Home The Show The Brains Rantings Stuff Hook Ups Brain Board

The title MIAMI GOLEM, what images does that evoke? Any non-Yiddish student of useless information probably has heard at least the term "Golem." The legend goes something like this, A Rabbi in the city of Prague wanted to help out the working class citizens who never had a chance to enjoy their lives or spend time with their children. He wanted to create a servant for those folks so they might arrive home earlier in the evening and have time to enjoy life a little more. The Rabbi found instructions in the Cabbala on how to make this servant. A Golem, that could be made out of a lump of clay. The Rabbi followed the instructions and this lump of clay, with the help of three followers was constructed, the head was rags wrapped together the limbs were tree branches covered with clay. After a ceremony that involved chanting around the clay figure it began to glow and long hair and finger and toe nails sprouted. The Rabbi told the Golem "This is the city of Prague. The city where my people live. You will help them do their work and protect them." The Rabbi placed instruction under the Golem's tongue, each night and the Golem would follow whatever instructions the man would give. This legend was more likely than not the inspiration for Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, it also spawned the 1920 Horror classic THE GOLEM, one of the first full length horror movies and still damned creepy.

Well, with that info and the huge retired Jewish community down in Florida, no doubt you figure it might be a modern take on a well-worn piece of folklore. You'd be terribly wrong, if there's people of Jewish faith in the film, it's never mentioned, if there's a big clay, hairy, long toe nailed Golem doing folk's chores and shit with a piece of paper in his mouth, I missed it. But there's something, man is there something, something, bad, something , horrible, something….almost, watchable. I said almost.

Dr. Swigert, has been working on something of great importance, something that will change the course of human history. Dr. Swigert has discovered a way to create life by mixing some pink goo from a meteor, with some sort of "chromosome of a DNA strand and the genetic code," his words not mine. For you layman he's cloned some life from a meteor shower after doing thousands of experiments. He has a Petri dish with a couple cells. A big deal, for a guy with a couple of young assistants and a little lab at a Miami Junior College. Needless to say this is big news, so big that top TV reporter Craig Milford, has been sent to interview the doctor. You heard me Craig "Fucking" MILFORD! Craig asks a lot of hard hitting questions (like "what will this new life form mean, Doctor?and "Will it do all the Jew's chores?") the doctor searches for words, they step on each others lines and Craig handles the interview like an FM DJ talking about nuclear physics with a 45-year-old Down's Syndrome sufferer, basically this scene is so fucking awkward, it's unbearable but you have to have this fucking information or you miss what the fucking movie is about. Craig cuts the interview short and informs the doctor that because he can't just point his camera at the Petri dish, he has to use his "special apparatus" to capture the pink goo. Dr. Swigert leaves his ace assistant with Craig with fond wishes and a "Try not to disappoint a filthy old Nazi!" Every character that mentions the doctor laughingly refers to him as the filthy Nazi…why, I'll tell you we never learn. Craig sets his equipment up and we get some great plot exposition about Craig being a guy who has settled into a rut as a TV guy for a tiny station that uses antiquated equipment and he could be happier. About that same time, a bulbs fizzes and sparks fly and the cell stops doing what ever it was doing. But only briefly and when it comes back to life, voices, floating, globs of goo, heads, hands and other body parts float around the room while the two of them glare, Craig captures it all with his camera. When it's over they both discuss whether it actually happened. To even refer to this sequence as a special effect is giving it too much credit, so I won't. The both witnessed ghostly images and crazy dialogue, but neither show signs of giving a shit about it.

Somewhere else 3 men stand on an airboat in the middle of an isolated marsh. One of the men is ranting about being sent there by extraterrestrial forces, that its been confirmed that whatever Dr. Swigert has been doing in his lab is of "Great Importance." As he continues to try and convince the 2 guys, one pulls out a gun and shoots the guy in the back.

Craig takes his shit back to the TV station and watches the playback on the Moviola, it's all there, once again, indifference to the whole proceedings, Across town at Swigert's lab, the gunman from above walks into the lab kills everyone and leaves with the Petri dish…back to Craig, he's discussing with his Police detective friend his tape of ghosts as they talk about the 5 killings and the killing of the UFO guy.

