This fun, endearingly trashy B-movie gem is one of the best-kept secrets in cult movie fandom. Simply put, The Flesh Eaters offers everything one could want from a drive-in flick of this era: there are colorful characters, action, suspense, fun plot hooks, and a really cool monster. The inventive scenario does a great job of distracting the audience from the limited production values with a combination of taut, effective comic-book storytelling and quotably kitschy dialogue. The Flesh Eaters also boasts appropriately larger-than-life performances to fit its offbeat storyline, with the best work coming from Rita Morley as over-the-hill alcoholic star Laura Winters and Martin Kosleck as Dr. Bartel, the supremely creepy scientist who holds the keys to the plot's mysteries. Best of all, The Flesh Eaters is directed with an unusual amount of care by Jack Curtis, who uses precise framing and rich black-and-white cinematography to unexpectedly atmospheric effect. Even the effects, which were obviously done on a thin budget, show a level of imagination and invention that make them charming even when their cheapness is showing. In short, anyone who loves B-movie horror from the 1960s will get a kick out of the vintage charms of The Flesh Eaters.
This thoroughly weird but truly inspired monster flick is one of the earliest gore films to splatter across drive-in screens in the years prior to Herschell Gordon Lewis' notorious Blood Trilogy. The plot finds a besotted movie star (Rita Morley) and her entourage trapped on an island surrounded by aquatic flesh-munching amoebas (represented by scratches on the film emulsion) created by mad scientist Peter Bartell (Martin Kosleck). These sparkly little death-blobs make mincemeat of most of the cast, including a dorky beatnik (Ray Tudor) who ingests a few of the little buggers in his drink -- leading to an agonizingly fatal case of indigestion. Good photography and well-designed makeup effects make the most of a shoestring budget. Film editor Radley Metzger found his own way as the director of numerous soft-porn films in the '60s and '70s.