himself and recovers.  What does he find?
A Scientist and his unhappy (and blond) wife working on a mystery project on this lovely little piece of land. 
When he's up, our hero does what anyone would do- wander around aimlessly until he finds someone who will talk to him.
One person that likes to talk to him is the Scientist's Wife, who is much happier now. 
The mysterious Scientist works on his creation, which is apparently some sort of human/animal hybrid. not a good idea. 
Sure enough, the Creature breaks loose and kills some folks.  In true Universal fashion, it wanders off with the blonde in its arms towards...a Cliff. 

Time to rethink that escape plan, pal.
As you can probably guess, he decides to toss the Scientist (or this unconvincing dummy in his clothes) off of the Cliff.  Here's what unique though... 
The Creature is shot, but doesn't die.  It wanders to the shore and...takes a boat and leaves.

Yeah, the film ends with the Creature heading towards land.  Suck it, Jurassic Park!  The End. 
Not the most unique film you'll see, but still quite competent.  Terror Is A Man travels through often-seen territory, but it is still good.  It is important to remember that the film was made over fifty-years ago, so it stock elements were less then.  That may sound like an excuse, I know.  The film definitely emulates the Universal films...but so did Hammer.  Unlike that more famous Studio, the people behind Terror don't add blood, guts or Color.  There is a pretty clear reason why they get alot more attention than those folks in The Philippines.  Don't worry- they would catch up in about ten years.  All kidding aside, stuff like this is neat for people like me who can appreciate (and like) the old-school stuff.  I watched a Horror Film (of sorts) from 1898, so I like me some old-school!  If you're only into the newer stuff, this probably won't do alot for you.  It doesn't add a whole lot, but it does give you some good (if borrowed) imagery along the way.  Besides, it gives me an excuse to reuse this silly shot from Psycho III (now on Blu-Ray?!?) as a comparison...
Next up, an Indy film that avoided some litigation from Disney.  Since someone I know told me to see it, I might as well.  Stay tuned...

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