This is director Jim Haggerty’s fourth film and for this he decided to cast the lead singer of the LA Guns, Phil Lewis. What could be seen as simply a piece of stunt casting proved to be a wise choice as Lewis is actually surprisingly good in his role. Her plays Dr Phineas Gorgon (would you trust a doctor with a name like that? No, me neither) who has some bizarre and reasonably evil ways of solving his patents’ problems. Vic Martino stars as the detective assigned to make either head or tail out of Gorgon’s weird doings.
If it sounds like the plotline of a Hammer film, I wouldn’t be surprised, this movie definitely has that sort of feel about it and is much the better for it. The storyline become quite engrossing as the film progresses, never letting the tension slip for a second, although some of the production values do rather spoil this effect. There’s an awful lot of female nudity going on as well (not that I have anything against that) but at times it does seem to be there just for effect and becomes comical rather than sexy. However, knowing that he has only limited resources, Director Haggerty wisely focuses on telling the story and in this he is very successful.
Though Phil Lewis is extremely effective as the mad Doctor, really getting into the role inn a way that makes you fear for his sanity, some of the other performers are pretty dire, undermining the script with performances that leave you feeling unconvinced and unmoved and all the porn players (surely that’s what they are, don’t tell me they’re actresses) have clearly not been cast for their thespian skills. Still, this is what you expect from Haggarty and so I suppose he’s only delivering to his audience. As it were.
It’s a patchy piece of work at best in the final analysis, a good script brought down by some truly dreadful acting and some often dodgy production values, but having a good script to begin with is a lot better than many low budget films ever manage. This is definitely worth a try if only because the film makers also thought it so. Whether they succeeded or failed is up to the individual to decide.
Director: Jim Haggerty
Cast: Phil Lewis,Suzi Lorraine,Colleen Marie,Bud Stafford,Charlie Parshley,Vic Martino