Okay there's a little actually plot, this is the first act of MIAMI GOLEM. Sounds pretty harmless, really, a cool science project, UFOs, bad guys who want the creation, a TV reporter who's all full of piss and vinegar and world altering implications. What I have to take a few minutes to talk about is HOW HORRID EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FIRST ACT IS. I felt like I was watching secret code being translated the dialog was so poor and so poorly delivered. Craig, brought into being by the much adored David Warbeck, is so fucking cocky and self-assured it reminds you of what hanging with Bruce Willis on blow must feel like. Warbeck had a full FAB PRESS book on his career published a few years back, I love FAB PRESS and the book is incredible (I believe it is out of print) but his only real claim to fame is the lead in Fulci's wonder THE BEYOND. Warbeck is praised far and wide by Italian horror fans…that should tell you something, he is bad, I mean terrible, God bless him he's dead now, and his resume is nothing if not impressive for the sheer amount of exploitation films from Italy and the US, that he was in. From the fairly enjoyable BLACKSNAKE to his last picture, RAZOR BLADE SMILE, Warbeck did his dead level best to be all he could be…and that was a less talented John Saxon. A I said his book is an enjoyable read, and Warbeck made no bones about the quality of the pictures he was in. Fans of Italian genre pictures seem to hold his work in reverence because of the amount of so-called great directors he worked with. Fulci, yes, Fulci's work, some of it, is quite enjoyable, as is the work of my personal favorite Italian director, Antonio Marghereti. Warbeck offered up some good work in HUNTES OF THE GOLDEN COBRA and its even more superior follow-up ARK OF THE SUN GOD. Unlike Saxon, Warbeck never had the opportunity to dabble in the mainstream instead complacent to be a leading man in small budget projects from horror to exploitation films and giallos. Okay, an example, Warbeck as Craig, when he basically fries the embryonic cells killing Dr. Swigert's creation, keep in mind this is life that has been cloned and created from a bacteria from a meteor, a pretty big deal, right?
Craig to Dr. Swigert's assistant, Janet: Dammit, I keep asking for new equipment…(sparks fly about 2 feet away from the Petri dish) Hell! Hey Janet, I think we got trouble! Look at this, look on top of that there!
Janet (looking in the microscope): My God it's not moving anymore, I think it's dead, It is dead!
Craig: Oh C'mon!
Craig (peering into the microscope): Hey have a look at this, look, I think it's come back to life.
Janet: Thank God, the filthy Nazi would have had a stroke, but first he would have had us shot!
Craig giggling: I believe it, really!
Then the voices and ghosts appear.

Okay, first off the writers gave them nothing to work with, but to witness this one brief scene proves my first reaction to MIAMI GOLEM, this project could not be made for the budget the filmmakers had, the talent could not make anything about this film remotely believable and finally, man this is atrocious.

Okay the villain, the bad guys, the man who wants the new being, the man willing to kill for it. The legendary John Ireland, who was closing down on what can only be described as, an absolutely brilliant career in cinema. Ireland's early work was in brilliant studio releases such as SPARTACUS, GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL (he was Johnny Ringo), THE 49th Man and THE BUSHWACKERS, in the 60s he made his mark as a leading man in European epics like DED FOR A DOLLAR and BADLANDS DRIFTER. The decade of the 70s had him absolutely working his ass of in scads of cheap shit like Greydon Clark's SATAN"S CHEERLEADERS and Rene' Cardona Jr.'s ultra sick take on the Jonestown Massacre, GUYANA: CRIME OF THE CENTURY. Ireland worked until his death in 1992 doing a lot of television from the soap SANTA BARBARA to made for TV dreck like PERRY MASON movies. My favorite is 1981's THE INCUBUS, where Ireland starred beside the brilliant John Cassavetes for this psychological thriller directed by John Hough (American Gothic). My point here, John Ireland was better than this abysmal material. Ireland looks uncomfortable, old and has trouble with lines as if there had been no rehearsal. His single, rich, businessman character, Anderson, is Hell-bent to take over the entire world and has hired his own scientist to take Dr. Swigert's work and bring it to life. But the convoluted plot has Anderson talking about speaking to Congress and waiting around for airplanes at airstrips on other shit that does nothing and moves the plot nowhere. His order to his right hand killing machine, "That TV reporter, get rid of him." "Sure boss." Of course, is the reply. Painful.

