‘It lusts for blood’
Venus Flytrap is a 1967 American/Japanese science fiction horror film about a NASA scientist who is ordered to take a vacation due to showing signs of stress while working on his latest missile project. It is also known as Body of the Prey, The Revenge of Doctor X (American Regal Video VHS title), and The Revenge of Doctor X (American VHS box title).
Written and directed by Norman Earl Thomson. The movie stars James Craig (The Manster), Atsuko Rome [as Ako Kami] and James Yagi.
Although the film is allegedly based on a 1950s screenplay by Edward D. Wood Jr. (Plan 9 from Outer Space; Bride of the Monster; Orgy of the Dead), he remained uncredited. Confusingly, the American video release erroneously features the major credits for the 1969 Filipino production The Mad Doctor of Blood Island.
Doctor Bragan (James Craig) is a NASA mathematician working on a mission to outer space. The stress of the mission causes him to have a mental breakdown, so his assistant, Dr Paul Nakamura (James Yagi), suggests he takes a vacation in Japan to recuperate.
In Japan, Doctor Bragan stays at a hotel with his beautiful assistant, Dr Hanamura (Atsuko Rome), to begin experiments on a plant he brought from America. The plant is a Venus Flytrap, and the scientist crosses it with a Japanese carnivorous plant to create a creature that is almost human…
“Led with much gusto by James Craig’s unbelievably insane performance, Doctor X packs so much technical absurdity into its 90-minute runtime that the “plot” becomes invisible. Hammond organ exotica twinkles away on the score to a Baby Huey cartoon while overlaid images, grainy stock shots, and extreme close-ups relay the day-in-the-life affairs.” Bleeding Skull!
“There’s nothing else to really say about this obscure, laughable cheapie. It’s full of quotable bad dialogue, so Ed Wood fans can immediately add it to their “must-see” list. The monster was Z movie coolness. James Craig, who worked out his schlock movie chops again in 1970 with an appearance in Bigfoot, gives a bipolar performance that’s just plain bizarre.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
“I’ve just watched the stupid movie twice, and it only came to me as an afterthought that there was any nudity in it at all. That’s the true hallmark of Ed Wood’s movies: not even nudity can help them.” Braineater
“How bad is it? Turgid retread of Universal horror themes with a silly monster. Should you see it? Don’t go out of your way, but if it shows up, it’s worth a watch.” Down Among the “Z” Movies
“This movie is the antithesis of good. It has no shortage of bad directing, bad dialogue, bad acting, and hammy overacting, not to mention plenty of dull lulls where you’re waiting for the story to actually progress. Plus, it’s loaded with almost as much stock footage, stock music, and excess padding as most of the movies Ed Wood himself directed.” Dread Central
“… is a must-see proposition for Wood fans … contains enough wacky Woodian moments to make for a memorable viewing. It’s not quite Plan 9 from Outer Space, but then what is?” Andrew J. Rausch, Charles E. Pratt Jr., The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood
“At first the film seems too stupidly boring to watch, but if you stick with it, it becomes so fantastically moronic that it’s actually loads of fun. And honest to god, it looks like the talentless dweebs who created this Z shlocker didn’t make it this absurd on purpose. It was the best they could do.” Weird Wild Realm
“James Craig acts as if he’s portraying the dastardly villain tying ladies to railroad tracks. Noriko spouts phonetically learned speeches with no inflection whatsoever. Men in rubber suits attack small children and puppies. Volcanoes can’t hurt anyone till they have to. Inappropriate music, NASA stock footage, snakes in a barn, Ed Wood Jr. dialogue . . . it’s bad movie heaven!” Cinema Knife Fight
“While some films are just plain bad, and some transcend that to become so bad they’re good, The Revenge of Doctor X doesn’t pass go, it doesn’t collect $200, nothing — it’s so bad it’s beyond good and all the way back to bad again. In other words, for what it is — and that certainly ain’t much — it’s downright perfect.“ Trash Film Guru
” …a weird, clunky, amateurish oddment. It’s a tough watch but offers sufficient bizarro elements to keep drawing the attention back to the screen […] Exploitation stuff includes business with topless Japanese pearl divers and Bragan syringing blood from out of the naked breast of the sleeping Noriko.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Doctor Bragin/X crossbreeds the venus flytrap into a horrible abomination, that would be the most terrifying creature in film history, where every detail about it the exact opposite. It resembles a giant stalk of celery combined with a used car lot tube man wearing giant boxing gloves, and of course, it develops a thirst for blood. Not motivated by any particular kind of revenge, mind you. Any blood will do.” Rifftrax
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