Ha ha, it’s Burl here to review an arboreal obscurity made, as near as I can judge (by the clothes, hairstyles and a ham-handed reference to Twin Peaks, ha ha), sometime in the early 1990s! It’s called Attack of the Flesh Eating Tree!!, and yes, those double exclamation points are part of the movie’s official title as it appears in the opening credits!
I found this VHS tape for sale in a video store on Bathurst Street in Toronto at least a decade ago! I bought it and two other similar tapes (which will be reviewed here soon, you can bet!) for a dollar apiece, but never watched them until now! I assumed it was a completely homemade bit of tomfoolery, and as it turns out I wasn’t far wrong!
The movie is set at a lakeside lodge, owned by a couple who are in the midst of some kind of marital discord! It seems the man – a bald, mustachioed nerd who looks like anything but a lothario – had performed an infidelity, and the lady has photographs of same! The man apologizes and says it’s all over and he never loved that other lady! The wife, probably the most terrible actor in a movie full of them, makes him go sleep on the couch anyway, ha ha! But they have to pretend to be happy over the next couple of days, as the lady is hosting a reunion of some kind!
The next day there are several more ladies at the lodge, along with one fellow who is the boyfriend of one of them! The main couple needn’t pretend to be happy, because none of the other reunionees is! They all seem to be mean, vaguely brain-damaged people who can only speak in what’s meant to be cuttingly nasty badinage, but comes off as children improvising a fight scene for the school production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf!
Anyway, the flesh-eating tree can’t come along too soon, ha ha, and to the movie’s credit we don’t have to wait too long for an attack! Two of the ladies go off to play shuffleboard in the woods, and the tree eats them up! Ha ha, its bite is every bit as bad as its bark, turns out! Then it chomps a lady on the dock as she prepares to go swimming, and soon after that it knocks her boyfriend on the head and puts a biting on him too! Then we have many more scenes of the tree munching its way through the cast, until all that’s left are the couple we met at the beginning!
I’m going to go ahead and tell you the ending of the picture in some detail, because the odds of you ever actually seeing it are approximately nil! So here’s the big climax: the tree eats up the lady, but her husband, a most unlikely hero, grabs an axe and chops away at the foliaged fiend! The tree spurts blood and collapses, and the man is able to pull his lady wife out from its maw, and they declare their love for one another! Ha ha, the end!
Well, this has all the professionalism and production values of a movie made over the weekend by a group of people who’ve never held a camera before! You might be asking yourself “Ha ha, how did they pull off the complicated creature effects that would be necessary in a movie about a flesh-eating tree? Well, the short answer is, they didn’t! But the creature is not without charm: it operates an awful lot like the raging carpet creature in that classic of le bad cinema we all know and love, The Creeping Terror! That’s the one where, whenever the monster eats someone, the victim has to actually crawl into the monster’s mouth for the ingestion to be successful, and if the eatee is a lady, her bum usually gets stuck in the craw for a few moments before the final gulping! Ha ha, same thing here!
The acting is atrocious and the script is worse, and there’s no evidence of any special effort or talent among the filmmakers! But the monster has some appeal, and the location used, which according to the credits was somewhere near Muskoka, Ontario, is quite lovely! There’s a stunning boathouse, and if you’re a boathouse aficionado like ol’ Burl is, you’ll enjoy that! In the end it was clearly just made for fun, so how critically harsh can you be? I give Attack of the Flesh Eating Tree!! one and a half Sony Walkmen!