Here’s one for you crap movie buffs: a Hitler-resurrected movie
starring onetime Hollywood starlet Veronica Lake in her final role.
Quite simply, it’s every bit as astoundingly shitty as you can imagine.
FLESH FEAST (1970) followed several Hitler-resurrection
movies, including snooze-fests like MADMEN OF MANDORAS/THEY SAVED
HITLER’S BRAIN (1963) and THE FROZEN DEAD (1966). FLESH FEAST, believe
it or not, is the worst of them all!
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this movie is as
asinine as it is, as it was directed by the late Brad F. Grinter, whose
other films include the legendary Christian gore fest
FLESH FEAST was lensed in Grinter’s native Florida, and intended as a
“comeback” vehicle for the fifty-year-old Veronica Lake, of 1940s-era
classics like SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS, THIS GUN FOR HIRE and THE BLUE DAHLIA.
FLESH FEAST, which Lake helped produce after a long period of
alcoholism, mental illness and unemployment, will likely never be viewed
in the same light as those films.
In sunny Miami Beach the seemingly normal Dr. Elaine
Frederick is conducting a series of horrific experiments involving flesh
eating maggots. She’s readying her basement/laboratory for the arrival
of “the Leader,” but first she’ll need a few corpses to experiment on.
These are provided by an assistant who obligingly steals cadavers from a
local hospital. Elaine’s other assistants spend their days cowering in
the upper rooms of her home, ignorant of the true nature of her
It transpires that Elaine is employed by South American
revolutionaries who’ve just assassinated a US journalist at the Miami
Airport, and so are being tailed by cops. This doesn’t stop the group
from inducting Elaine into their latest and grandest project: the
resurrection of Adolph Hitler!
Elaine goes through with this act, but has her own
ideas about to what to do with Hitler. Her mother was killed in a Nazi
death camp, so Elaine certainly has no love for the Fuhrer. Her flesh
eating maggots will come in particularly handy in her upcoming
There are bad movies, and then there are movies like
FLESH FEAST, which attain an entirely new level of imbecility. Based on
this film and it follow-ups (including the aforementioned BLOOD FREAK
and DEVIL RIDER), I’d venture Brad F. Grinter deserves a place of honor
next to anti-icons like Ed Wood and Edgar Ulmer.
FLESH FEAST contains so many silly, misconceived and
plain inept elements it almost seems pointless listing them, as it’s
impossible not to leave several pertinent points out. Let’s see: the
film is boring as shit, with an absence of action, gore, or even a
coherent plot. Visually it’s a total bust, with flat, TV-worthy
one-dimensional set ups. For some reason cinematographer Thomas Casey
likes to place actors in weird places within the frame (such as the
bottom left hand portion), thus leaving the majority of the screen
filled with empty space.
It’s not uncommon for down-on-their-luck actors to turn
to grade-B horror fare, but with this film Veronica Lake went the
grade-Z route. Her acting is about on par with everything else in this
picture (although she certainly looks the part of a washed-up
middle-aged scientist). The video box prominently displays a vintage
photo of the young Veronica Lake, thus offering a pertinent
reminder of just how impossibly far this onetime superstar fell from
Viking International Pictures
Director: Brad F. Grinter
Producers: Brad F. Grinter, B.L. Grinter
Screenplay: Thomas Casey, Brad F. Grinter
Cinematography: Thomas Casey
Cast: Veronica Lake, Phil Philbin, Doug Foster, Harry Kerwin, Brad
Townes, Martha Mischon, Dete Parsons, Heather Hughes, Dianne Wilhite,
Yanka Mann, Craig McConnel, Chris Martell