The Exotic Ones (1968)

This would be the last secular movie that Ron Ormond would ever make and what a movie to end that era of his career on. He also plays the mob boss Nemo, the man who rules the strip clubs of New Orleans — this movie is also known as The Monster and the Stripper — and decides to book a creature three men found in the marshes known only as Swamp Thing to be menacing next to his array of beehived go-go girls who are absolutely astounding in their inventiveness, twirling flaring tassels off their pasties.

The movie plays like a sketch comedy show, except that the Swamp Thing — played by Ormond’s next-door neighbor, a hulking rockabilly singer with the marvelous name of Sleepy LaBeef — is absolutely horrific, biting the necks off chickens to drink their blood and bearing men to death with their own arms. He’s like a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie character inserted into this wanna-be Russ Meyer film made by a Southern family who would soon almost die ina plane crash — and then Roger would have to nearly die again — and then find God and make movies with none of this sin.

This movie has something for everyone. You want a creature feature? It has that. How about some mob drama? Yes. And how about something for daddy? This movie is filled with dancing of the most prurient kind. The Swamp Thing falls for the new girl who is too shy to strip nude — someone needs to make a Letterboxd list of strippers in movies who never get unclothed — and when she’s attacked by the queen of the club, well, you’ve seen every monster movie ever made. Human beings are gonna pay.

This is the kind of movie that describes Bourbon Street as “sleepy by day, psychedelic by night,” which is pretty much the best thing ever written in a film. The world needs more movies that have 60s exotic dancing mixed with surprising torrents of gore.

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