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Orgy of the Dead [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Criswell , Fawn Silver , Stephen C. Apostolof    DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.



Product details

  • Actors: Criswell, Fawn Silver, Pat Barrington, William Bates, Mickey Jines
  • Directors: Stephen C. Apostolof
  • Writers: Edward D. Wood Jr.
  • Producers: William Bates, Stephen C. Apostolof, L.S. Jensen, Neil B. Stein
  • Format: DVD-Video, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Rhino Theatrical
  • DVD Release Date: 25 May 2004
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000228EFO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,466 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece of erotic horror - not 14 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film shows Ed Wood in all his glory. His friend Criswell is the unconvincing evil star of the show; the acting is hilariously wooden; the script and photography rank with Plan Nine from Outer Space; and Ed truly excels when creating an "erotic" atmosphere. It begins with an author treating his "young" girlfriend to a midnight visit to a secluded graveyard. Unfortuately for them the, leader of the dead (Criswell) and his beautiful assistant (a Vampira lookalike) have risen, for a bizarre topless dance show. The two "youngsters" are captured by a Werewolf and Mummy!?!? and forced to watch a succession of topless dancers. I wouldn't like to spoil things by letting you know the outcome but to suffice is to say it is an Ed Wood classic. This film will keep you entertained for may viewings, and gives us another classic example of Ed refusing to accept defeat in his quest to make movies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointed 23 Mar 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I enjoy films that are 'quirky', so Edd Wood, who wrote the screenplay, is high on my list of favourite directors.
Any way, 'Orgy of the Dead' embodies many features that I like, poor continuity, shooting day for night and second rate actors.
The 'story':- a 'young' couple after a car crash find themselves in a cemetary where Criswell and Ghoulita hold court. A number of rather plump topless young women dance around the cardboard set. There are a number of lackadaisical ghouls also in attendance.
Oh dear, I see that I have given this film 3-stars, well I like topless girls and its all been a dream . . .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
To be fair, Ed Wood, Jr. only wrote the script for "Orgy of the Dead" (which was based on his "novel"), even if it offers an introduction from Crisswell. Actually, Crisswell is playing the Devil, Ruler of the Dark, Lord of the Dead or something like that. Apparently he judges the souls of the damned, who are all women dancing topless in a graveyard. On to this provocative conception of damnation wander Bob (William Bates) and Shirley (Pat Barrington), who had the misfortune of being in a car accident on their way to the cemetery where Bob was hoping to find inspiration for his writing. Offering comic relief are a Mummy and a Wolf Man, who offering commentary on the proceedings and snakes. That is not fair, because the topless dancing is pretty laughable The inane dialogue is the best part of the movie as well Bob and Shirley worry that they might end up for all eternity in the same grave.
Director Stephen C. Apostolof's would easily be mistaken for Ed Wood, Jr. if not for all the non-erotic dancing (Wood would never let that much silence go by in one of his films. Bottom Line: Devotes of Ed Wood, Jr. have to check out "Orgy of the Dead" at some point in their survey of his work. Yes, you can see clips of it in documentaries from "Sleazemania" to "Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora," but if you are going to appreciate the man and his work, then sit through the entire thing once. I will tell you, however, that if this is the first Ed Wood, Jr. movie you ever see, it is going to be the last. Start with "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and work your way down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous DVD transfer of legendary schlock monster nudie 30 May 2004
By Surfink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
For dedicated sleazologists this has to rank as one of the top DVD releases/restorations so far this year. While readily available in the past on VHS, this digitally remastered transfer supervised by director Stephen C. Apostolof ("A. C. Stephen") makes obsolete all previous releases, including Rhino's, which looks shockingly flat, blurry, and faded in comparison. Orgy of the Dead looks like a real movie now (if not necessarily a GOOD one), with excellent color balance and saturation, contrast, brightness, sharpness, and shadow/highlight detail. Exploitation stalwart Bob Caramico's cinematography looks better than it has any right to, and the color is so rich it's hard to believe it's typically fast-fading Eastmancolor. While IMDb says this movie was in 2.35:1 widescreen (it was advertised as being in `Astravision'), it's presented full frame here. The compositions look fine, however, without any cramped, cropped feeling (the common `two noses talking' scenes or other weirdness), leading one to believe that this is the `open matte' version, which was cropped to widescreen aspect ratio in theaters. At any rate, the print looks stunning overall, extremely watchable, with only some occasional very light speckling evident.

