Sting of Death (1966)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Schlock fans will rejoice over this peculiar sci-fi calamity, filmed in blazing color on location in the wetlands of Florida's Everglades. Sting of Death parades a succession of unlikely events and robotic actors before the screen along with one of the cinema's most beautifully deranged low-budget monster costumes. Though the very idea of a half-man and half-jellyfish creature is weird enough, outfitting him in a dirty black skin-diving suit with an inflated garbage bag as a head is a stroke of genius. The surreal proceedings include a wild gang of drunken biology students, mass jellyfish attacks, and one of the most ridiculous dances ever conceived (it is unlikely that anyone outside of the production has ever done "The Jellyfish"). Director William Grefe films the dance sequences with special attention paid to his female subjects' posteriors, suggesting an almost Russ Meyer-like appreciation of this portion of the fairer sex. Grefe also supplies some gruesome makeup effects, plenty of powerboat chases and thoroughly unlikable main characters. Both John and Dr. Richardson are sexist control freaks ("You girls better go to bed now") who routinely debase and dismiss the eccentric Egon, driving him to commit his vicious revenge, yet still they function as the heroes of the story. Wrong-headed, absurd, and unintentionally comic, Sting of Death will thrill lovers of trash cinema and confuse everyone else.