Thursday, December 05, 2019

The Twilight People (1972)

The Twilight People was another of those movies that turned up a lot in the late night schedules when I was a kid, but was too young to be allowed to stay up and watch.  So I had to be satisfied with poring over the brief synopsis provided in the Daily Mirror's TV listings page.  Even at that tender age I could tell that it was a rip off of H G Wells' Island of Dr Moreau.  As the trailer tells us, it concerns a man trapped on an island where a mad scientist is creating animal-human hybrids in hope of creating a super race.  It all sounded terribly exciting and exotic to my young self - far more interesting to the sort of stuff served up in prime time in those days.  Even then I was drawn to schlock, you see.  Anyway, even though I wasn't able to see it, the jilm's title stayed with me and, over the years, I learned that it was a US-Philippines co-production, one of many such science fiction, horror and action films shot on low budgets in the Philippines during the sixties and seventies.  Twilight People was directed by Eddie Romero,, who has gained something of a cult following with this and a number of similar exploitation films.(Interestingly, he later turned his back on exploitation and found acclaim directing Filippino language films exploring the history and culture of the Philippines).

The film's star, John Ashley, an AIP exploitation film veteran who also has a co-producer credit, went on to produce the A-Team, while future Blaxploitation star Pam Grier can be seen in a supporting role.  I never have managed to watch Twilight People, something that action-packed trailer makes me regret.  On the other hand, I've seen enough Philippines shot exploitation films, (Superbeast and Daughters of Satan in particular, stick in my memory), to suspect that all of the film's highlights are contained in that trailer.  Sadly, many of these films turn out to be very rough and ready -  poorly paced, taking forever to get anywhere, featuring grainy photography, cheap production values and poor sound.  On the other hand, they can also feature some truly wild plots, wonderfully rickety monsters and some insane action. Not to mention early appearances by actors like Tom Selleck.  I have to say, judging by that trailer, Twilight People does feature some pretty decent make up for the beast people, (not to mention the lunacy of a flying bat creature), and I can't help but feel that it is probably far more entertaining than either the 1977 or 1996 official film versions of The Island of Dr Moreau.  Maybe one day I'll get around to watching Twilight People in its entirety. Until then, I'll make do with this fantastic trailer.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home