Orgy of the Dead (1965)

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Let’s talk about Edward D. Wood Jr. for a second.  He should not be put on a pedestal as the “worst director of all time.”  The people who say that have not seen what I’ve seen.  They have not traversed the beautifully horrendous filmographies of H.G. Lewis, Andy Milligan, Al Adamson, Ted V. Mikels or Barry Mahon.  There is so much hilariously inept, completely inane garbage available in the world of exploitation, Eurotrash, nudie-cuties and even your drive-in sci fi and horror that to bestow Ed Wood with that honor fails to recognize others for their brilliant lack of talent.

And so we have Orgy of the Dead, which was not directed by Wood, but scripted by him from his novel.  I didn’t know he was such a prolific writer and one thing I WAS totally surprised by was that he wrote a book called Suburbia Confidential.  I’ve seen the mid-60s stag film called Suburbia Confidential and when I looked up the credit, it’s given to Stephen C. Apostolof, who is the director of Orgy of the Dead and often collaborated with Wood.  However I haven’t been able to figure if Suburbia Confidential was based on Wood’s book.  Wood’s book is said to have come out in 1967, the year after the movie so I don’t know.

Either way, Orgy of the Dead is a decent enough nudie flick who’s only problem is that’s too damn long at 91 minutes.  These things should never be longer than 70.  The plot is about a couple who crash their car by a mountain and wake up next to a cemetery, wander in and observe an after dark ceremony of sorts.

In other words what they – and we – observe is striptease after striptease after striptease after striptease while the Emperor (Criswell) and his Vampira wannabe the Black Goul (Fawn Silver) chew the scenery.  To add to the stupidity the Mummy, who talks for some reason and the Wolf Man are the Emperor’s Henchman.  Eventually, the sun comes up and everyone dies, the man and wife try to tell their story to cops and they laugh and say something like, “woa, musta had a pretty bad crash” or “hit your head” or something like that which I forgot.

But, is it worth watching?  The women all look fantastic.  Apparently they were all pulled from local strip clubs so they are busty, curvy and toned.  Set to a soundtrack of old timey, Cabaret music the girls each do a unique dance – Hawaiian Dance, Skeleton Dance, Streetwalker Dance, Slave Dance, Cat Dance, Fluff Dance, Mexican Dance and Zombie Dance – and, with the exception of the zombie, are all relatively graceful. The Zombie Dance, in spite being naked, evokes no eroticism due to her zombie moves.  And there is one scene where the Mummy and the Wolfman dip a woman in gold coating, which only further accentuates her gorgeous curves.

Other than that, the set looks cool if a little fake.  We were debating if Orgy of the Dead was filmed in a graveyard or cheap replica of.  I say the latter only because the ground is completely flat.  Since nobody bumped into the grave stones, they were believable set pieces.  But I suppose that is completely irrelevant for this type of movie.

2 thoughts on “Orgy of the Dead (1965)

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