Flesh Feast (1970)

Shot in 1967 but unreleased until 1970, this was the first movie from Brad F. Grinter, the man who would later bless the world with Devil Rider!Blood Freak and the way late in the game nudist films Never the Twain and Barely Proper *.

It’s also the last movie of Veronica Lake, whose peek-a-boo hairstyle made her Hollywood royalty before alcoholism took it all away.

So yeah — the star of I Wanted Wings and This Gun for Hire was living in a woman’s hotel in New York City by the 1960’s, getting arrested for public drunkenness and working as cocktail waitress under the name Connie de Toth. The New York Post outed her and fans were so upset they sent her money, which she returned to each of them. After writing Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake — in which she laughed off the idea that she was a sex symbol and said that she was more like a sex zombie — she took the money and invested in this shot-in-Florida Nazis back from the dead blast of weirdness. Sadly, she’d die in 1973 from all the liver damage that drinking brings on and most of her ashes were scattered off the coast of the Virgin Islands. I say most of, because in 2004, they found some of them at a New York City antique store.

Lake plays Dr. Elaine Frederick, a scientist who has developed flesh-eating maggots because, well, why not? She goes along with the reborn Third Reich just long enough to get revenge, because her mother was a political prisoner executed in Ravensbrück concentration camp Basically, she brings back Hitler just long enough to throw those skin chewing maggots right in Der Fuehrer’s face. And let’s face it, that’s the happy ending that we all want.

With a great name like Flesh Feast, this movie had one of those lives that we obsess over, playing double and triple bills as late as December 1983. Pretty good for a movie whose budget was so small that cooked rice doubled for the maggots.

*Seriously, Never the Twain came out in 1974 and Barely Proper was released in 1975. I really have to track down the first one, which is all about a real-life supernatural event where the spirit of Mark Twain possessed actor Ed Trostle at the 1974 Miss Nude World Pageant. It’s shot in the very same theater where there all happened.

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