Blood Waters of Dr. Z (aka Zaat) (Don Barton, Arnold Stevens, 1971)

posted in: Duane, Review | 0
A nutjob scientist with an unnatural affinity for all things aquatic transforms himself into a catfish-man in order to take over the world.

With the inordinate amount of this garbage I subject myself to on a regular basis it’s no wonder I’m off my rocker. The film begins with what could only be described as fish porn as Dr. Z narratively fondles himself over a multitude of fish species, pontificating about taking over the world or some shit, cut to the good doctor wandering aimlessly while some ridiculous folk song about revenge is played over the credits,  and then more fish porn. So all this culminates into Dr. Z turning himself into a fishman in his magic wading pool of science; although he ends up looking more like some kind of ass-sucking aquatic aardvark. The rest of the film consists of the fishman swimming around local ponds spraying what looks to be a bottle of semen everywhere in an attempt to mutate all the marine life into angry killing machines or something. There’s some kind of weird sidebar about all these catfish walking across people’s lawns but there’s nothing that really comes of it other than a couple scenes of catfish flopping about on some grass. Apparently that’s all part of the fishman’s nefarious plan for WORLD DOMINATION!!! Anyway, the fish guy likes to creep around and then strangle his victims awkwardly (except for the one scene where he inexplicably turns into a vampire), when he’s not drawing pictures on his giant wheel of science misfortune back at the lab. People keep turning up dead, and the locals are freaked and act accordingly. Fortunately, there’s a team of scientists in jumpsuits that roll up in their science Winnebago to determine the cause of all this madness; just in time to provide the fishman another nubile young lady to steal in an attempt to create a fish concubine to slap nasties with (the first one ended in disaster and a vat of acid, you see).COSDS-Blood-Waters-of-Dr-Z00013
In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, the film is pretty pointless and has no idea whether it’s coming or going. It changes gears without warning, leaving the viewer either bored to death or trying to figure out just what the fuck is going on. Blood Waters of Dr. Z should be one of those so-bad-its-good type of outings, but for the most part it’s merely a dull, pitiful mess. As a case study of ineptitude the film excels; the acting is beyond wooden, corpses continue to breathe, the effects are atrocious, there’s no nudity at all, and the gore is scant at best. Clearly the filmmakers were quite confident in the look of the monster as he’s in virtually every scene, close ups and all – and the suit is abysmally done (although undoubtedly an inspiration, Creature From the Black Lagoon this ain’t). It’s unclear as to whether they felt that the average filmgoer in 1971 was THAT forgiving or if they are completely thumbing their collective noses at them with this garbled mess. It’s no surprise that almost everyone involved in the creation of this atrocity never made another film.

It’s not ALL bad. Blood Waters of Dr. Z does have quite a few WTF moments that make the whole thing somewhat worthwhile including a weird out of place scene where a group of hippies (lead by folk singer Jamie DeFrates, who wrote the songs for the film) singing about Jesus march behind the town Sheriff so he can lock them up in the jail for safe keeping. And god damn if the song isn’t catchy as fuck too.
COSDS-Blood-Waters-of-Dr-Z00017Also a big FUCK YOU to whatever asshole decided it would be a good idea to blatantly tease the audience with the possibility of female nudity on more than one occasion, only to punch them in the collective swollen nuts right before anything happens. It’s interesting that a film would shy away from subject matter that would have clearly made the film TONS better, yet has no problem including all manner of racism including a scene where one of the good ol’ boys starts ranting about “niggers”. Again one wonders what the fuck these people were thinking, if at all.
If you like torturing yourself and others with appallingly bad monster movies, Blood Waters of Dr. Z is probably right up your alley. As an oddity it’s worth a look, but its ineptitude overstays its welcome quite early on. Those with short attention spans or a proclivity for naked sluts should avoid.
Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.

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