Death Curse of Tartu / Sting of Death
This DVD is a great, even dazzling, treatment of two terrible movies and the man who made them, appended with tons of cheap cinematic thrills. Director William Grefe walks us through both Sting of Death and Death Curse of Tartu with an amused air of detachment, freely admitting to mistakes that derived from his lack of money or just plain oversights on his part, as well as the spur-of-the-moment decisions that were made just to get the the latter movie made in the first place, and to meet a distributor's deadline. He freely admits to a directorial technique that was built upon photographing the most anatomically appealing actresses he could find in their most anatomically appealing poses -- this is more important than good special effects or a decent script -- in gratuitous dance sequences and other memorable moments. Grefe can probably take credit -- as he presumes to here -- for discovering the relationship between sexually active teens (well, twentysomethings) and violent screen deaths, a full decade before John Carpenter's Halloween. Among the choicer additional bonus features is the presence of scenes from the "lost" film Love Goddesses of Blood Island, which is a babes, sex, and gore parody of Wonder Woman, made by the same producer who handled that end of Grefe's movies; and the appropriately entitled short "Miami or Bust," which starts out as a straight travelogue and ends with a striptease. There are also trailers for a half-dozen Grefe-directed movies, including the snake thriller Stanley. Both feature films have been transferred with embarrassingly good quality, in the color correction and the image density and brightness, and the sound is good enough to show off the flaws in the original shooting. The disc opens automatically to a multi-layer menu that is ridiculously easy to maneuver around.