Thursday, July 13, 2006
Where does one start with something like this? There's no easy way to break it to you. I just want you to know that I sympathize with your pain and disappointment. Well, let me get this over with.
The Revenge Of Doctor X is NOT what the credits claim it to be. There, I've said it. Of course, if you are a diehard fan of crap cinema or if you have Mill Creek Entertainment's Chilling Classics then you already know this to be true. This warning is for those who don't know. And what I am about to tell you isn't news to those of you who research your films, but I'm sure there are those who have no clue about the awful truth behind The Revenge Of Doctor X.
Your opening credits say that it is an Eddie Romero film. It says you'll see John Ashley. That can mean only one thing to those of us who have sampled some of Eddie Romero's Philippine-based horror -- blood and insanity in copious amounts. So the film starts. It's a couple of older gents, one of whom is throwing the biggest snit-fit about storms throwing off a rocket launch. Oooookay...doesn't seem like Eddie Romero's style, but I'm game. Twenty minutes later, after the main older guy has spiked a dozen times on the overacting scale, you start to realize that John Ashley ain't gonna be showing up. No pretty Angelique Pettyjohn flitting about so alluringly in tacky late 60's clothes.
Oh, wait, what's this? A Japanese lady who speaks English like she's chewing an entire package of Big League Shredded Bubble Gum? Hmmm, still not Eddie Romero material. At this point, you realize you've been had, and you consider shutting the damn thing off. But then you see the poorly blue-screened volcanic eruption coming from a perfectly normal mountain (where I come from, it just looked like a really big hill), and the main characters react as if they had seen a squirrel eating acorns in the park. So you give it a while longer. More extreme bipolar action from our lovely doctor, and the little Japanese assistant lady puts up with this. You are hoping she'll slit his throat, for her sake and for yours. But, no, the doctor has it in his noggin to create a super Venus flytrap creature. And let's not forget the surprise bare breasts of the pearl divers.
You've been lied to. The film is nothing like what was promised by the credits. Even the video boxes for the VHS release set up promises that the film can't keep. But you should have known, considering the credits were the crappy video generated type from the early 80's. What you have seen is a diseased nightmare of gut-churning bad acting added to a script that seems dated from the 50's and devoid of logic. Where the hell have we seen the likes of this before?
Ed Wood, Jr. Blame him for this nearly 90 minute waste of time that could have been spent downloading illegal music files or beating the neighbor. A stealth attack of crap. Ed Wood, Jr. wrote the script. He didn't direct it. Kenneth G. Crane is to blame for not attempting to raise the script's low bar. He didn't wallow in the crappiness of the script like Ed Wood tended to do as a director. But he never tempted to wrangle the lead actor to modulate his performance. That is sin enough to condemn him.
Mill Creek is blameless for this mess. They were just doing what they do, which is give you good variety at a dandy price. No, the blame falls on the late Ed Wood, Jr. This was meant to be called Venus Flytrap, which is rather unimaginative but fitting. Then the title of The Devil Garden is attached to it. Again, that would work, and would have actually fooled enough people into seeing it. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into The Double Garden, which just smacks of either a bad translation or someone just wasn't listening (maybe they were still stunned by the film). How the hell anyone came up with The Revenge Of Doctor X is beyond me? Under any name, it reeks of Woods and his overly theatrical sense of style.
Just a tip. If you want to attempt to kill someone on the sly, have them watch this film. They just might slip into a coma from which they may never awaken.