A candidate for Greatest Film Title of the 70's, this early effort by Alan Rudolph (his 2nd film in fact) is propelled along by the sheer strangeness of the story, and plenty of sleaze, despite never quite delivering on the flesh and blood of its outrageous title. Rudolph's direction is far slicker than a lot of low-rent exploitation of this era, and the film has a visual spark when Rudolph takes his camera outside to the desert flatlands where most of the action takes place. Shot around Lancaster, California, the desert scapes are suitably grim - in fact the bizarre events of the film are seemingly caused by the military experiments resulting in a poisoned wilderness1, and the horribly disfigured mutant locked up in the outhouse. The film has little of the quirky stylings of Rudolph's later films, but there is one brilliant sequence late in the film where the action assumes a strange, hallucinatory quality quite at odds with the rest of the film which is more Tourist Trap and Schoolgirls In Chains than Trouble In Mind...
|Something wicked this way comes...|
1. Wes Craven would re-use the radioactive desert location motif a few years later with his 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes, which has strange mutants picking off travellers that have strayed too far off the path.
2. Andrew Prine is perhaps best recognized as one of the unfriendly "Visitors" in the original series of V, but his filmography has quite a few interesting, and noteworthy films including Simon King of the Witches, The Centrefold Girls, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, Grizzly and Amityville II: The Possession