Film Review: Zaat (1971)

Also known as: Blood Waters of Dr. Z, Attack of the Swamp Creatures, Hydra (Canada)
Release Date: January, 1971
Directed by: Don Barton
Written by: Don Barton
Music by: Jamie DeFrates, Barry Hodgin, Jack Tamul
Cast: Marshall Grauer

Barton Films, Clark Distributors, 100 Minutes


Zaat or, as it is probably better known, Blood Waters of Dr. Z is maybe the worst ripoff of Creature From the Black Lagoon that has ever been put to film. And like the film it pilfers from, it was also filmed on location at Florida rivers, swamps and beaches.

Sure, the plot is much different than the Creature movies but it arrives at the same place, seeing a fishy humanoid swimming around and abducting bikini-wearing beauties.

The story is just way more complicated than it needs to be. Monster sees babe, monster falls for babe, monster takes babe for himself – that’s the only explanation you need. People know how these films work. You don’t need to justify where the story is going with a convoluted, nonsensical, shit pile of a plot. Zaat is garbage but it tries to take itself too seriously.

The special effects are beyond atrocious. The creature’s suit is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. The sets are maybe even uglier than the creature. The only real horror here, is that this movie exists.

The music and sound are tinny and ear-piercing. The soundtrack is baffling and only memorable because of how terrible it is. Three people worked on the music and they came up with some weird atmospheric overload of electronic buzzes and lethargic instruments.

The editing is strange. When the monster attacks, you get choppy edits back-and-forth between the creature and oceanic life swimming around. I think the film was trying to be artsy but in its attempt at trying to be something more than it is, it further made itself look like an amateurish piece of crap.

I’ve really tried to come up with some positives but I just can’t arrive at any.

Okay, well… maybe the big circular chart of the monster’s that looks occultish and Old Testament biblical was kind of neat. Still, it looked like the middle school art project of some David Koresh acolyte.

Zaat, as a film title, is awful. What the hell is a “zaat”? This is probably why Mystery Science Theater 3000 used the alternate title Blood Waters of Dr. Z when they featured it.

In the end, someone should have popped this zaat before it got off of the ground.

Rating: 1/10