When the Organ Plays, it Heralds a… – Feast of Flesh (1967)

There is a killer prowling the beaches, looking for young ladies that he might take a fancy to. To claim such beauties, he injects them with heroin which then makes them compliant enough that the music he plays on his organ will make them do anything. That anything involves satisfying his carnal lusts and the women are only too happy to do so, what with being hopped up on the smack he gives them. With all sorts of bodies turning up though, the masked killer’s days are numbered feast-of-flesh-64and unbeknownst to him, it will be sooner rather than later.

With Feast of Flesh, Argentinian director Emilio Vieyra creates a wonderful little piece of horror – part exploitation, part sleaze and part beatnik fluff. Many people complain that there is nothing to scare the viewer in this picture and while it may not have the blood and the guts that modern audiences have come to appreciate; there are other ways of showing the dark side of a killer. As such, the horror in this movie comes from the actions of the masked murderer – his motivations for what he does, the injecting of innocent victims with a lethal drug and the essential rape of the many women he does it to. It is a vile act, nothing that a sane man or woman would do and while it may be presented in an almost lighter tone within this film, those acts are still horrific.

The film itself is beautiful, shot in a very crisp black and white and combined with the cinematography; the makers of this movie create a very stylish experience. There is some decent music present and some that is just a little corny, a feast-of-flesh-66lot of dancing and even more bikini clad women than you can shake a stick at and it all blends together to create quite the surreal journey. The killer is not only a dastardly person, but a frightening one with that mask. Vieyra creates a palpable chill whenever the killer is onscreen, like an even more twisted version of The Phantom of the Opera. The man is the perfect movie villain, one that is given no background, is faceless and does what he does because he wants to.

Though many might also find the film’s pacing to be a little slow, it is only done as such to create the mood and the atmosphere. It makes things unassuming, like nothing could ever go wrong on a beach and yet, when the killer strikes, that level of menace is increased tenfold, far more than it would have been otherwise. Feast of Flesh is a strange film to be sure, but a good one.

3.5 out of 5

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