STING OF DEATH (1966) Reviews and details of new Arrow Video box set

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Sting of Death is a 1966 American science-fiction horror feature film directed by South Florida maverick filmmaker William Grefé (Stanley, Impulse) from a screenplay written by Al Dempsey and actor William Kerwin (Playgirl Killer; Love Goddesses of Blood Island).

Sting of Death title

The movie stars Joe Morrison, Valerie Hawkins, John Vella and Jack Nagle (Mako: The Jaws of Death).

Sting of Death was released on 17 October 1966 on the drive-in circuit by regional distributor Thunderbird Pictures on a double-bill with Grefé’s torpid Death Curse of Tartu.

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In the Florida Everglades, marine biologist Doctor Richardson and his two aides, John Hoyt and Egon, are conducting experiments with Portuguese men-of-war.

Unknown to his associates, Egon, who suffers from a persecution complex because of his horribly disfigured face, has built an underwater cave laboratory in the hope that secrets learned from his studies of the Portuguese men-of-war might help to erase the scars that are driving him to madness.

Shortly after the arrival of Richardson’s daughter, Karen, and four of her college friends, Egon’s tests produce disastrous results, and he is transformed into a vengeful half-human, half Portuguese man-of-war.


Because he has learned to communicate with the men-of-war, he amasses a host of them and systematically attacks boats and their passengers; and he murders all the students except Karen, whom he loves. Eventually, he kidnaps Karen and takes her to his underwater laboratory…

New Blu-ray release:

On November 24th 2020, Arrow Video is releasing He Came from the Swamp: The William Grefé Collection on Blu-ray.

The 4-disc limited edition set comprises seven of the director’s films, all newly restored from the best surviving film elements: Sting of Death (1966), Death Curse of Tartu (1966), The Hooked Generation (1968), The Psychedelic Priest (1971), The Naked Zoo (1971), Mako: Jaws of Death (1976) and Whiskey Mountain (1977). It also includes a brand-new, extended version of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures definitive documentary They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations on 4 Blu-ray discs
Original uncompressed mono audio for all films
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Fully illustrated collector s booklet featuring an extensive, never-before-published interview with William Grefé and a new foreword by the filmmaker
Reversible poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
Reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork for each of the films by The Twins of Evil

Sting of Death (1966) + Death Curse of Tartu (1966)
Brand new introductions to the films by director William Grefé
Archival audio commentaries for both films with William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
Sting of Death: Beyond the Movie Monsters a-Go Go! a look into the history of rock ‘n’ roll monster movies with author/historian C. Courtney Joyner
The Curious Case of Doctor Traboh: Spook Show Extraordinaire a ghoulish look into the early spook show days with monster maker Doug Hobart
Original Trailers
Still and Promotion Gallery

The Hooked Generation (1968) + The Psychedelic Priest (1971)
Archival audio commentaries for both films with director William Grefé and filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
Hooked Generation behind-the-scenes footage
Hooked Generation Original Trailer
Still and Promotion Gallery

The Naked Zoo (1971) + Mako: Jaws of Death (1976)
William Grefé s original Director s Cut of Naked Zoo
Alternate Barry Mahon re-release cut of Naked Zoo
Original Mako: Jaws of Death Trailer and Promo
Still and Promotion Gallery

Whiskey Mountain (1977) + They Came from the Swamp: Extended Cut (2020)
Whiskey Mountain Original Trailer
Still and Promotion Gallery


“Props on a novel concept, at least. Is that enough to support watching Sting of Death? That will depend on your love of concepts unsupported by adequate resources, your tolerance for thin characterization and bland dialogue, and your acceptance of gratuitous butt shots. And any fear you may have of sandwich bags.” The Bad Movie Report

“One of the most memorable scenes in this film is without a doubt the infamous ‘Jellyfish dance’ sequence with the extremely funky song by Neil Sedaka. For almost five minutes all the kids are dancing to this hilarious tune and Grefe keeps giving us close-ups of the girls doing their butt shaking. Beautiful! The horribly bad jellyfish effect, mostly made out of a diving suit and inflated plastic bags, just adds to the cheesy goodness of this film.” Repulsive Cinema

“The idea of a jellyfish man is so ludicrous that it’s hard to believe someone actually invested money in the idea, and it would have been ridiculous even had the monster costume involved been better. The costume, which consists of flippers, a wet suit, some mangy hanging stingers and a colored plastic bag over the actor’s head, looks like a kid’s Halloween costume.” Horror Digital

“Acting (especially timing) is amusingly awful and the script has lines like “I had to kill them – they were no good for you!”. A naked blonde can be glimpsed through a translucent shower door. Very few lulls and much better than Grefé’s next film, Death Curse of Tartu.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“The best thing is the Everglades footage, which gives the film a nice setting. On the downside, most of the scenes go on too long, and the conflicts that drive the story are labored and overdone, particularly the way everyone overreacts when they meet the deformed handyman. The costume of the creature is more apt to net laughs than to inspire terror…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

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DVD includes audio commentaries on both films by director William Grefé, plus cheesecake gore pic Love Goddesses of Blood Island

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Filming locations:
Rainbow Springs State Park, Dunnellon, Florida



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Film Facts:

The film features the Neil Sedaka song “Do the Jellyfish”:


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