Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Making 'The Most Dangerous Game' Boring

Bloodlust (1961)
Starring: Wilton Graff, Robert Reed, June Kenney, Joan Lora, Eugene Persson, and Lilyan Chauvin
Director: Ralph Brooks
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

A homicidal madman (Graff) traps two young couples (Reed, Kenney, Lora, and Persson) on his private island and hunts them for sport... and for future display in his trophy room.


A "The Most Dangerous Game"-like riff (or maybe just rip-off) that is sapped of all excitement, tension, and horror by lackluster production values, weak wooden acting, awful dialogue, and an unbelievably stupid script. (Four strapping young people just stand there and listen to Graff as he tells them he's going to hunt them and kill them. Why didn't they just knock him on the head just then and there? More to the point, why would someone like Graff's character who likes hunting people because they're more dangerous prey than animals even WANT to hunt four people so passive they stand there while he gives a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong speech about how he's going to kill them?)

If I'm to be charitable, I would suggest that this script may have been written for a 12-page comic book story for "House of Mystery"--it would explain the speeches that go on forever, as word balloons ever seem to be as verbose on the page than if you read them out loud--but someone decided it would make more money as a movie. And so, they conned, um, CONVINCED Cincegrafik into producing it.

A far more real answer is that the screen writer and director on this project both show a distinct lack of talent.

While there are a few glimmers of something interesting now and then--Graff goes a passable Vincent Price imitation, and has a few almost funny lines... and the revelation of what's in the trophy room is creepy--but any developing potential is quickly squandered through a combination of bad acting and bad script-writing.

This is one movie to just take a pass on. It's so dull that even the "Mystery Science Theater" version is only mildly amusing, teetering on the brink between a Five and a Six rating. (Although, the 'bots do say everything you'll think to yourself if you don't heed my advice. This movie isn't so "bad it's good", it's just bad.)



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