Balladeer’s Blog’s recent Robert Ginty Movie Marathon has been so popular that I’m throwing in a bonus Ginty flick here. FOR THE GINTY MARATHON CLICK HERE  

scarabSCARAB (1983) – Robert Ginty AND Rip Torn … TOGETHER! Somebody pinch me! A Spanish horror film that does NOT star Paul “Jacinto Molina” Naschy! Somebody pinch me!

Ginty plays Murphy, a reporter stationed in Spain. Torn stars as Khepera, a mad scientist who becomes a globe-trotting cult leader after one of his experiments causes him to become possessed by an entity claiming to be the scarab-headed Egyptian god Khepera (sic).

Murphy is presented as being irresistible to women for some reason. We meet him as he climbs into bed with an Ambassador’s wife at a diplomatic function he’s supposed to be covering for his newspaper. (What a professional!) This earns him a black eye from the Ambassador and a chewing-out from his Editor (Sam Chew of Rattlers fame). Needless to say all of the secretaries at the paper are hot for Ginty, too. (By the way, Hot For Ginty was my favorite Van Halen song.)

Like a lankier, much less likable version of Kolchak, Murphy gets wise to attempts by Khepera’s cult to kill off politicians with small, cursed scarabs. Rip Torn’s character claims he and his cult are doing this to return Earth to the Dark Ages and thus prevent a nuclear war. (Good thing, since a nuclear war might return Earth to the Dark Ages … Hey, wait a minute!)

Ginty allies himself with Khepera’s daughter Elena, a nurse gifted at psychic healing, and together they take on the villains.

Get ready for lots of toplessness, lots of eye makeup (especially on Rip Torn) and lots of sexy dancing by the scarab cult. Bizarrely enough, one scene features Khepera about to have sex with a willing woman in his organization but her entire body beneath the neck is transformed into a fish to prevent that from happening.

This rather extreme form of cock-blocking was caused by an elderly sorceress whose disembodied head shows up to taunt Rip Torn about it. She reminds Khepera he must abstain for now and mate only with his daughter. Ewww!

SPOILERS: Murphy and Elena finally track down Khepera’s temple just outside a town whose entire populace lies dead from … something or other. (We’re never told.) Elena is captured and hypnotized into wanting to mate with her father but her newfound “love” for Ginty empowers her to break the spell and thwart Khepera’s plans.

MOST POINTLESS SCENE: Even though Murphy tries to mount every female who crosses his path Elena feels the need to get him intoxicated to have sex with him. It’s possible she shared him with her mother, but like so much else in this odd movie it’s a little unclear.

I originally thought the point of that scene was going to be that Elena needed to be a virgin for her mating with Rip Torn to have the villain’s intended effect (whatever it was supposed to be). But nope, it was okay if she had other sex partners before screwing Rip Torn … just like Gary Shandling found out. (I’m kidding!)


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  


Filed under Bad and weird movies

10 responses to “SCARAB (1983): MOVIE REVIEW

  1. Great post and yeah bad movie but in a good way at least in my humble opinion. Funny you should mention The Man, Paul Naschy aka Jacinto Molina Álvarez, as I’m reading his autobiography. I hadn’t realized he was an international weightlifter of Olympic ability! Paul Naschy is a big fave of mine and I collect his films and memorabilia (well, sort of but not to a freaky extent).

    Anyway, I am just finishing another stay-cation where I had a mini-movie-marathon. The focus was two days of recent films and two days of spaghetti westerns. I love the cinema!

    As is the norm it’s great reading your blog and as always, take care, be cool and peace out…

    • Always good to hear from you, Cap’n Hollis! I agree, Scarab is fun-bad, never boring-bad. I love Naschy, too, I just take good-natured shots at him sometimes. I only knew about his weight-lifting because some of his fan-boys inevitably told me about it whenever I would give less than reverent reviews to some of his horror films.

      You take care, too and Happy New Year!

      • We all have different opinions on films and film stars. Doesn’t bother me if one has a different view than mine. Another star I was reading about recently, Bud Spencer, a career spaghetti western star, was an Olympic swimmer. Judging by his size and character I’d never have thought it. Not swimming anyway. Happy New Year to you as well and hope to see you around the Great River Internet!

      • Thanks! That’s surprising about Spencer! Glad to see you’re still doing Spaghetti Western marathons.

  2. Wayne

    Got to check this one out! I love me some Ginty!

  3. Exie

    You had me at lanky version of Kolchak!

  4. Oneida

    You’re movie reviews are solid gold dude!

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