New as part of a double feature DVD from Frolic Pictures; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!
THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS (1966)
Directed by T.L.P. Swicegood
Written by T.L.P. Swicegood
Starring Warrene Ott, James Westmoreland, Marty Friedman, Sally Frei, Rick Cooper, Ryck Rydon, Charles Fox, Karen Ciral, Dodie Warren, Tiffany Sharon O’Hara, Vince Harris, Barbro Heart, Florence Dupree, Robert Lowery, Ray Dannis as the Undertaker!
I can’t say I am a fan of THE UNDERTAKER & HIS PALS. I remember hearing about the film through the years and I think I built it up to be something it isn’t in the movie theater in my mind. As a kid, I remember a specific night when I was trying my hardest to stay up to watch the late show on Nite Owl Theatre, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s doubtful had I stayed up and seen the film, I would have thought of this attempt at meshing comedy and horror together was anything worth shouting about.
Ray Dannis plays the Undertaker, who with a few of his motorcycle riding buddies, likes to go around murdering young women. This not only provides gain for the undertaker, who then gets a new body to take care of, but it also provides one of his pals meat for his restaurant. Seems like an efficient operation to get rid of the bodies, but as the missing women begin piling up, the police get involved and start circling about the undertaker and his pals.
Had this film taken seriously, I think it might have been an effective little shocker. There are some scenes in this film that really did strike a chord with me, such as one murder that happens off camera. We hear the murder happening as the camera slowly pans across a garden ending at a dead body. If there were more scenes like this, I think I would have sang more praises about this one.
Unfortunately, lame attempts at humor are scattered throughout; such as a framed picture changing faces from smiling, to shock, to sadness as another women is murdered off panel. It’s the schlocky attempt at comedy that really falls flat every time and undercuts any shocking moments that the film might otherwise communicate. I didn’t hate this film, but it definitely isn’t one I’ll remember in a week. The film is badly acted, but there are some scenes that indicate that the director knew what he was doing occasionally.
Frolic Films has lumped this film together with THE DEVIL TIMES FIVE in one glorious Grindhouse experience full of trailers for other films, old time commercials featuring Don Knotts and soup, and the whole thing plays together as one long double feature as if you were pulling up into a drive-in in your parents’ station wagon or sitting with your cutie trying to cop a feel in your teenage piece of shit car. It’s an incredibly fun way of presenting these types of cheesy films and I hope Frolic Pictures continues to put these pairings out with this much time and care put into them.
If you like the review above, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!