I loved this movie! It is bad but so much fun! The print is excellent. I don't know what else to say other than I would love to turn myself into a monster that was part human and part catfish if possible...
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Part Man ... Part Fish ... All ZAAT!March 19 2012
Edward L Zimmerman
- Published on Amazon.com
Monster movies have a formula, and I'm not talking about the one that changes the man into the beast. (Rim/shot) Often times, there's an evil scientist: check. Often times, the scientist has been shunned by his fellow nerds: check. Often times, the scientist's driving angst forces him to turn into the monster: check. Often times, the monster falls head-over-heels with some comely female decked out in panties and a bathrobe: check, check. (Rim/shot) Often times, the scientist becomes obsessed with turning this lass into a monstery female as his mate, his own little ZaatGirl to his ZaatMan: check. Now, all you have to do is throw all of these elements into the cinema blender, mash it up real well, throw in a heavy dose of diabolical rhetoric, blinking science equipment, and some heavy-handed acting ... and you have ZAAT, the baddest of the bad monster movie ever made on the big bad Earth!
As for the story ...
Disillusioned ex-Nazi scientist Kurt Leopold (played with grim stoicism by a skinny and pasty Marshall Grauer) disappears into a run-down lab in rural Florida. (Wait a minute, you say: what's an ex-Nazi doing with an abandoned lab in rural Florida, of all places? Don't ask, I say!) He's convinced that the way he can rule the world is to become part-fish. (Wait a minute, you say: what in the Sam Hill was this ex-Nazi thinking in order to jump to this conclusion? Don't ask, I say!) But can the motley crew of a young black biologist (Gerald Cruse), a redneck sheriff (Paul Galloway), and two sexy government agents for the Inter-Nations Phenomenon Investigations Team (Dave Dickerson and the stunning Sanna Ringhaver) pool their strokes of genius before the world's forever flushed up a creek without a paddle? Only time will tell ... but, thankfully, it only takes about one hour and forty minutes for the audience to know for sure.
ZAAT, also known as "The Blood Waters of Dr. Z," is a special experience. Sure, it's a cult classic, not too far off the beaten path from such other cult classics as THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW or REPO MAN. It dabbles in weird pseudo-science all classically constructed around the traditional mad scientist, but it's all packaged with this inescapable 70's vibe, punctuated by wide lapels, slim jeans with bell bottoms, and garish colors. As for the story? Don't look for all it to make perfect sense, though it does in its own peculiar way, even past the stilted dialogue, campy production quality, and incessant voiceovers that sound like a `Mutual of Omaha' production gone really, really bad. Sure, it's backed with a slim musical score, but it's all reminiscent of the `so bad they're awful' offbeat sci-fi drive-in movies of the 50's and 60's. Don't worry about space aliens coming from the skies to destroy us; the enemy is us, and we're already here!
So when the federal agents show up wearing cherry red jumpsuits with the government insignia looking pinned onto their backs, you know you're in trashy movie heaven! And the monster? It's 'the Creature from the Black Lagoon' in drag! It's Swamp Thing, minus the Swamp!
Watching and enjoying a film like ZAAT takes a special audience. Sure, it's a monster movie, but it's monster schlock, meaning it was clearly made quickly and cheaply with probably not the kind of attention studio flicks get during pre-production, filming, and post-production. It was all bare bones, and, in one scene, you even get to see those bare bones on the screen. (Rim/shot) Seriously, I kid, but the film is one-part inspiration balanced with nine-parts kookiness. And just when you think you've seen it all, there's suddenly an in-character musical number to ease the tension! (I am not kidding!)
In short, ZAAT - for a film shot in 1971 in Jacksonville (FL), of all places - looks amazing here. The restoration, briefly featured in a brief bonus short on the disc, is nothing short of incredible. Colors are vibrant and bright (when necessary), and the picture has been cleaned up with tremendous care. Audio is only 2.0, but it works just fine for the purposes of a cult film. Additional features include the official trailer and television spots; a photo gallery regarding the film's production; a radio interview with Wade Popwell (the creature himself) & Ed Tucker; and an audio commentary by the film's writer & producer as well as a few stars. While nothing exceptional is learned from the commentary, it's clear that all involved participated in a `labor of love.' Disc packaging credits Cultra, Film Chest Inc, and HD Cinema Classics for their participation in bringing this release to the unsuspecting masses; no doubt, they'll be cheered and jeered for ages over it. It's a combo-pack (Blu-ray and regular DVD discs provided), and the buyer gets a nifty little postcard reproduction of the original movie art. All in all, this is a five-star presentation of a two-star production, which makes it all the more memorable in my book.
In fact, I can't tell you the number of times I completely burst out with unintended laughter while watching this one. I won't even bother trying to remember how many times I yelled at the screen, either. That's all part of the experience!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fans of subvervise and/or cult cinema, though methinks everybody else probably just won't get it the joke. Indie blowhards have been trying to tap into the same creative vein that hatched a film like ZAAT for years; throw those imitators aside, or get ready to enjoy a true original. A true original what? I'll leave that up to you, fragile viewers!
