When Man and Jellyfish Combine – Sting of Death (1966)

Sting of Death is a low-budget effort from Essen Productions Inc. that is as low-budget as they come and while one might expect the worst from this and it was pretty bad, it somehow made for a mildly amusing time.

Starring a bunch of unknowns in Joe Morrison, Valerie Hawkins, John Velta, Jack Nagle among others and as such, the acting might not have been all the best and at times, a little stiff but there was a bit of earnestness to it all, the men and women doing their best to make it as good as they possibly can. At least one would think that is. The script has problems of course and the story is not all that good, as it consists of a man named Egon who has a mild disfigurement and cannot find love no matter where he looks. It is not even love as he seems to cause a bit of discomfort in everyone and therefore has few friends leading to a persecution complex. Said complex leads Egon to create a process that turns him into a half-man half-jellyfish so that he might exact his revenge upon those who cross him. As it is, most of those people seem to be women but when it all comes down to the final showdown, he is defeated only because he chooses to be.

The special effects are as one might expect – ludicrous in the extreme. The monster, if one could call it that is simply a man in a wetsuit with some slime slathered all over it and thankfully, they merely focused on the feet of the creature which at times could either be a regular flipper or a slimy one depending on when the makers of this film remembered to lather it up. The cast would play it up quite well, pretending to be scared when the moment was called for though it was a wonder they did not simply burst out laughing when confronted with the monster they were about to be ‘killed’ by.

Laughable, silly and altogether ridiculous, Sting of Death should not work on any level and it does fail on many of them but there is something there that hypnotizes the viewer, whether it is the soundtrack which features Neil Sedaka or the low-key camera work or some other unknown factor. Whatever it is, those who watch this movie will not only scoff at it, they will, on some level, enjoy it.

2 out of 5

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