The movie, written by the notorious Edward D. Wood, Jr. (Plan 9, Glen or Glenda, etc.), based on his novel (!!), is a curious hodgepodge of hokey monster matinee cliches and typical early-1960s nudie-cutie hijinks. Opening with Ed's standard florid Criswell monologue, Orgy of the Dead's short-lived story line presents struggling horror writer Bob and wife Shirley (sexploitation legend Pat Barrington/Barringer with flaming red hair), out driving one night looking for an old cemetery for "inspiration." (Barrington's character is named after Ed Wood's "drag" alter ego.) Bob loses control of the car, they crash, then stumble on a graveyard where the Emperor Ghoul (Criswell), the Black Ghoul (Vampira wannabe Fawn Silver), and their striped-shorts-and-armband-clad beefcake henchmen are presiding over some sort of dance revue/judgment of dead souls. Coincidentally, all the judged are female and next to naked. For the next 80 minutes, a bevy of voluptuous dead babes in G-strings each in turn do a "theme" interpretive strip dance (Indian, Skeleton, Cat, Golden Girl dipped in molten "gold" a la Goldfinger, Zombie, Hawaiian, etc.), complete with plenty of emotive gesturing and breast-jiggling amidst swirling ground fog, accompanied on the soundtrack by vaguely Les Baxter-ish exotica and Henry Mancini/Herb Alpert-ish lite pop cues. (I love the "yahoo wahoo" chant behind the Indian dance.) Interspersed with the dances are snippets of those patented non sequitur Ed Wood dialogue exchanges between Bob, Shirley, the Emperor Ghoul, Black Ghoul, and crummy, dime-store Werewolf and moth-eaten Mummy. Unlike many (most?) sexploitation movies of the era, the dancers are generally quite buff and several are certifiable knockouts. Barrington remains clothed as Shirley but displays her awesome (augmented) "ticket sellers" (Apostolof's term) doubling as the Golden Girl in a brassy blonde wig. There is a brief, surprising whipping/bondage scene, and it's revealed that the Black Ghoul swings both ways when she demands to have Shirley for herself! (Silver as the Black Ghoul does a sultry knife-dance but unfortunately no striptease.) TV psychic Criswell appears rather glassy-eyed and reads from obvious off-camera cue cards much of the time. It all winds up with a corny "was it all a dream?" twist ending. As reviled as this movie is by mainstream viewers (see reviews on IMDb), sexploitation veterans can vouch that as nudie-cuties go, Orgy of the Dead is relatively painless; some of the dances are actually mildly erotic (if occasionally out of sync with the music), while Eddie's convoluted dialogue, Criswell's hammy declamations, and the otherwise stiff, amateurish acting provide welcome moments of charming Bad Movie ambiance in the framing scenes.

The extras comprise a trailer (surprisingly looking just as terrific as the feature) and an amusing 20-minute interview with director/producer Apostolof, who recounts his beginnings in the film industry, recalls meeting and working with Ed Wood, and expounds on film technique (!!) and his decision not to go "hardcore", all in a likeable, droll manner. Orgy of the Dead is definitely not for the mainstream viewer; there is zero narrative trajectory and relatively little dialogue, mainly just lots of topless exotic dancing, making it extremely tedious or even boring for many, especially at 92 minutes. If, however you're already a fan of grade-Z schlock horror and/or cheap sexploitation, Rhino's pristine new transfer makes this bizarre, unique delight slide down smoother than a cold beer. Essential trash!!
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Catastrophically Bad 9 Dec 2005
By F. Levine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I had this on my Wish List (because I have a general interest in Ed Wood) but changed my mind and removed it--unfortunately not before a friend bought it for me. So what the heck, I thought, and popped it in the DVD player.

Oh boy. OK, here's the deal: there's being an Elvis fan, and there's buying a styrofoam cup of water he was drinking onstage that someone's been keeping in a freezer since the 1970s.. There's being an Ed Wood fan, and there's paying money for this. A "good" Ed Wood movie leaves you alternatly howling with laughter, dumbstruck, and fascinated by just how weird the guy was. A "bad" Ed Wood movie is therefore...wow, I don't have the words to describe it. My understanding is that he was marginally involved with thing at best anyway.

