Sunday, December 1, 2013
Rifftrax Presents Swamp of the Ravens, or He Brought His Evil There
Lately Rifftrax has been concentrating on the cheesiest movies from Europe for its VOD collection. A while ago, we had Supersonic Man, a disco version of Puma Man with the guy dubbing Cameron Mitchell overacting way too much.
Now from 1974, we have Swamp of the Ravens, a production of Ecuador and Spain which could be a surrealistic version of "The Brain That Wouldn't Die". I chose this because the Black Friday sale Rifftrax had promised a five dollar credit if you bought 20 bucks worth of stuff...and a 20 percent discount. The other reason was one the strangest "love songs" in any cheesy movie.
The Rifftrax sample was removed from YouTube, but here's a link from the main site.
The plot: a scientist named Frosta thinks he can bring people back from the dead because he thinks death is an evolution and can be overcome. He tries to cure a leper, but winds up having to dump his body in the swamp next to the lab. The lab seems to do a better job of reviving the dead than the doc does because we see the victim's heads, and their eyes blinking.
Frosta also has a girlfriend named Simone who wants to go back to her ex-boyfriend, a guy who sings to a Spanish version of Resusci Annie about his love for a dead robot. It's like a lounge singer's version of Lars and the Real Girl. Here's a link to the English version (which might be removed), but here's the Spanish version below:
After she gets away from Frosta by "fooling" him with a mannequin, he grabs her right back and hopes to enslave her with his experiments. He has to fend off the dead leper's friend, described as a "human Nobby", Simone's ex-boyfriend, and the barely competent police.
Now, how the Rifftrax gang endured this movie:
The first four minutes is the doctor reviving a corpse in a van:
Kevin Murphy: In Ecuador, this is what passes as a witty farce.
The doc's zombie assistant dumps a body in the swamp
Mike Nelson: Terrible biopic of John the Baptist
We see a shelf filled with babies' corpses placed in jars
Bill Corbett: You managed to go from "creepy" to "Rob-Zombie-level-nightmare-inducing-creepy" in a single scene.
There's plenty of riffs on Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Kermit the Frog, Jethro Tull, Eugene Levy, Family Ties, Human League, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Kevin also comes up with a fine song about the leper guy, while Mike does an extended riff on Nick Nolte. There's also a long riff on why the ravens don't own their own swamp...and that the movie actually has buzzards, not ravens. Maybe "Swamp of the Buzzards" isn't as romantic, in a horror kind of way.
Swamp of the Ravens, among other cheesy movies, are available at Rifftrax's new Christmas store. It includes its holiday selections including Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (which has something in common with Rocket Attack USA, a past MST3K target), Talking Christmas Tree, Santa's Village of Madness (also known as outtakes from that Mexican Santa Claus movie), and the Rifftrax Live Christmas Shorts show with Weird Al Yankovic and the live riffing of the other Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoon.