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ELVIRA'S MOVIE MACABRE: MANEATER OF...
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Mel Welles, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

Starring:
Cameron Mitchell
George Martin
Lilli Palmer
John Moulder-Brown

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Elvira, mistress of the dark, hosts us through two badly dubbed European horror shows featuring man eating plants and a boarding school for troubled girls. Bad cinema at it's worse ensues.
Is it good movie?
MANEATER OF HYDRA - 1 Star
You would think a movie about plants eating people would be at least mildly amusing, if not all out entertaining... and that, my friends, is where this movie fails - and fails hard. Dubbed horribly in English, MANEATER doesn't even come close to being suspenseful, or scary, or fun - it's just one pointless scene after another featuring a cast of unlikable characters, leading up to it's somewhat exciting climax with the man eating plants in action. Once we get there it becomes pretty funny, as the plants move so slowly you'd think these people would be able to run - or even walk - away to safety (they are plants, remember?), yet none of them are able to do so. This flick is just bad, and not the fun campy bad B-movies are loved for, but just all around bad - and boring. Though I must say the revelation of the cucumber that tastes like meat (get it?) was pretty f*cking funny. But not funny enough to merit watching this trash.

THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED - 1.5 Stars
Set in Victorian-era France, there's a boarding school for naughty girls who are forced to take showers with their clothes on, take turns meeting the firewood delivery man in the shed for a little action, and where the head mistresses 16 year old son has an obsession with spying on the girls and then making them disappear. This flick had potential to shed a bunch of T & A, but alas... it didn't. Nothing, except a clothed shower scene (yup, that's right, clothed). Unfortunately, that's all this film had going for it, making it a slow moving drivel of boarding school hell. Hell for the viewer, as it was boring beyond belief. It did have some higher production values that made it at least nice to look at, but other than that... I don't even know if you could call this a horror flick. Just a drama with creepy musical overtures from time to time.

ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK - 3 Stars
Elvira is back once again making crappy movies semi-worth watching, throwing a little fun in the process. Taken straight from the original 'Movie Macabre' TV show she hosted in the early 1980s, her commentary on each flick is priceless, as she doesn't hold back when she tells you how bad these movies are. She knows it, you know it... and now it's time to sit back and laugh at it. Or at least try to. They don't make shows like this anymore, so it's likely that feeling of nostalgia that makes every second Elvira is on the screen sing with pure enjoyment. Somewhat dated (it is the 80s), and jokes that are only half-way amusing, it's Elvira's charm and her rockin' cleavage that escalates this from being crap to classic entertainment.

Video / Audio
Video: MANEATER OF HYDRA is presented in Full Screen, and looks to be a crappy transfer from a crappy VHS tape. This REALLY needed to be in Widescreen, as it was hard to see what the heck was going on.
THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED is presented in 2.35:1 Widescreen, though the picture quality is mostly that of VHS.
ELIVIRA's Movie Macabre: Low quality video is presented in Full Screen, just how you remembered it from back in the day.

Audio: 2.0 across the board, and what you'd expect from a crappy VHS tape.

The Extras
No real 'extras' to be seen here. Each film is presented to either be viewed alone, or with Elvira. Seeing as Elvira contributes to the only enjoyment of each, I wouldn't suggest watching the films by themselves.

Before the menu, each disc gets a trailer for The Search For the Next Elvira, a Reality-TV series starting this October on Fox. Also an entertaining ad for Stubbs the Zombie Soundtrack, and a trailer for Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper.

Last Call
Even Elvira's quirky remarks couldn't save this double feature from being a painful waste of time. I like B-movies, and I like Elvira, but these two flicks fell in the 'so bad they're bad' category. If you dig your Elvira and your B-movie cinema, check out her double feature BLUE SUNSHINE/MONSTROID, and steer far, far away from this.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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