Attack of the Swamp Creatures (1975)

aka Zaat, Blood Waters of Dr. Z
Article 2300 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-13-2007
Posting Date: 11-29-2007
Directed by Don Barton and Arnold Stevens
Featuring Marshall Grauer, Wade Popwell, Paul Galloway

A mad scientist changes himself into a catfish monster and begins committing murders. The sheriff, a marine biologist, and several INPIT agents investigate. Meanwhile, the monster is searching for the perfect woman to help propagate his giant walking catfish race.

My version of this movie is hosted by Elvira, and though watching a movie with a horror host really isn’t the ideal way to give a movie a fair shake, I do agree with her assessment that it’s one of those movies that is so bad, it’s good. The concept is ridiculous (let’s face it – catfish just aren’t scary), the plot is primitive, the acting is very weak, and the direction isn’t good. Nonetheless, the film is full of unintentionally funny dialogue, the use of sound and music is unique (if wrongheaded), and it’s more charmingly primitive then excruciatingly dull. The mad scientist is so dumpy-looking that his looks actually improve when he turns into a catfish monster, and although he admits that he doesn’t look much like a catfish (and, for reference, we see several shots of catfish), I wouldn’t exactly say he looks beautiful. There’s also something charming about the fact that the catfish monster’s homicidal tendencies are not an unexpected side effect; the scientist actually wanted him to be a murderous creature. As for the various titles of this movie, you won’t want to confuse ATTACK OF THE SWAMP CREATURES with CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE (a movie that is just as bad without being near as much fun). Nor would you want to confuse ZAAT with ZOTZ; the latter movie gave away plastic coins as a gimmick, and I’d hate to see what this movie would have given away. And don’t confuse BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z with THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M, just because it’s not a good idea.



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