Beast of the Yellow Night (1974)
Directed by Eddie Romero

Starring Eddie Garcia John Ashley Leopoldo Salcedo Mary Wilcox

Former AIP teen actor John Ashley teamed with Filipino director Eddie Romero to make a series of horror films in the late sixties and early seventies that were fairly rich in gore, nudity, and other elements that make exploitation films enjoyable. One of the best was "Mad Doctor of Blood Island."

In this one Ashley plays a US deserter in the South Pacific during WWII who makes a pact with the Devil in order to save himself from starvation. Flash forward to the early seventies: Ashley's soul now inhabits a man who has miraculously recovered from a horrible accident (evidently, immortality was a part of the bargain, and recently deceased bodies are the necessary hosts). Unfortunately, he occasionally transforms into a werewolf-like creature with a propensity for dismembering some of the locals. Throat gashings, intestine-munching, and similar mayhem is depicted in detail.

The supporting cast includes stalwart bad-guy Vic Diaz as the Devil, Mary Wilcox (who must have been a Playboy Playmate at one time) as Ashley's wife, and Filipino exploitation film regulars Ken Metcalfe and Eddie Garcia (who is actually a highly-respected dramatic actor in the Philippines according to some Filipino friends of mine). Roger Corman co-produced. Ashley would focus his career on television producing after returning to the states, with "The A-Team" being his most successful series.

-- Review by Steve Mason

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