Sting of Death (1966)

Spread the weird

RATING– ★★★½

DIRECTOR– William Grefé

PLOT– Way down in the Florida swamps, isolated on an island, lives a research scientist named Dr. Richardson, his two live-in man-servants John and Egon, and the growth on his head…

***the growth has literally nothing to do with the story… the actor must’ve just hit his head before filming or something like that***

Dr. Richardson only enjoys one thing more than studying ocean wildlife… partying with teenagers.

So, to welcome his visiting daughter Karen, he invites the cool kids over for a dance party…

Unfortunately, there seems to be a whole lot of murders happening in the swamps these days and the cops show up seeking the doctor’s help in solving the crimes.

He can’t help them… he’s a scientist, not a detective, dammit!

His normal man-servant John suggests that maybe a jellyfish is behind the murders. (because, why not?!)

But jellyfish can’t get big enough to murder people, right?

His creepy man-servant Egon is adamant jellyfish can… he’s got an enormous jellyfish all his own!

Meanwhile, the local cool kids show up.

They dance… they eat… they drink… and they make fun of creepy man-servant Egon…

Egon runs away and pouts.

Suddenly, a giant walking jellyfish shows up and attacks a couple of teenagers… hurting one so bad that Dr. Richardson insists the teens stop dancing and take the injured teenager to the mainland.

On the way, their boat is attacked by the giant jellyfish and a few small ones (that look suspiciously like Koolaid-filled plastic bags with strings tied to them)…

Dr. Richardson and John head out to find Egon, concerned he might be in trouble. But, back at the house, the giant jellyfish finds a teen girl taking a shower… and attacks!

The doctor and John return to find a hysterical Karen. Egon also returns and expresses his love for Karen.

It’s all too much for Karen to deal with… she faints.

Egon kidnaps her and takes her to his underwater lair… where he’s raising an army of jellyfish and developing a machine that turns him into a jellyfish!

John follows Egon to the lair and they fight.

Egon falls and his head explodes.

Karen falls into the arms of John, overcome with grief at the death of her friend Egon.

Her father Dr. Richardson explains to her that maybe, someday, the world will figure out why a creepy man-servant turned himself into a murderous giant jellyfish.

They ride off into the sunset on their airboat.

3 THINGS WE LEARNED

  1. Doctor, maybe you should have that spot on your head looked at
  2. Need excitement in your film? Load it up with wiggling-butt shots!
  3. Even jellyfish enjoy a nice shower scene

REVIEW– For about 10 years, from the mid-60s to the mid-70s, director William Grefé turned out some truly weird exploitation/sci-fi/horror flicks from his home state of Florida.

Instead of heading to Hollywood and bowing to their vision, he created his own little production studio down in the Miami area.

Sting of Death was his fifth film… and, even with the low production values of his previous flicks, he managed to pull in some talent for this one… beginning with two original songs for the film by Neil Sedaka.

Mr. Sedaka had quite a few Top 10 hits by this time but was in a lull in his career (mainly because the smooth-pop of the early 60s was being replaced by the mop-top British invasion of the mid-60s).

William Grefé was also able to assemble a complete crew for this movie… a screenwriter, a 2nd unit director, a makeup department, a sound and wardrobe department, stunts, grips, and even a continuity supervisor!

Amazing!

Unfortunately, he still cast his regulars as the actors in this thing… they hardly qualify as “actors”.

And for as much talent William Grefé has for seeing his ideas realized, he lacks when it comes to making those ideas flow smoothly on screen.

But, as with most of his other films, it doesn’t matter much… it’s so funky, so cliche, and tries so hard to be trendy, that Sting of Death becomes 80 minutes of escapist fun. A lot of escapist fun.

It’s like an episode of Flipper meets The Twilight Zone!


Karen choked on a piece of ham, Gary used the Heimlich, and everybody had a good laugh.