Sunday, April 8, 2018

Stigma (1972)

Director: David E. Durston

Writer: David E. Durston

Composer: Jacques Urbont

Starring: Philip Michael Thomas, Harlan Cary Poe, Josie Johnson, Peter Clune, William Magerman, Connie Van Ess, 'Cousin Brucie' Morrow, Richard Geisman, Raina Barrett, Kevin Andre

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The curse that begins with a kiss.

Plot: A knowledgeable- doctor, Calvin Crosse (Philip Michael Thomas) moves to a secluded community and soon discovers a deadly virus affecting the young town's people. What is more disturbing, is the conspiracy to protect this epidemic when he tries to cure those infected.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Watch the trailer before going further.  It's worth it (the trailer, not what drivel I've got to spew).  Wasn't that awesome?  The movie doesn't live up to how great that trailer is but it's definitely worth a watch.  At times it's utterly hilarious at how seriously it takes itself.  There's a little nudity sprinkled in here and there.  The trailer plays like a horror movie and, like a virus, the movie carries a little bit of that vibe.  At first it feels like it's going to be a blaxploitationer.  After a while the doctor starts to uncover what his recently deceased mentor discovered.  Then it shifts from racism in a small town, although the racism is there until the end, to dealing with an outbreak of syphilis.  That's when the picture kicks into a classic scare/horror flick.  There's a fucking side-splitting moment near the end when Calvin (Thomas) is running down the beach to get away from the sheriff who's out to get him and he jumps over a sand dune and tumbles right in the midst of a bunch of teenagers making out.  And BAM!  Just like that Calvin sits up, hands them pamphlets on the dangers of syphilis and talks them about the disease, complete with the teens asking generic questions, just like one of those 50s/60s classroom scare films.  Jesus, the more I talk about this the more I think I might watch it again after all.  Ultimately the movie is a drama with elements of Blaxploitation (without really fulfilling any of that genre's requirements), social commentary and good ole exploitation.  I'd say check this one out.  I think it would play better with friends and liquor sauce so plan your special evening accordingly.

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