A mad doctor runs a sanitarium in the desert, where his hunchbacked servant whips women who are chained in the basement and cuts the legs off bodies so they'll fit in the caskets. Complications ensue.
Irremediable zot-budget stink bomb...essential bad-movie viewing
Another haywire cinematrocity from Nevada-based schlockmeister Charles Nizet, wherein a compulsory mad doctor and his toiling "de rigueur" hunchback offsider oversee the usual scientific quackery in their remote desert castle(which appears to be the architectural enclosure of some kind of putt-putt mini-golf park). The castle's other residents include the doctor's mentally touched sister, a curvaceous nurse, and several beastly nut-cases imprisoned in their cheap subterranean dungeon. Said doctor's heedless experiments have yielded an awesome, uncontrollable beast which occasionally emerges from a nearby cave to kill random passers-by(between you and me, this soup-kitchen excuse for a Lovecraftian monster is merely a handful of red licorice ropes being waved around in front of the camera).
Majestically incompetent in every possible aspect, though the hothouse-color cinematography shows a modest degree of know-how in a hyper-vivid, weirdly cartoonish way, and amateurishly played by a cast of nobodies(unless your notion of "star power" applies to Lynne Marta, a LOVE BOAT-type 70s personality, and ex-girlfriend of STARSKY AND HUTCH actor David Soul). HELP ME, I'M POSSESSED is a fire-breathing leviathan of rampageous celluloid bilge, and its perpetual obscurity is bewildering when it truly deserves notoriety as one of *the* all-time worst.
Hahahah -- What the Heck is This???
Hahah -- this movie rulez. Putting it on my top ten list of Video Finds of the Year, courtesy of a gloriously goofy over-sized overstuffed clamshell cased VHS only release by Screen Gems from the days when video stores were cool. And you could actually find movies made by people who were thinking for themselves rather than row upon row of generic, unimaginative crap made for enough money to feed all the starving kids in the world even without Bono's guidance.
This was made on less than his sunglasses budget for an entire year and is a movie with no formula, no precedent and nothing quite like it. The only movie it even remotely reminds me of is Al Adamson's BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE, which (along with CASTLE OF BLOOD: Check "Blackwood Castle" for more info) this may very well be a sly homage to. It shares many of BODC's basic traits: Wacky eccentrics living in a Mission style castle/mansion in the middle of the southwestern California nowheres keep girls chained up in the basement & conducting perverse experiments on them, have a horrible secret, a twisted mutant caretaker and chauffeur, and great taste in color schemes. Everyday people happen upon them and are unable to cope with their "alternative lifestyle", which just happens to include things like sadistic torture, dismemberment of shapely blonds, and locking girls up in coffins with snakes. Which is all part of the routine for the community of characters, like people from a Simpson's episode. It is we who are the monsters.
It's just that kind of movie, and made with a twisted sense of humor that is just one knowing wink short of being a parody: It's the horror movie as kitsch, not quite on the sarcastic level of ANDY WARHOL'S FRANKENSTEIN or CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, but made from the same sort of day-glo patterned cloth. Plus the same carpenter, who got a lot of work in this one with a series of identical looking boxes that various things are locked up in. There is an intoxicating, arty sense of self awareness to how the movie was made, which celebrates it's low-budget roots without ever talking down to it's audience, nor the lead actor's hairpiece. Like a Jess Franco movie the film is better than it looks, resembling an ultra tacky 1970's low rent exploitation thriller filmed by Claude Monet. I come back to the colors again because they are dazzling -- Neon reds, acid greens, powder blue lab coats and hot pink go-go miniskirts on well lit sets that are spotless. Most low budget horror from this period had a drab, brownish, under lit look, and this one has the palette of a Magilla Gorilla cartoon along with the skewed perspective of a twisted pulp graphic novel. It even makes sense that after the mad doctor's nurse is killed she re-appears without a scratch to be killed all over again.
So seek this one out. It's what we call a howler: A horror shocker that is supposed to be watched in raucous laughter crossed with glimmers of surreal unease, and beer. Share it with friends and they will remember it fondly, which is not something you can say about most of these things.
