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Orgy of the Dead (1965)

April 11, 2010 Leave a comment

         

   It looks like the hippies had gotten to Ed Wood by 1965 in a big way.  The classic horror movie that Wood always aspired to write had simply transmogrified into a toothless nudie flick.  Gone were the days of the desire for class and decency in Wood’s films.  The only thing left in his arsenal was a string of topless dancers in a cemetery.  “Orgy of the Dead” makes “Plan 9 from Outer Space” look positively bone chilling by comparison, though “Orgy” can be credited for not attempting anything outside of its scope of talent.

            A writer seeking macabre inspiration for a new piece runs his car off the highway and into a cemetery.  When he and his girlfriend come to, they find themselves witness to a bizarre midnight ritual involving topless women dancing badly.  The festivities are overseen by The Emperor of the Night, played by Ed Wood regular, Criswell, and Black Ghoul, who looks not unlike Vampira.  The two stranded love birds look on while exclaiming occasionally how terrified they are, though the actors are so bland, they never emote any kind of fear.  I also find it hard to believe that a heterosexual male is terrified by what amounts to a free peep show.  Eventually, the two are discovered by the wolf man and the mummy (don’t ask) and are tied up to be sacrificed.  Luckily, just before Black Ghoul can cut the couple to ribbons, the sun comes up and all of the monsters vaporize.  It is unclear when the movie ends whether or not the whole thing was just a dream, but it would be a cop out if it was. 

            “Orgy of the Dead” has one thing going for it; topless dancers.  Though not a single one will ever win a dance competition, they are all easy on the eye.  In this regard, it is very difficult to pick on this movie.  Never mind that the action is occasionally broken by Criswell exclaiming that what he sees pleases him, at least this movie isn’t trying to be something more than a strip show in a grave yard.  But ironically, “Orgy” fails because it is just plain boring.  Yes, the girls are good looking, and yes, the production is cheesy, but those things can’t cover up the sluggish pace.  Every dancing girl does the same moves over and over again for at least five minutes, and this became maddeningly tedious as the movie went along.  “Orgy of the Dead” may have been the longest 82 minutes of my life, which is sad considering that it had every chance to be watchable, at the very least.  If somebody sets their sights low enough, that person can never be disappointed, and “Orgy of the Dead” is a classic example of this.     

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