Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Deathmaster

The DeathMaster Directed By Ray Danton Starring Robert Quarry (1972).
I never thought much of Robert Quarry and always found his Count Yorga series to be the vampire equivalent to cinematic Nyquil. In The Deathmaster he's brought his cheesy vampire act to the Spahn Ranch and wears a goofy Manson costume. So if you thought Manson was some dirtbag who just made delusional acid casualties follow him around as the second coming of Christ, you were deceived, because he was always a vampire with powers of mind control!
I for one am offended by this anti-Yorga tirade!
   Here's how it all went down, a coffin washed up on the beach (Hey Wait I thought Charlie Didn't Surf)! A bleary eyed homeless looking version of Max Julien in Hippie garb strangles a surfer then drags the coffin along the shore. Hippies and bikers litter the streets, Pico (Bill Ewing) and his Pop (played by nerdy character actor John Fiedler of Odd Couple and Bad Ronald fame) run a garage sale.
  A biker named Monk (William Jordan) who looks like he was in a Bruce Dern Cycle Savages look-a-like contest, tries to fight Pico the hippie, but is deflected by his kung fu skills. After the brawl, they come to respect each other (plus there's girls and weed, so that always helps)!
We're so baked
   Everyone keeps mentioning through dialogue and song that they are all looking for direction in their lives. They are all easy prey for a cult leader to move in and manipulate them. A weed pipe that looks like a giant Krazy straw is passed around. The creepy Black hippie from the beginning shows up, his name is Barbado (LaSesne Hilton's only film credit), he only communicates through flute wizardry and bongos. 
This Mack can't get into the Players ball no more
   The lights go out than suddenly Khorda (Robert Quarry) shows up to form his own group of evil hippies or "slippies". This group looks more like The Brady Bunch and less like the one's frothing at the mouth from I Drink Your Blood.
   Monk the biker's iron cross scares the fake Manson, who seems to be the answer all these clueless losers are looking for. The biker splits the scene and says "I'm going out for steak and whiskey"! 
Care for a snaggled tooth mustache ride?
   The fuzz guitar gets cranking as one blonde hippie named Esslin (Betty Anne Ross) realizes that this cult leader is one of the undead and has no reflection in the mirror.
Then Pico and his pals try to escape the party of drugged out dancing, because they are too square for this shit! One of the bearded vampire hippies is none other than the Mr. Monster Mash himself Bobby "Boris" Pickett! I knew there was something sinister going on in that song, I need to play it backwards to see if there are any evil messages!
What ever happened to my Charlie Manson twist?
   Pico is trapped in the crypt underneath the house where Khorda's coffin lies (he accidentally sticks his hand into a bowl of leeches).It's never explained why they're there, I'm guessing Barbado left them as a hilarious prank. Pico runs back to see his dad who thinks he's on a bad acid trip! I like how the dad has a bunch of paperbacks that seem to have all kinds of helpful information!
Don't snicker at my library, it may bail out your ass one day!
   All his old friends start wearing a black magic medallion and are now slaves to "The Deathmaster". There's never a turning point where they start murdering celebrities, they just hang out in the mansion and worship the devil (pretty harmless kids stuff)!
Quarry does a pretty good acting job and has a certain amount of presence. 
All the hippies making hissing sounds with plastic Dracula teeth is a pretty goofy site! The ending is a real show stopper full of surprises, if you enjoyed Grave Of The Vampire or Psych-Out you'll definitely be into this flick!
Available on Amazon Instant Prime
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Calgon take me away!

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