In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that I was provided with a DVD screener by the good folks at Greenleaf & Associates for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
What the heck is Zaat???Jan. 19 2014
Hose Nose (aka Jinzo Ningen)
- Published on Amazon.com
Sorry for the punny title summary. :-)
ZAAT (aka "The Bloodwaters of Dr. Z") is an dreadfully stupid movie, make no mistake about it folks! Luckily, it's one of those that's so bad it's good. You have to wonder just what these folks were thinking (or smoking) when they dreamed this mess up. The "plot" concerns a disgraced scientist working in the everglades who dreams of turning himself and the tasty female of his choice into hybrid catfish people so that they can rule the world. (Honest!) He also plans to turn everyone else into mutant catfish people so that we can all live together in aquatic harmony. (No word on whether Catfish Hunter thought this was a good idea or not.) A scientific investigation agency sends in a trio of good guy scientist types, (picture a mix of X-files, Scooby-Doo and The G.I. Joe Adventure Team), to get to the bottom of the dastardly goings-on before it's *GASP!* too late!
The release of this oddball clunker on Blu-ray is cause for both great joy and great sadness. On one hand it's cause for euphoric celebration because bad movie lovers like myself would never have believed in even our wildest dreams that we would EVER see this bizarre motion picture get a legit home release. Doubly delightful to see that it got the Blu-ray treatment to boot! There are some neat extras on the disc and the packaging is pretty sweet, too. However, this Blu-ray is also cause for heart-breaking misery because Cultra, the company that produced this Blu-ray edition, chose to utilize a DNR (digital noise reduction) filter to make the transfer look cleaner, which isn't all that unusual. They problem is that they went waaay overboard when they filtered the source material to master this movie; everything has a slick sheen to it that wasn't there originally. I still have my old VHS tape of this thing I made decades ago from a late-night TV broadcast, and I can say for certain that ZAAT has the typical amount of graininess and imperfections you'd expect from a 40+ year old independent no-budget monster movie. Sadly, this remastered version has been digitally over-processed to the point where a lot of detail has been lost and everyone and everything looks to have been coated in a thin layer of Vaseline. the end result is very similar to the horrid transfer/DNR over-processing job that Fox Home Video did on their "Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition" release. Ugh! Movies shot on film are SUPPOSED to have grain & the occasional imperfection!
Bottom line: this is pretty much the only shot this movie will ever have to see a legitimate home video release, so you'll have to man up and take your lumps if you want it to own it. No, it's not the end of the world that Cultra productions went all gonzo with the DNR processing, but it's a bummer that smarter heads didn't prevail when deciding the best look for this hi-def release. That said, the fact that this turkey actually made it onto home video (and in Blu-ray, no less!) pretty much makes it a "must-own" for fans of cult classic, grade-Z motion pictures. 5 stars for the awesomely awful movie itself, minus 1 star for the over-scrubbed print quality.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Hell, Man, I Ain't No Scientist!"...April 1 2013
Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
- Published on Amazon.com
The eeevil Dr. Leopold turns himself into a walking-catfish-man(!!), and goes on a murderous rampage. In his quest for world domination, he captures a hippie chick, tries to turn her into his mate, and kills her instead. More murders ensue, as Leopold is hell-bent on wiping out humanity and creating a race of his own kind. Meanwhile, a hick sheriff and his assistant are on the doctor's trail. ZAAT (aka: BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z) is about as brain-cell-obliterating as a movie can get. If you value your IQ level, then you might want to hold off on subjecting your grey matter to this baby! Start out w/ something harmless, like ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES or HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP. Then, move on to TRACK OF THE MOONBEAST or OCTAMAN. After this preparation, ZAAT should only cause minor brain cancer. Please, proceed w/ extreme caution!...
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
ZAAT!April 20 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I was excited that Zaat finally made it to DVD... but I was totally blown away with the fact that it was a Blu-Ray DVD Combo.... Zaat in 1080p... Fans of cheesy low budget flicks will love Zaat... It is a throwback to the days of 1950's drive-in monster movies... Filmed in Jacksonville Florida, this movie has it all... Fans of MST3K will also know this as "Blood Waters of Doctor Z"... Great Blu-ray features and excellent picture. The only complain is the commentary... It sounds like they recorded it in a windstorm on a cassette tape. Otherwise this Blu-ray/DVD combo is awesome for any cheese lover...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A "so bad it's good" cult classicFeb. 10 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
Is this movie silly??? Yes it is. But that's the whole point. People that run this movie down,just don't get,that this is not supposed to be taken seriously. It's a cheesy,cheap,crumby horror flick...and that's why we(the fans of Zaat) like it so much. A far fetched story about a mad scientist turning himself into some kind of "fish monster" is enough to crack ANYBODY up. Unfortunatly,alot of viewers watch Zaat,with hopes of this being some kind of big budget horror masterpiece or something. If you're looking for a movie like that,then look elsewhere. Zaat is not for you. Overall,this is a great movie to own,if you love the so bad it's good kinds of movies,and for those of you that wanna hate on this cult gem....don't put down what you don't understand.