So the cats out of the bag, folks are dead, someone has the new life form cells, Craig, his cop pals and Dr. Swigert's university replacement are on the case. Craig, while en route to meet an interpreter that this replacement has recommended gets a bogus call from the TV station, he's to go to an abandoned airstrip where a guy has gone crazy and wiped out his family. When Craig arrives, it's deserted except for the chopper he see approaching at a distance. Stop, right here. Everyone familiar with the classic Hitchcock film NORTH BY NORTHWEST? MIAMI GOLEM'S director Alberto De Martino was also. The chopper begins to bare down on Craig, he grabs a pistol from his glove box and runs from the chopper on foot, hiding under his car, they blow the tires out, then behind a wall the chopper makes another pass. Up in the distance a school bus approaches, for some reason oblivious to the gun battle from air to ground that is taking place, Craig pulling off shots from his .357 and the chopper hitman missing him with a sub machine gun. Craig reloads and makes a run for the slow moving bus and jumps into the conveniently open rear emergency exit, grabs a seat and continues to fire out of the window. There are 2 ultra-black men on the bus watching in amazement, the driver and his passenger. The inevitable happens, Craig shoots the helicopter…not out of the sky or to the point of explosion, this budget could handle that, so a smoke bomb trail leaks out of the side of the chopper as the lone ebony passenger utters, "Hey fool, you just shot a helicopter with a handgun!' Craig retorts, "Yeah, I don't manage it everyday, I guess I was lucky." "Anyway, thanks for the lift." The smirk on his face begs you to punch his fucking lights out. What self-respecting director would dare rip off this well-know scene with a budget of $6 and one camera, not mention, a guy who couldn't carry Cary Grant's truss trying to do a Cary Grant while asking us to believe he shoots a chopper out of the air with a pistol? Who would? Uber fucking hack De Martino. Responsible for such laughable "films" as PUMA MAN, here's another case of an Italian director who has gotten praise and has not made a decent film ever. The closest was his derivative take on THE EXORCIST, L' ANTICRISTO. And that film is barely worth mentioning. One website actually praised him as a director who got out of the business before making a bad picture. What? Sure bub, the free DVDs are in the mail. Easy on the teeth while sucking my rod Argento breath.

So back at the Anderson lab, the cells are quickly doing their thing, theirs a fetus, then a bigger fetus, then finally a baby in a jar. This baby, is a latex baby with ventriloquist dummy eyes, pointy teeth and the ability to do kind of the Elvis lip thing, when it senses impending doom. IT begins to sense this dom when Craig hooks up with this mumbo jumbo interpretor, a short-haired, somewhat unattractive, dykish sort who speaks in riddles and asks great questions of Craig like "are you happy." She also inexplicably proposes marriage to Craig upon their first meeting. Why not, he seems like good people. Time passes, rather quickly in Miami, the gestation actually takes months according to some dialogue sequences, I guess, no one has really figured out the multiple shootings or who was in the chopper shooting at Craig. Sure I get it. Eventually Craig talks with the interpreter, we eventually find out she's an alien from Atlantis but her name is Joanna and she disappeared 3 years ago, Look I don't know what to tell you here, it's just fucking stupid. Which for all these years I had thought was an underwater city on earth but come to find out I guess it's in outer space. She has telepathic powers which tell Craig the ghosts and shit were trying to warn him about something.

So if we didn't have enough going on with Craig and Anderson and a fetus, now we got a space alien dyke woman, who has taken to the idea of fucking Craig. Of course, who could really blame here he is rad. The space alien woman is Laura Trotter, another veteran of Italian genre work such as NIGHTMARE CITY and RAGE. Ms. Trotter, will get nekkid, she does here, I'm not sure why, it's hard to imagine a less attractive female lead cast on purpose. Craig has to figure out what Joanna is all about, he finds a crop circle with a weird symbol and he's beamed aboard a UFO where he is confronted with himself, that's right he talks to a projection of himself, I mean I know this fucker is an egomaniac but everything is being explained to him by him in that snide, shitty tone that by this point in the film has you wondering how and why David Warbeck ever made it out of community theatre. His mission to destroy the fetus is set in motion by the threat that his ugly assed Euro-toothed baby will be the end of all creation, Craig has no choice but to save the whole universe. He told himself so. The rest of the film involves that. Craig and Joanna, trying to get the baby and return it to the crop circle so it can be transported back to another dimension or some stupid thing which won't allow Craig to just destroy the little fucker.

But before any of that can go on, Craig has to fuck Joanna, she has chosen Craig as the savior of the world and the man who is going to peel her grape as well. The universe will just have to wait for Craig "Fucking" MILFORD to get his bang on. I'd like to tell you that this at least was exciting to watch…but I can't.

