Sunday, January 24, 2016

Death Curse of Tartu (1966)

A group of college students accompany their archaeology professor and his wife on a trip to the Everglades, where they plan to do some research. Upon arrival, they find the campsite of the man they are supposed to meet, but he is nowhere to be seen.

While their professor tries to translate a stone tablet, the kids run off to the edge of the swamp to make out, listen to the radio, and dance very badly.  What they don't realize is that they are partying on Tartu's burial ground, and that he is not amused.

Native American legend states that Tartu left a curse that if anyone desecrates his sacred burial site, he will return from the dead in the form of an animal to exact his revenge.  So look out kids, you're about to be killed by creatures that live in the swamp... and a shark.

This is a ridiculous movie and might be enjoyable if it ever really got going. But it's a slow paced and not much happens.   The deaths occur in the daytime and the viewer can see the threat to the kids far sooner than the kids do - even though there's a giant alligator right ahead in the clearing. The damn thing isn't even stealthy.

If a director asks you to jump into the Everglades to frolic in the water, you'd have to be nuts to comply.  There are real alligators in there!  The water must have been really cold because the male actor is involuntarily shivering like crazy and gritting his teeth while trying to pretend he's having a great time. Yippee!

Of note, director William Grete also directed Sting of Death and the Shatner vehicle Impulse, which is an amazing bad movie from Shatners lean mid 70s acting era.

There's an issue with corpse continuity
Surprisingly, this is a dance move, not a reaction of horror 
Dorky dancing in the swamp
Come on in, the waters freezing
Tartu knows when you're dancing on his grave
Tartu threw them the old switcheroo and hit them with a shark
What's he doing back there?
Welcome to my tomb, I'll be your living nightmare
Tartu - the only ancient Native American who wears flesh
colored tights and has visible pantylines

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