Basically a mad scientist story enlivened by eco-subtexts, in which horrible self-combusting cockroaches are thrown up from beneath the earth's crust during an earthquake, only to commence setting fire to everyone and everything they touch; meanwhile Dillman's hermit-like scientist investigates, analyses, and comes to play God. Therein lies the film's interest: biblical and religious images (heads aflame with tongues of fire, winged demons) hold sway right from the film's opening, set effectively in a remote desert church, to establish a schlock-horror allegory on the creation myth. Tacky in parts - as one might expect from producer William Castle (his last film; he also co-scripted) - and occasionally lacking in plot logic, it's nevertheless an imaginative little B thriller that manages to be genuinely suspenseful.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||William Castle, Thomas Page|
Jamie Smith Jackson