MIAMI GOLEM should have been titled PUNTA GORDA PIECE OF SHIT because it is, all of the b-movie hutzpah in the world can't lend enough moxie to make this one work, but I know that won't stop you from having to see it. Had they gotten the Golem to at least toddler stage and had a real knock down, drag out with Craig and Junior at the end, it might have been a schlock masterpiece. A film that on paper would have to have a multimillion dollar budget ultimately had one closer to $500,000, enough to pay for the, then lowly, services of FX-man Sergio Stivaletti (ultimately Serg would get that God-like, anything Dago, reverence for his creations in DEMONS). I will admit, if you choose to set through this one, there's enough camp value in the inane chatter and lack of action to have a little fun with, but you'll still wind up praying to your glossy 8X10 of David Warbeck for more…of anything. I'll still give it a recommendation, but I want you to consider this. If your film tastes are dying for a movie trip to Florida and you want to be more joyously stupdified, visit a real American like Larry Buchanon, Brad Grinter or the master H.G. Lewis and you won't have to pack any Euro-pretense in your overnight. MIAMI GOLEM is available at www.witchinghourvideo.com.

Bush? Not George but still a puss.

Maybe, I'm a little rough on Joanna, fellas, what do you think?

The Golem looks a little sad...

Mail or
Discuss this baby.
More reviews.
Black Gestapo Black Exploitation?
Girl From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Rape Squad Join Today!
The Meateater Do Not Touch!
Dixie Dynamite POW!
Run Stranger Run Run Opie!
Horror House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Behind Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Nailgun Massacre Some Like It.
Bat Pussy It had to be done
Thunder Alley It is Rock.
Trucker's Woman Truck. Woman.
Blood Freak A Classic for You!
The Geek Bigfoot Porn
High School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Frankenstein Island You Must See!
SuperCock Not that kinda Cock!
The Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Angel Midnight Fantasy
Tanya's Island Vanity and the Beast
Killing Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Nightmare Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Shanty Tramp She is sumpin' else.
If Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Viva' Knievel Evel of Course!
The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
The Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
The Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
Q - The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
Fight For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Walking Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Sleepaway Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Born Losers Ya Loser!
Shriek of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Bury Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
The Grim Reaper Reap on.
Abby One of William Girdler's triumphs.
Deadbeat At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Sonny Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Great Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take a break.
Dead and Buried. A Should-be Classic.
Hot Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To Terror Choo Choo!
I Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Vixen Russ Meyer and breasts!
Truck Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Daddy's Deadly Darling! Pigs!
Flesh Feast Maggots!
Soapy the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
Moonshine County Express! Glug, Glug!
Twirl! Batons!
The Night God Screamed! Boo!
White Dog Racists Pets!
Hunter's Blood City Slickers get offed!
Devil Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
Terror at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Headless Eyes See It
World's Greatest Sinner One of the best!
The Baby! Goo Goo!
Summer Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
Attack of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Let's Play Dead Incest craziness!
Island of Death Vacation madness!
Evil Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Darktown Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Poor Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Miami Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
Tenement NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
The Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
I Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
The Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
The People Across The Lake Good TV!
Wolfpack Shoulder-padded Nazis!
The Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
The Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
These Are The Damned Dammit!
Crowhaven Farm TV movie Classic!
Sounds like a possible Arena Football Team name, huh?

Chris Wayne
That zany old Nazi and his genetic code-breaking...Dr. Swigert.

Our hero, the very able Craig "fucking" MILFORD!

The evil villian, old what's his name....

No corners were cut to bring you ghost type imagery.

Craig gets his ass moving as Hitchcock rolls over, farts and scratches himself in his grave.

THis chopper is hot after Craig!

Craig ducks into a slow moving school bus to elude the chopper.

But his has his trusty revolver....not to worry.

One of Miami's own is surprised Craig can take out a holicopter with a pistol...

Shit-eating Craig, of course, isn't.

Okay I have to break this up a bit...sex, everyone.

No that is not Craig's chest...

Craig has the same reaction as I did when I saw Ms. Joanna in the buff...

Alright already, here's some of that li'l Golem for ya.


This kid is gonna need braces...

The Golem gets Craig climbing the walls.

The Golem soaks in Kool-Aid...OHHH YEEAAAHHH!

Craig gets all macho and shit on some dude.

The gazillion dollar genetic lab and the Golem, impressive huh?

The tiniest Jew, no, not Woody Allen, the Miami Golem...

The ol' Nazi kind of f-ed up the whole master race thing....
Brains On Film 2003