They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé

IMDb Rating 6.9 10 32


Downloaded times
February 12, 2021


Chris Robinson as The Beast / Man Sitting at Bar
William Shatner as Himself - Narrator
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.14 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
126 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.12 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
126 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Dr Fulci 8 / 10 / 10

The World Needs to Know about William Grefe...and this Documentary Helps Do Just That!

If there is one thing that I'm always on my soapbox about, it is learning about the horror genre, from the very beginnings to modern day. The reason is simply because we need to recognize what came before us and remember what they gave us. It helps us appreciate where we are now. So when I heard about a documentary that was being made about this lesser known Florida based filmmaker, William Grefé, needless to say, I was excited. One of my favorites of Grefé's work is his 1965 film Sting of Death, which features a half man/half jellyfish creature, which is just a hoot. It featured such a memorable monster, my wife immortalized it on a birthday cake for me, along with the title creature from Z.A.A.T.! Grefé made other titles in the horror genre like Death Curse of Tartu (what a great title!), Mako: The Jaws of Death, Stanley, and a few more. He also didn't just work in the horror genre, but in quite a few of them, from biker movies, racing movies, and even a drug exploitation! He was making films with very little budget, but always turning out a entertaining title that made money. And now, with this new documentary, we get to hear from Grefé himself as we go through all of this films, hearing some great stories about each one of them. But it is not just him that we hear from, but plenty of other people that either worked with him on those films, like Doug Hobart, Randy Grinter, Joe Morrison, William Marquez, Chris Robinson, as well as fellow filmmakers like H.G. Lews, David F. Friedman, Fred Olen Ray, and even William Shatner himself! This 2-disc set comes with not only the documentary, but the rare, never released before film Whisky Mountain, starring Christopher George. While not a horror title, it has plenty of dark exploitation thrills to it to keep you entertained. The disc is also filled with trailers, a couple of short films (one starring Shatner), deleted scenes, and so much more. Grefé is one of those guys that was working outside of the Hollywood system, usually working in the Florida area, and put out some very memorable and entertaining films. While most normal movie fans might turn their noses up at these kind of films, I think true connoisseurs of the exploitation field will always be pleasantly entertained. At the end of the day, isn't that what a filmmaker should be all about? One that can turn out a film within the budget, make it fun and/or exciting for the audience, and have the picture make money at the box office. Grefé showed that by using creativity and ingenuity, rather than just throwing money at it like modern Hollywood films are made, he showed how great of a genuine filmmaker he was. The shame is that there aren't too many more people out there these days, but I'm sure seeing his story in this documentary could just spark those creative juices in some young filmmaker and start them on their way. This documentary was directed by Daniel Griffith from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, who has created a ton of amazing features and featurettes for DVD and blu-ray releases over the years, so he really knows his way around this kind of subject matter, which he does another great job here as well. This disc comes highly recommended not only because it is entertaining, but also it is a great history lesson!

Reviewed by Woodyanders 10 / 10 / 10

An excellent and illuminating documentary on one of the more underrated maverick indie filmmakers from Florida

For some strange reason Do-It-Yourself maverick Florida-based indie filmmaker William Grefe rarely seems to get his due. Fortunately, this lengthy and comprehensive documentary rights that particular wrong by covering all of Grefe's cinematic work in fascinatingly thorough detail. Starting out with Grefe growing up in Miami as an avid fan of John Ford's movies, with detours into acting in summer stock in New York and serving in the Navy for two years during the Korean war before getting down to the basic nitty gritty with a wealth of great and entertaining stories on each and every one of his motion pictures. Among the best tales woven within are how Grefe shot his early films on weekends to get around union rules, family members helping out on the movies in multiple capacities, Grefe nearly managing to get a film made with Elvis Presley, a close call with an alligator on "Death Curse of Tartu," Harold Sakata almost getting killed due to a harrowing mishap during the shooting of the scene in which Sakata gets strung up on a rope in "Impulse," a shark that was supposed to be dead, but wasn't on "Mako: The Jaws of Death," and the pot in the cave being the real thing in "Whiskey Mountain." Such Grefe actors and collaborators as bubblegum pop music idol Steve Alaimo, veteran character actor John Davis Chandler, writer Gary Crutcher, "Stanley" star Chris Robinson, and make-up expert and monster man Doug Hobart relate lots of fun anecdotes on their time in the trenches with Grefe while film historian Chris Poggliali, Frank Henenlotter, Herschell Gordon Lewis, David F. Friedman, and Fred Olen Ray all give Grefe plenty of well-deserved props. Filled with behind the scenes footage and nifty film clips, this one sizes up as a spot-on loving tribute to William Grefe and his movies.

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 10 / 10 / 10

Perfect for lovers of exploitation film

If you've been following along this week, you know exactly how much we love the films of William Gréfe. So this documentary - originally released by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures as a limited edition double disk (you can get it at Diabolik DVD) - is exactly the kind of thing that we devour, absorb and now, share with you. Honestly, if you have the smallest interest in exploitation film or if you're an absolute maniac who thrills at the very mention of names like Barry Mahon and Crown International Pictures, then you absolutely must own this. Luckily, if you buy the new He Came from the Swamp set, you get this film along with several of Gréfe's films. "If there were rules to making a movie, one indie director would break them all!" These are the kind of taglines that make me beyond overjoyed to watch a documentary and trust me, this one delivers. As a Miami-based regional filmmaker, Gréfe transformed the Everglades into his own personal studio. This doc has everyone from Ross Hagen, Frank Henelotter, David F. Friedman and Fred Olen Ray to William Shatner, Herschell Gordon Lewis and many of the actors that worked with Gréfe on his many films all speaking about what it was like to be part of this magical time in low budget filmmaking. If you're the kind of person who obsesses about the extras on a DVD, then you've probably seen the work of director Daniel Griffith. It's a real joy to see him expand his work to a full-length feature on one fascinating subject. I can't wait to see his next movie, Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland: The Saga of Empire Pictures.

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