DNDF: Turning People Into Reptiles

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Friday, September 27, 2013

DNDF: Turning People Into Reptiles

Reptilians (also called reptoids, reptiloids, or draconians) are purported reptilian humanoids that play a prominent role in science fiction, as well as modern ufology and conspiracy theories.  The idea of reptilians on Earth was popularized by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who says shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our societies.  Icke has claimed on multiple occasions that many of the world leaders are, or are possessed by, reptilians attempting to gain power to rule the world.

According to British writer David Icke, 5- to 12-foot (1.5–3.7 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity.  He contends that most of the world's leaders are related to these reptilians, including George W. Bush of the United States, and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.  Icke's conspiracy theories now have supporters in 47 countries and he has given lectures to crowds of up to 6,000.   American writer Vicki Santillano included it in her list of the 10 most popular conspiracy theories, describing it as the "wackiest theory" she had encountered.  A poll of Americans in 2013 by Public Policy Polling showed that 4% of registered voters believed in David Icke's ideas.

Now I have known plenty of people who believed in theories like the faked moon landing or the JFK assassination but I have never met anyone who believed in the Lizard People theory.  But that isn’t to say it wouldn’t make a great horror/sci-fi movie plot. 

Sssssss (1973)

  • Genre: Horror
  • Directed: Bernard L. Kowalski
  • Produced:
    • David Brown 
    • Robert Butner 
    • Daniel C. Striepeke 
    • Richard D. Zanuck
  • Written:
    • Hal Dresner (Screenplay) 
    • Daniel C. Striepeke (Story)
  • Starring: Strother Martin, Dirk Benedict, Heather Menzies, Richard B. Shull, Tim O'Connor, Jack Ging, Kathleen King, Reb Brown
  • Music: Patrick Williams
  • Cinematography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
  • Editing: Robert Watts
  • Studio:
    • Universal Pictures 
    • Zanuck/Brown Productions
  • Distributed:
    • Universal Pictures  
    • National Broadcasting Company  
    • Umbrella Entertainment  
    • Future Film  
    • MCA/Universal Pictures
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: July 1973
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Sssssss (released as Ssssnake in the UK) received a nomination for the Best Science Fiction Film award of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in 1975.

The movie begins with Dr. Carl Stoner (Martin) selling a mysterious creature in a crate to a carnival owner.  It is later discovered that the creature is actually part-man/part-snake, the result of one of Stoner's bizarre experiments. College student David Blake (Benedict) is hired as an assistant by Stoner, an ophiologist.  It transpires that Stoner's previous assistant had mysteriously left town without telling anyone (Stoner explains that he had gone back home to attend to a sick relative).

Unbeknownst to David or anyone else, Stoner is a delusional man, convinced that humanity is doomed and is attempting to prepare for what he believes to be the inevitable by working out a method of transforming humans into reptiles that can survive pollution and any other ecological disaster that would wipe humanity out.

Stoner begins David on a course of injections, purportedly as a safeguard against being bitten by a snake in his lab.  David's skin slowly starts to change and even peel like a snakeskin.  David begins a romance with Stoner's daughter Kristina (Menzies), although her father objects and insists that she not have any sexual relations with him.  David becomes increasingly perturbed by the strange side effects of the injections.  Kristina visits a carnival freak show and is horrified when she sees a bizarre "snake-man", whom she recognizes as Stoner's previous assistant, Tim.

Distraught, she races back home to save David who is currently mutating into a cobra, brought about by the injections that Stoner has been giving him.  Stoner is bitten by a real cobra from his lab and dies, just as David's transformation is complete.  Kristina arrives home and finds her father dead with the real cobra next to him.  The police then arrive and shoot the cobra before heading to the lab where a mongoose is attacking David's neck, attempting to kill him.  But the police do not have a clear shot, and as Kristina screams David's name the movie ends abruptly, leaving their fates uncertain.

The film's executive producers were Richard Zanuck and David Brown, who went on to produce Jaws.  This film was released by Universal as a double feature with The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973), making the program one of the last double bills released by the studio.

 

Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966)

  • Genre: Horror - Sci-Fi
  • Directed: Larry Buchanan
  • Produced:
    • Larry Buchanan 
    • Edwin Tobolowsky
  • Written: Tony Huston
  • Starring: Bill Thurman, Francine York, Jeff Alexander, John Agar, Shirley McLine
  • Music: Ronald Stein
  • Cinematography: Ralph K. Johnson
  • Studio: Azalea Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • American-International Television  
    • BijouFlix Releasing  
    • Elite Entertainment  
    • Reel Media International  
    • Something Weird Video  
    • Video Dimensions
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 1966
  • Running Time: 80 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Curse of the Swamp Creature is a 1966 American film directed by Larry Buchanan.  Although Buchanan was producing extremely low budget 16mm color remakes of American International Pictures sci-fi movies for television distribution around this time, he claimed this was an original even though it bears more than a few striking similarities to the 1957 AIP film Voodoo Woman. 

Buchanan later said "never make a swamp picture. Your film comes back and it's all... strange."

Deep in the rural swamps of Texas the reclusive and ruthless wife-abusing mad scientist Dr. Simond Trent is conducting experiments in his laboratory on the local impoverished voodoo-worshiping black "natives" in an attempt to discover the secret to reversing evolution, feeding the failures to the alligators he keeps in his covered outdoor swimming pool.  When a party of oil surveyors comes upon his isolated yet strangely suburban-style home he decides to take the final step and turn one of them into a grotesque and virtually indestructible amphibious "Fish Man" so that he can take his revenge upon the world.

Despite showing the monster very prominently on the posters of the film which bill it as an "underwater terror from another age", other than brief, partial glimpses down into the mist-filled glass tank where its body is being modified from its original human form, the titular burly bald, Spock-eared and slit-pupiled, protruding ping pong ball-eyed creature only appears in the film for less than five minutes, and no scenes take place underwater.

And despite what many sources say, said webbed-fingered, hospital gown-clad creature was created using primitive prosthetic make-up and greyish green body paint and not the infamous cheap and phony-looking scalloped-scaled rubber wetsuit and fiercely-fanged fish head mask with painted ping pong ball eyes Buchanan later used in Creature of Destruction and 'It's Alive!'.

The movie was filmed in Uncertain, Texas where the Fly-N-Fish Lodge and Airport seen in early scenes still exists.


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