Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Beast of the Yellow Night (1971)

Like many other exploitation-flick purveyors, actor/producer John Ashley and writer/director Eddie Romero worked in bulk during the ’60s and ’70s, banging out a slew of crappy pictures about monsters, women in prison, and other lurid topics. Some are palatable, but many are like Beast of the Yellow Night, an interminable horror saga about a fellow who turns into a creature at night. This idiotic picture is sort of a Jekyll-and-Hyde story, sort of a Satan-worship yarn, and sort of a werewolf tale, but mostly it’s just confusing and dull and silly. Opening in 1946, the film establishes that Ashley’s character (who goes by various names), once made a deal with the devil, as personified by portly Filipino-cinema stalwart Vic Diaz wearing a loincloth. Upon sealing the deal by consuming human flesh, Ashley gained the ability/curse to transport his soul into new bodies over the course of several decades. (In “present-day” scenes, the host body has the same face as the Ashley character’s original body.) Then there’s the whole shape-shifter bit. Nightfall causes Ashley’s character to transform into a were-beast of some kind, though the makeup effects are so shoddy that Ashley looks as if he slathered his face with green-tinted cottage cheese and a bit too much eyeliner. Given the dopey storyline, Ashley and Romero would have been wise to bombard the audience with thrills-and-chills scenes, but instead anemic stalking bits are interspersed with laughably pretentious dialogue exchanges about the nature of existence. There’s a reason people don’t gravitate to Ashley/Romero movies for deep thoughts.

Beast of the Yellow Night: LAME


Guy Callaway said...

Have to say I LOVE these '70's Pinoy-shot films.

"the film establishes that Ashley’s character (who goes by various names), once made a deal with the devil": That's not too far off the truth!

After Ashley's Stateside "career" fizzled, he went down there to oversee a few films financed by some Texas Drive-in owners, and enjoyed the lifestyle - along with the low cost of filming.
His semi-claim to fame (not forgetting 'Frankenstein's Daughter'!)is having the pilot for the 'A-Team' shot there & voicing the intro to the series.

Raegan Butcher said...

Check out the documentary machete maidens unleashed about the full story of the crazy Filipino film industry