8/10 for being totally unexpected.
I tried to be as kind as possible...
This is what Manos, The Hands of Fate would have looked like if they had an extra $100 for set construction. Don't get me wrong, I really like bad movies.... But I didn't like this one. This is one of those films that makes you wonder how the cast kept from laughing long enough to get any scenes shot at all...
Entertaining For What It Is
Help Me... I'm Possessed (1974)
** (out of 4)
After a couple bodies are discovered the local sheriff goes to visit Dr. Blackwood (Bill Greer) who is running a sanitarium with his wife (Deedy Peters). Even though the doctor is acting suspicious there's nothing the sheriff can do. However, what the doctor is really up to includes a basement full of torture devices as well as woman chained up.
HELP ME... I'M POSSESSED is a film that not too many have heard of and that's somewhat too bad because this is certainly a bizarre little film that is worth watching if you're a fan of those no-budget drive-in films that are sadly no longer made. If you're looking for some sort of art film or Oscar-winner then you can obviously skip this.
What makes the film work is the fact that it is campy in all the right spots and that includes the lead performance from Greer. He plays the type of mad scientist that we've seen countless times over the years and he so fun doing it that you can't help but enjoy the character. It certainly doesn't hurt that you've got some really nutty scenes in the basement where a lot of the fun comes from.
This fun includes a lot of ladies either chained to the wall or stuck in cages. You've got some very silly and over-the-top scenes where the women are being tortured and in a lot of ways this reminded me of BLOODSUCKING FREAKS, which was released a few years after this and pushed the subject matter to the extreme. The ending is also pretty wild in its own way.
With all of that being said, there's no doubt that there are plenty of flaws including the pacing of the picture but at the same time it does well enough for what it was trying to accomplish.
"There's Something In This House!"...
HELP ME... I'M POSSESSED (aka: NIGHTMARE AT BLOOD CASTLE) starts out w/ an attack on an amorous couple by some unknown creature. The scene switches to the extremely well-lit dungeon of Dr. Arthur Blackwood (Bill Greer), located in the basement of his sanitarium / castle. This is where Blackwood keeps his test subjects / prisoners, and where he guillotine's the naughty, while quoting the bible. Postmortem, the doctor's hunchback henchman cuts the bodies into little pieces and stores them in tiny boxes. Said henchman also whips the prisoners and laughs. A lot. Also living in the castle is Blackwood's doll-clutching sister, and his wife. Oh, there's also a mute, leering chauffeur named Ernest, and an odd woman who roams about, spouting ominous blather. The local sheriff (Stuart Whitman) is investigating a series of murders that somehow involves the dangling of red licorice strings. What is going on? Who can tell?! This is mind-altering nonsense at its absolute summit! Only the likes of Al Adamson or Andy Milligan have ever achieved anything approaching the impossible density of this miraculous mishmash! Is it schlock? Hyper-schlock? My friends, this is Franken-schlock-zilla's second cousin, thrice removed! Watch it and feel the shrinkage of thy brain!...
Beyond low-budget garbage
The Grand Guignol approach by a regional Nevada filmmaker results in an oddity that looks like it was made by a group of severely mentally ill people.
Watchable but ridiculous
"I have to admit, when I saw Mr Solov's body, I felt a definite sexual thrill." Dr Blackwood So here's an odd one...
A doctor has an asylum (not a castle) out in the desert somewhere, with a hunchback servant, mute chauffeur and a take Cat & mouse pair who live in harmony together.
It's reminiscent in its basic premise of the old Universal horrors of the 30's and Hammer Horrors. The 'castle' looks like it came flat packed from Ikea and the effects are just bizarre : bloody spaghetti wiggling in front of black screen?!
The patients are little more than medieval dungeon-dwellers and seem to be kept, tormented and tortured at the whim of the doctor and Igor.
Doctor Blackwood's theory is that he can latent extract evil from things and destroy it (as the Cat & mouse prove) ... so can "cure" his patients.
From there on in any semblance of proper plot or ideas behind it all seem to sort of, well, go mad.
Watchable but ridiculous.
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