Maybe the problem is that I'm a straight woman. See, this movie is about boobies. Lots of jiggling boobies. It goes something like this: Emperor of the Dead Criswell and his Princess of the Dead introduce and call upon a dead woman with a sinful past to dance for their pleasure. Girl emerges from mausoleum in costume. Girl quickly loses costume. Girl does an interpretive dance to 60s soundtrack in a G-string or panties. Boobies jiggle! Criswell looks on approvingly! (And that's creepy right there.) Cut to our living heroes, failing miserably to act tied up and scared. Cut to mummy and werewolf who seem to be from the set of "The Monkees" looking on approvingly (yes, you read that correctly).

Now, repeat that ten more times.

So, if you like strip clubs or boobies (or both), or if you like interpretive dance AND happen to be under the influence of certain illegal substances, you might like this.

I am certain that somewhere in Ohio, a grandmother is shopping on Amazon for her kids' holiday presents, stumbles across this DVD listing, and lets out a blood-curdling scream. Why? Because 40 years ago, she was performing the "Slave Dance." And 39 years ago, when she was on a bus from L.A. back to her parents' house, she was thinking, "No one will ever know...because no one will ever show that thing again.. I can take that job at Uncle Harry's store, get married, and put this whole thing behind me..."
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest bad film of all time! 30 May 2004
By Jerry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Another truly hilarious classic from Ed Wood (who apparently was too drunk to direct his own script). If only I could edit out all the long, boring strip teases and just leave in the camp dialogue and incredibly bad acting. (OK, I'd leave in the "Kitty Kat" and "The Bride".) So many classic lines; "More Gold!", "Easy, Shirley!", "I'm so Frightened!", "You, too, will have time for your pleasures, but only after I have had MY pleasures!" and the best, when our hero sees a strip tease act in the cemetery: "Nothing alive looks like that!". The film was made, it seems, by recruiting a bunch of amateurish "dancers" to take their clothes off (except they don't really take much off- Ah, the age of pasties...) Don't miss it!! I fell out of my chair the first time I saw the "Kitty Kat" and I'm still falling out of my chair all these years later. Something about the way that "scary" music segues into the "Alley Cat theme" rip-off, with the Kat dancer and her scratching post! It never fails...
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Ed Wood Schlock, and this time it's in color! 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Oh, the horror, the horror! Well, more like the unintentional humor, the humor! What can one say about this film, other then sit down, put your mind in neutral, maybe even let it drool a bit, grab a beer or six if you're inclined to drink, and enjoy! Not sure if I enjoyed the fact that the driving sequence with the "hero and his leading girl" alternates between high noon and midnight, that apparently the tortures of the damned consists of bad go-go dancing by topless women, most of whom I'm sure will deny that they EVER were in this film, or that the princess of the darkness has a beehive hairdo. Not sure which "dead" woman was the best, they all were about as erotic as a slightly intoxicated Bea Arthur in a polyester thong. I won't even mention the rubber masked wolfman or the badly bandaged mummy (or was he just a burn victim hired as an extra?). Worth seeing, if nothing else so you know the type of film for stars....to avoid!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure in Incompetence 27 Dec 2000
By Merriweather - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
No one does it better than Ed Wood, and this sinister ghost story has it all: pretentious dialogue, cheesy costumes, an inebriated Criswell who keeps missing his cues, a wolf man and a mummy for comic relief, and third-rate elevator music to strip by. Classic Wood touches, such as a total disregard for time of day during filming (nighttime keeps switching to day, and vice versa), hokey special effects, a procession of topless dancers, each less talented than the one before. It's all so incredibly bad, you won't be able to take your eyes off it. If there is a weak point, it is that too much time is spent showcasing the dancers. (Although if you like really low-quality strip tease, you will probably enjoy this, too. Don't miss the cat dancer, and the cheerfully murderous bride!) The best point? It would be hard to find a more awful movie that holds your attention so well. When you're not falling off your chair laughing, you'll be mumbling, "I just can't believe it....."
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