Friday, May 20, 2011

The Corpse Eaters

(Donald R. Passmore/Klaus Vetter, 1974)
This movie, made in Sudbury, Ontario on the initiative of the local drive-in proprietor and then sold into oblivion to an unscrupulous distributor, is a legendary, almost-lost piece of Canadian horror history. Some dudes and dudettes interrupt their beach party (well, actually 'rock party' since we're in Shield country here) to explore an abandoned mining town's cemetery. One oaf uses this occasion to conduct a half-remembered Satanic rite he learned from his dad, and then...while this is definitely a cheap, amateurish, and clunky piece of work, it is pretty cool in spite of or maybe because of it: it's got an attitude and an imagination. The grimy texture of the location footage gives it a you-are-there feel that can be pretty creepy. The cannibalism sequences are way more lurid and detailed than the run of horror schlock from this era (somebody's mom must have complained, hence the 'warning' gimmick appended to these bits). The jaded undertaker is even more amusing and motivating than the very Sudburyesque young folks who incite the action. And because they had no obligations to the big boys, the filmmakers roll credits around the one-hour mark, instead of padding things out endlessly to fill out the running time. Goofy and creepy in equal measures, and quite memorable.

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