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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Revenge of Dr. X - An Ed Wood Scripted Film


By Steve D. Stones

Ed Wood may not have directed "The Revenge of Dr. X" (1970) but his fingerprints are all over the film. Bad acting, strange dialogue, boring camera angles and mismatched stock footage from other films are all characteristics found in this film and any Wood film. Wood is said to have written the script.

To confuse the viewer, the opening credits indicate that John Ashley and Angelique Petty-John stars in the film, and it was produced and directed by Eddie Romero.  This would lead the viewer to believe that it is going to be one of Romero's Philippines Island films from the late 60s and 70s. It is not. The film has nothing to do with the Philippines, director Romero and actor John Ashley. Why then does the opening credits indicate this? I'm not sure anyone can answer this question, other than to say that Romero had made a film with the same title.

Dr. Braggen, played by actor James Craig, spends the first five minutes of the film yelling at other actors and pretending to have a nervous breakdown. Braggen works as a NASA scientist and hangs out in greenhouses in his spare time dabbling in botany. He flies to Japan for some rest and relaxation. There he is greeted by a pretty Japanese woman half his age. The two become partners in greenhouse experiments and eventually fall in love.

Perhaps the only exciting aspect of this film is a scene of topless Asian scuba divers about forty-seven minutes into the film. Up to that point, the film is a complete yawn fest and fails to hold the viewer's attention.  Even a land slide of boulders falling across the road as Braggen drives to a Japanese greenhouse cannot inject any excitement into the film.

Braggen cuts free a strange plant life in the ocean while diving with the topless Asian scuba divers. He takes the plant back to his greenhouse laboratory and conducts experiments on it. In a reference or homage to "Frankenstein" (1931), Braggen places the plant on an experiment table and raises him to the top of the greenhouse to jolt it with a strike of lightning.

The plant grows to a gigantic size after the lightning jolt and develops an appearance similar to the creature in "She Creature" (1956), minus the giant breasts.  It is here that the plot starts to look similar to "Day of The Triffids" (1963) and "Little Shop of Horrors" (1960). To stay alive, the creature hunts for human flesh and blood.

The most annoying aspect of "The Revenge of Dr. X" is actor Craig's constant yelling at other actors in many scenes. Why the beautiful Japanese woman assistant would fall in love with this cantankerous numb-skull is anyone's guess.  Their attraction for each other is not very convincing because of Craig's constant yelling and selfish quest for conducting his nefarious experiments.

If you're a fan of Ed Wood, this film may be of interest to you. Any other viewer may find it boring and difficult to sit through. However, the giant Venus fly trap creature is quite interesting, like so many other low-budget creatures. If you're in the mood for giant plants, watch the more superior "Day of The Triffids" and "Little Shop of Horrors." Happy viewing.  Watch the entire film below:

1 comment:

Doug Gibson said...

"I want the facts! The facts do your hear!!" -- That dialogue is pure Ed Wood!