11/17/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Death Curse of Tartu / Sting of Death (1967/1966)

"It isn't possible. Sharks don't live in fresh water."
- Ed Tison (Fred Pinero)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: November 16, 2001

Stars: Fred Pinero, Babette Sherrill, Bill Marcus, Mayra Gomez, Doug Hobart, Joe Morrison, Valerie Hawklins, John Vella, Jack Nagle
Other Stars: Neil Sedaka
Director: William Grefé

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, gore, nudity)
Run Time: 2h:44m:11s
Release Date: October 30, 2001
UPC: 014381080025
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D D+B+C- B+

DVD Review

Something Weird Video again brings us a DVD package of sleazy 1960s' horror, this time a pair of William GrefÈ Everglades shockers.

Death Curse of Tartu (1967) is a retread of The Mummy, except this time with a Seminole witch doctor getting revenge. Tartu (Doug Hobart) is long dead but has a curse on his tomb that enables him to take the form of wildlife and destroy all who defile his tomb. Since there is a group of archaeologists (including some attractive young coeds) who unknowingly dance above the tomb of Tartu (defiling if ever I saw it), he uses the excuse to take vengeance in the form of snakes, sharks and alligators. Yes, even the characters know that there aren't any sharks in the Everglades. But that doesn't stop Tartu!

The picture, written in 24 hours and shot in seven days, is packed with padding to make it fill out half of a double bill (originally released with its companion here, Sting of Death). There are endless sequences of wandering through the swamp, lengthy dance numbers, and the climactic fight goes on forever. There's probably about 2 reels of an okay horror movie here; the rest is just fluff. Though Tartu's makeup is horribly phony (skeletal teeth painted on the actor's upper lip, for instance), his ability to mimic wildlife lends him a bit of originality that allows for some decent suspense.

The same cannot be said for the companion picture, Sting of Death. This time, scientists in the Everglades are studying Portuguese Men of War. Deformed assistant sidekick Egon (John Vella) is obsessed with growing giant jellyfish, and also with the daughter of the Dr. Richards (Jack Nagle). When another bevy of attractive coeds comes to visit and laugh at Egon's face, soon the party is ruined by a stinging jellyfish-man whose touch is deadly. Since there are many coeds, that makes for a fairly spectacular body count before the picture is over.

The jellyfish man, a guy in a wetsuit with an inflatable head, is laughably absurd. Even uncritical drive-in audiences had to have mocked this. The seams on the head are readily visible; it's surprising we can't see the inflation valve too. This movie is also padded by more dancing (including the song "Do the Jellyfish" featuring Neil Sedaka), with tight focus on the women's gyrating derrieres. Not that I mind; at least there was something interesting about the movie. The pair feel much, much longer than their 2.75 hour total running times.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Death Curse has very good color. Black levels are not very high, and the picture is generally lacking in sharpness and clarity. Compared to the bluish trailer, however, it looks like a gem.

The commentary on Sting of Death notes that the negative was covered with mold when it was sent for processing. The unnamed lab that managed to extract this movie did wonders; the picture looks great. Only a few speckles are visible, color is excellent and black levels are extremely good. Clarity is very nice as well. GrefÈ notes that there were probably only a dozen prints ever struck, so if the negative had gone away this might have been a lost film. Whether that would have been a bad thing will be skipped over here, but at least it survives now for the curious.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The mono audio tracks are crackly and noisy, with loud hiss much of the time. Music is distorted and tinny sounding. The audio on Sting is slightly better, but neither is particularly good. Dialogue is clear on both, however, so they get the job done.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Jaws of Death, Racing Fever, Stanley and The Wild Rebels
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by director William Grefé with Frank Hennenlotter
Packaging: other
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Excerpt from Love Goddesses of Blood Island
  2. Short subject Miami or Bust
Extras Review: Each movie has a full-length commentary with the director, being interviewed by genre fan and Basket Case director Frank Hennenlotter. The pair make for a lively and wide-ranging discussion that not only covers these films, but many of the others in GrefÈ's CV. He also tells quite a few amusing stories about William Shatner (not in these movies), so Star Trek: TOS fans may be interested. The difficulties of filming a feature film in the middle of a swamp, without money, spare film or stunt men is covered with intriguing detail, and is to my mind the most rewarding part of the disc.

Two additional programs are included. One is another film from Sting of Death producer Richard Flink, Love Goddesses of Blood Island. This is edited down to about half-an-hour, which allows one to keep all the dancing, plus all of the gore and actually makes the picture fairly tolerable. I haven't seen the full-length version, but judging from this it must be excruciating. This picture contains extreme gore. The second short, Miami or Bust (12m:34s) spends the first six minutes as an intensely tedious travelogue of Miami. Halfway through, however, it suddenly becomes a film of a hideous stripper cavorting by a swimming pool. Please, let it be over.

Wrapping up the package are 6 trailers from GrefÈ pictures, including the two features here. Tartu has faded to blue, and Sting has gone completely red, making the picture on the features frankly astounding by comparison. No sign of the gallery of horror drive-in exploitation art and Horrorama radio-spot rarities, but this is a pretty packed package without them.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

A pair of extremely cheesy drive-in horrors set in the swamps. The transfers are surprisingly good and the commentaries are excellent. A must for fans of this genre; this would be fun for an MST3K party too. But look elsewhere if you're really looking for something scary.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store