John - Quiet and reserved,
probably due to the fact that he is dying of a strange blood disease.
Kathleen - Wow! (Excuse me, male reaction.) She is John's beautiful and faithful wife, just totally unprepared for competition.
Dr. Marlowe - Rutger Hauer! Retired doctor now pursuing a new career as an alcoholic. Mr. Hauer has been frighteningly convincing as a drunk in recent appearances.
Byrde - Greedy woman who has no scruples, plus she wears an ugly wig. Real ugly. Take it off her head and beat it with a stick ugly. So ugly that a freak half rips it off when it kills her. The wig is just that damn ugly.
Alice - Thin daughter to Byrde, though horrified by her mother's very nature. In addition to being the island's mortician she acts sort of creepy, she probably didn't date much before her death.
Lexi - Armed as many crotchety old women are, she has chosen a rifle instead of the customary shotgun. Fat lot of good it does her, for a serene existence on cat food is denied when a Van Daam freak comes to visit.
The Van Daam Freaks - Disgusting creatures created through centuries of inbreeding, some of which might have even been conceived by hermaphrodites fertilizing themselves. Ugh.
After a short scene involving
incestuous Dutch royalty to provide background for everything we are going to be
pummeled with the movie begins in earnest. By that I mean the main characters
John and Kathleen have traced John's roots to a small island off the coast of Maine, where a town struggles to carry on the business of living. They probably struggle with keeping their clothes clean as well, since everyone seems to be involved with fishing in some way and none of the roads are paved. Which means they are dirt and this is Maine, which means a lot of rain. Dirt + Rain = Mud.
With his condition reaching the point of being life threatening the pair are trying to find out more about the family history. While many of the islanders are of little help, Lexi knows all about his past. She tells the story of finding the Van Daam's hidden tunnels and being given John (as a baby) to spirit away. Despite his unhealthy skin coloring and mismatched eyes the baby was far too normal for the freaks, this is why John was sent away.
What does a subterranean genetic horror eat though? Corpses of course, the embalmed bodies buried in the island's only cemetery. The problem is that (due to Byrde's failure in adhering to regulations) all of the bodies are being disinterred and shipped to the mainland. Their normal food supply removed, the freaks soon begin preying on hapless townsfolk.
My common sense organ (diseased as it is - a product of far too many movies of this kind) writhed in my torso, before the questions finally hit me. How many people are dying on a regular basis? The population cannot be any more than two hundred, but until now there were enough expired townsfolk to keep the freaks fed? Is this the fabled "poor fisherman's graveyard" where old net casters go to die?
Investigating everything does provide a cure for John's disease, albeit an extremely distasteful one. To survive he must chow down on the same food as the other Van Daams, embalmed corpses. Unfortunately the only suitable entree Dr. Marlowe has on hand is a pickled baby.
So he eats it. I am most certainly not kidding (accept the fact, he bites into it like a zesty kosher dill), the young man munches on pickled baby and instantly feels better. Imbued with a newfound lust for life he has passionate sex with Kathleen, she is so tickled by the attention as not to notice her husband's fetus breath.
Elsewhere on the island (where less nasty things are happening) the residents have taken shelter inside the lighthouse. During the chaos of freaks attacking and the floor collapsing John realizes that he doesn't want to live in the world of normal humans, he wants to live with the other Van Daams. Emboldened by this decision he escapes from his gorgeous wife and flees into the arms of a fat hermaphrodite sister (only part freak). The end.
For the most part this is a normal bad movie with a disturbing plot, but good Lord man, why didn't you just pour off the formaldehyde and drink that?
Stuff to Watch For
1 min - RANDOM
GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
12 mins - Shouldn't she have specified how much of the drug needed to be administered? A nurse indeed!
21 mins - Take off that blood stained shirt and learn some table manners, people will think you were raised in underground tunnels.
35 mins - Is she laughing?
37 mins - And the rat got into the coffin how?
46 mins - How does Dr. Marlowe know what seminal fluid smells like? Is that on the final exam at medical school?
52 mins - John must have a degenerative brain disease too if it took him that long to realize her story was a ruse.
71 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
77 mins - Just shoot the stupid freaks, they move like molasses for crying out loud.
Things I learned from this Movie
Incest is a symptom of
Formaldehyde is a poor substitute for perfume.
Women love pasty faced men with mismatched eyes and feeble constitutions.
The best way to let your wife know you'd like some lovin' is to stick your fingers down her throat.
There is a direct connection between hermaphrodites and alcoholism.
Skeletons always remain in one piece.
Pickled babies are an aphrodisiac.
If you are only going to say three words in your entire life make sure they are not "No f**king way!"