Craze (1973) Craze/Demon Master/The Infernal Idol (1973) 0

     Okay, I admit it-- I love foreign-made horror movies that star Jack Palance. I know, itís a weakness-- a vice, even-- but I also know Iíll never change. But I did not love Craze/Demon Master/The Infernal Idol. In fact, I didnít even like it. Not even a little bit. Itís just terrible, and if it has anything going for it, it must have happened during one of those stretches when I was looking at my watch.

     This is pretty much the story right here: Jack Palance (of Torture Garden and The Sensuous Nurse) is a devil-worshipping antique dealer somewhere in England, whose business is sliding rapidly down the toilet until he buys this ancient African idol of some tribal god whose name I canít remember-- letís just call him Idi Amin. Palance learns that he can drum up sales by sacrificing the occasional customer to Idi Amin, but naturally this can go on for only so long before the cops take notice. Once they do, Palance starts killing even more people, for reasons that defy explanation, and eventually the smarter of the two cops figures him out and confronts him down in the basement of the shop. A fight ensues, and Palance ends up falling onto Idi Aminís spear. There are a couple of other events in there somewhere, but they accomplish nothing other than the lengthening of the movie, so we neednít concern ourselves with them, beyond making the observation that, in the real world, no attractive woman would ever become romantically involved with a mere antique dealer who looked like Jack Palance. Seriously, have you seen this guy?

     Fucking boring. Thatís what this movie is. I grant you, itís probably no more boring than movies to which I have been slightly more charitable, such as Stormswept or The Hand, but both of those movies at least had one redeeming feature. Stormswept, awful as it was, had nudity. The Hand, awful as it was, had the comic value that comes with knowing that it was one of Oliver Stoneís pathetic first attempts to make a movie. Craze doesnít even have Embarrassed Has-Been value, as-- letís face it-- Jack Palance is not so much a has-been as a never-was. It isnít easy to be one of the worst movies Iíve ever seen, but Craze pulls it off effortlessly, and I honestly canít think of a single reason for you to see it-- unless of course, you are one of those deluded people who actually believe that Plan 9 from Outer Space is the worst movie ever made.



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