Friday, January 22, 2010

"The Fiend of Dope Island" (1961)

Welcome back to another installment of Drive-In Cinema.

Say what you will about the lack of truth in advertising. Guaranteed, what you’re about see in the following trailer is exactly what you’ll get in the 1961 crime drama motion picture “The Fiend of Dope Island”.

The plot centers on a megalomaniac of a small Caribbean island, who uses the local natives and his henchmen to grow and ship marijuana. When he becomes bored with his empire, which he treats like his footstool, he summons a beautiful nightclub singer from the mainland to be his love-toy, but when she falls for his second-in-command…

Well, I think you can guess where all this is headed. For a more detailed synopsis of the plot, go to TCM.

But why have me waste words on this. Here’s an eloquent review written by Mark Shanks of Oregon for Amazon.Com, which gets to the point:

“OK, this one takes the all-time prize for over-the-top, pure wild-man scenery chewing. In fact, as the case itself claims, Bennet doesn't just CHEW the scenery, he swallows it whole! It begins with our "fiend" pulling out his whip (any more obvious Freudian symbolism would be pointless) and dealing a few lashes to someone because......hey, he don't NEEEED no steeeekin' reason! As he proudly proclaims, he owns EVERYthing on the island! And since his "staff" is about the most lame-brained crew this side of the Three Stooges, he's a busy man, whippin' everyone and everyTHING in sight. But that's before the girl arrives, and then he REALLY goes berserk! Great fun - I can't recall EVER seeing such vein-popping, chest-thumping, rip-roaring hyper-machoism. Sets a new standard - makes John Agar in "Brain From Planet Arous" look as if he were on Thorazine. You HAVE to see it!”

Here’s what Mr. Shanks means. Watch this:

(Thanks to SabuCat Trailers for the clip!)

Enough said? If you'd like to buy a copy of this movie (which comes with another equally terrible film, Pagan Island, as a double feature drive-in delight), go to Amazon.Com.

See ya later, at the drive-in theater.

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