Requests, while not always carried out, are welcome on this blog; an unexpected recent demand was for some poetry. And as if by magic, what should come down the pike but The Vulture, a British creature-feature that defies logic and explanation. I raced to Wikipedia to find some explanation of what I’d just seen, and part of that synopsis forms today’s rare excursion into found poetry.
To backtrack; I was being generous when I described the commentary on the recent blu-ray release of They Came From Beyond Space as affectionate. It was clear that the critical minds assembled were no great fans of the film, but were certainly affectionate about the personnel and the genre. Mention was made of another obscure film, The Vulture, which had previously escaped me; I tracked it down to YouTube, and cleared my mind to appreciate its virtues, in retrospect, I realise it has none.
The Vulture, directed by Lawrence Huntington, is an exquisitely awful low-budget horror in the vein of The Fly; a slow-burning mystery with a man-in-a-mask pay-off. Robert Hutton plays a scientist who travels to Cornwall to investigate an improbable scientific mystery; a giant vulture with a man’s face which has flown out of the grave of an 18th century seaman. A painstakingly lugubrious investigation unfolds in tepid colour; terrible performances by slumming Oscar-darlings Akim Tamiroff and Broderick Crawford offer a dim light for modern audiences to peer through in benighted hope of entertainment.
What feels like the longest wait in cinematic history is topped by what must be a contender in the hotly contested category of most underwhelming monster ever; the picture supplied above should give you a taster, and if you’re keen for more of this kind of half-assed poetry, here is the Wiki synopsis in all its glory.
One stormy night in Cornwall, schoolteacher Ellen West becomes hysterical
when she sees a gigantic bird with a human face
fly out of the open grave of Francis Real, an 18th-century seaman.
Real, buried alive with a huge, murderous bird he had found in the South Pacific,
had sworn vengeance on all descendants of Squire Stroud, the man who ordered his interment;
nevertheless, Brian Stroud, the present squire, is unconcerned by the prophecy of doom.
American scientist Eric Lutyens, husband of Brian’s niece Trudy,
is troubled when he finds the mutilated body of a sheep in what appears to be a vulture’s nest.
He visits Professor Koniglich, a scientist friend of Brian’s
who believes himself to be a descendant of Real,
and correctly surmises that Koniglich had attempted to disintegrate his own body in the grave and reassemble it through nuclear energy;
unfortunately, the professor had failed to consider the bird buried there, and a mutation resulted…
Dare you come face to face with….the Vulture?