One Taste of Hell Before I Die

January 31, 2011

Here are two movies with a couple things in common:  related to the guerrilla movement in the Philippines during WW2 and really drab jungle scenery.

Once Before I Die (1966) is creepy in a “1960s sexuality, gee whiz” kind of way.  The jungle footage is rather drab and a bit too manicured, like it was filmed during the dry season at a nature park.  But Ursula Andress is pretty and there aren’t many films related to guerrilla operations in the Philippines against the Japanese, so this movie isn’t a total waste of time.

A Taste of Hell (1973) is less of a war movie and more of a freak monster flick in the vein of Eddie Romero’s Blood Island trilogy.  It’s only obliquely related to the guerrilla movement during WW2.  Like Once Before I Die, the jungle footage is uninspiring.  My favorite parts of the movie was when it showed the culture of the Filipino barrio, especially the fiesta scene.  Very festive.  Then the freak arrives and tries to have his way with a helpless village girl and there is blood squirting all over and they have to call off the fiesta.

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