Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Deathhead Virgin (1974)



More B-movie trash from the Philippines, The Deathhead Virgin combines a conspiracy, sex, supernatural elements, and underwater adventure into 90 minutes of cheap-looking weirdness. After a kicky prologue during which seamen discover a ghost ship that’s dragging a net full of human skeletons, the movie introduces Janice Cutter (Diane McBain), the estranged widow of the ghost ship’s captain. Summoned to the Philippines in order to settle her late husband’s affairs, she half-heartedly endorses an investigation into the circumstances of his death, which occasions wannabe-creepy flashbacks as well as turgid “present-day” intrigue. The overall thrust is that the late Frank Cutter (Larry Ward) explored an underwater shipwreck and thereby provoked a mythical princess who manifests as a naked nymph with a hollowed-out corpse head. Literally. The biggest money shots in this tepid flick involve a shapely young woman flitting about beneath the waves while wearing nothing but a gruesome-looking mask. That’s interesting to look at for all of about 20 seconds, but director Norman Foster and his team bombard viewers with the same visual again and again. Also testing viewers’ patience are the myriad murder scenes—there’s a lot of scalping, because the princess demands sacrifices in the form of human hair—as well as the frequent use of cheap solarization FX. Leading lady McBain is watchably attractive and cynical, and the conspiracy angle was designed to provide Hitchockian twists. Alas, by the time The Deathhead Virgin meanders into a lengthy comic passage of McBain and two dudes frolicking on the beach, it’s clear the filmmakers were desperate to fill screen time with any old thing because they realized their silly and threadbare story wasn’t enough to command attention—even with fair amounts of gore, quasi-religions mumbo-jumbo, and nudity.

The Deathhead Virgin: LAME

1 comment:

Giannis G. said...

old movie, I had seen previously on tape and liked.