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
SCARAB (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!)
FOR MORE BAD MOVIES CLICK HERE
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