The Merits of Sin: Maneater of Hydra (1967) (Spain/Germany)

Call me old fashioned, but if I were invited to an isolated island occupied by a man named Baron Von Weser and his botanical gardens, I would most likely jump right on the boat and go. Which is why I can sympathize with the six poor saps that head on out to witness the Baron’s lovely plants. I may feel some discomfort when I discover the Baron is a dead ringer for Cameron Mitchell, but I would probably bury the nagging dread deep down inside and end up just as dead as most of the other idiots are going to be.

Cameron? Cameron who?

The Baron, in his infinite wisdom, has created a tentacled and giant blood sucking plant that he pretty much treats as a lover. Hey, if I fucked around with science and made something that shouldn’t exist I would probably get aroused by the constant reminder of my godlike abilities as well. We never get explicit but I would not be surprised to find out that the Baron has relieved some tension within the loving grasp of his flora nightmare.

“Why do these tendrils smell like cum?”

A fellow botanist on the tour notices something just isn’t right with the wacky mix of vegetation calling the island home and begins to snoop around. The other tourists are unsettled when their guide shares a local legend about a vampire stalking the island which caused almost all of the natives to flee. Their fears prove justified when one night at Weser’s castle leads to two dead bodies, drained of all their blood. David (our bland ass hero) slowly pieces together the puzzle in such a way that blesses us with a bicycle chase and the death of a wrongfully accused man. Well done, David.

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Agreed

Cameron Mitchell plays the mad plant fucker with some scenery chewing pizzazz and there’s a nice sprinkling of violence. Elisa Montés and Kai Fischer (as a lovable drunk, cuckolding wife) are very easy on the eyes and the killer mutant greenery is pretty damn fun. The whole thing feels like some lost chapter in Eddie Romero’s Blood Island saga and that is a hell of a compliment. Weird, cheap and lovely…just the way I like it. 6/10


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