June 5: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie — is revenge.
Sure, Paul Blaisdell created the effects for The She-Creature, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Not of This Earth and It! The Terror from Beyond Space, but this is the only movie in which he made a tree person.
Yes, this film is about the prince of a South Seas island wrongly executed by a witch doctor who hated the fact that the prince became friends with Americans. Well, those foreigners pay him back by irradiating the island and reanimating the royal victim, who has been buried inside a tree. Now he is known as Tabonga, an angry tree stump that demands bloody retribution.
This movie is one of the many reasons why quicksand concerned me as a child, as the tree man throws his unfaithful widow into the sinking muck and then tosses the witch doctor down a hill. He can only be stopped by white men and their guns, which hasn’t really changed for so many since this was made sixty some years ago.
Written by Richard Bernstein (Terrified!) and Jack Milner, this was directed by Jack’s brother Dan, who worked as an editor on the Bozo the Clown TV show (he also made The Fighting Coward and The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues).
Look, it’s not great, but the tree man reveal is better than most entire movies. It has that going for it at least.
You can watch this on Tubi.