Orgy of the Dead – USA, 1965

Orgy of the Dead is a 1965 American sexploitation horror film directed by Stephen C. Apostolof under the alias A. C. Stephen. The screenplay was adapted by cult film director Edward D. Wood, Jr (Night of the Ghouls; Plan 9 from Outer Space; Necromania) from his own novel. It is a combination of horror and erotica, and is something of a transition for Wood.

Cinematographer Robert Caramico later worked on OctamanBlackenstein; Eaten Alive; Spawn of the Slithis and directed ‘shockumentary’ Sex Rituals of the Occult (1971).

orgy of the dead criswell

The film’s graveyard prologue is a recreation of the opening scene from Ed Wood’s then-unreleased 1958 film Night of the Ghouls. Criswell reprises his role from the earlier film. Barrington doubles as the blonde Gold Girl (inspired by Shirley Eaton’s role in Goldfinger) while her red-headed “Shirley” character watches her perform. Criswell’s undead consort, the sexy Ghoulita, was written for Maila Nurmi, aka Vampira but was instead played by Fawn Silver, who wore a black bouffant wig.

Orgy of the Dead 1965 Criswell Fawn Silver Wolf Man Mummy

A young couple, Bob (William Bates) and Shirley (Pat Barrington, billed as Pat Barringer) survive a car crash only to find themselves tied to posts in a misty cemetery where they are forced to watch dead spirits dance for the Emperor of the Night played by Criswell.

Ten striptease performances by dancers from beyond the grave outfitted in various motifs comprise most of this movie. The Wolf Man (wearing a very obvious mask) and The Mummy make an appearance…

Click here to read the full script

Orgy of the Dead Wolf Man Mummy

Reviews:

Orgy of the Dead is simply one of the worst, and therefore essential viewing. It’s hard to figure out how Wood could have written a comprehensive script, as the screen time is mostly taken up by the ample amount of dancers who come out to strut their stuff — this film runs over 90 minutes, and Ed even manages to throw in some light whipping and flogging for the fetish crowd. The bits of dialog are naturally absurd, and the cast members read it as if they were in a grade-school pageant.” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

” …Ed still retains his mastery of otherworldly characters, silly situations, and idiotic dialogue, all of which are on naked display (literally!) in 1965’s Orgy of the Dead.” John Wilson, The Official Razzie Movie Guide

Orgy of the Dead Ghoulita

Orgy-of-the-Dead-1965-tied-couple

“There are ten —count ’em — ten striptease numbers in this flick, and while most of the gals are attractive enough, their gyrations, set to lame lounge-style music, are anything but erotic. (The “Hawaiian” dancer’s got the best moves, and with her black wig gets something of a Bettie Page vibe going. A gangly, embarrassed-looking blonde in a bridal veil, however, simply hunches over and flops her tits around while doing The Swim.) These topless routines just go on and on and on…” Brian Lindsey, Eccentric Cinema

Trivia:

The production title was Orgies of the Dead.

orgy of the dead criswell 2
orgy of the dead

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Wikipedia | IMDb | AFI

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