# Similar Movies Like They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé
They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé 2016
About: Savage! Sadistic! Thrill hungry! When it came to independent filmmaking in the sunshine state, William Grefé was the wildest of the wild! During the 1960s and '70s, the Miami-based producer/director transformed the darkest corners of the Florida swamps into his own private backlot. From rampaging crocodiles possessed by an ancient Seminole witch doctor (DEATH CURSE OF TARTU) to a slithering serpent called STANLEY, William Grefé would grind out low-budget exploitation movies for drive-ins and hardtops around the world. Now, without the benefit of cages or another protective devices, the untold storyline of Florida's most daring moviemaker comes to the screen...IN PSYCHEDELIC COLOR!
Released: 19 Apr 2016 Director: Daniel Griffith Writers: N/A Actors: Steve Alaimo, John Davis Chandler, Gary Crutcher, David F. Friedman Genres: Documentary
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They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé Reviews:

If there is one thing that I'm everytime 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 supports 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 movie Sting of Death, which details 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 game monster from Z.A.A.T.! Grefé made another games in the horror category like Death Curse of Tartu (what a nice title!), Mako: The Jaws of Death, Stanley, and a several more. He also didn't just work in the horror genre, but in quite a several of them, from biker movies, racing movies, and even a drug exploitation! He was making movies with very tiny budget, but everytime turning out a entertaining game that made money. And now, with this fresh documentary, we receive to hear from Grefé himself as we go through all of this films, hearing some nice stories about every one of them. But it is not just him that we hear from, but plenty of another folks 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 movie Whisky Mountain, starring Christopher George. While not a horror title, it has plenty of dark exploitation thrills to it to hold you entertained. The disc is also filled with trailers, a couple of short movies (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 place out some very memorable and entertaining films. While most normal film fanatics might turn their noses up at these type of films, I think real connoisseurs of the exploitation field will everytime be pleasantly entertained. At the end of the day, isn't that what a filmmaker could be all about? One that can turn out a movie within the budget, create it fun and/or exciting for the audience, and have the picture create cash at the box office. Grefé showed that by using creativity and ingenuity, rather than just throwing cash at it like modern Hollywood movies are made, he showed how nice of a genuine filmmaker he was. The shame is that there aren't too many more folks out there these days, but I'm sure seeing his storyline in this documentary should just spark those constructive juices in some young filmmaker and begin them on their way.This documentary was directed by Daniel Griffith from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, who has created a ton of nice details and featurettes for DVD and blu-ray releases over the years, so he really knows his method around this type of topics matter, which he does other nice job here as well. This disc comes highly suggested not only because it is entertaining, but also it is a nice history lesson!


For some strange reason Do-It-Yourself maverick Florida-based indie filmmaker William Grefe rarely seems to receive 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 fanatic of John Ford's movies, with detours into acting in summer stock in Fresh York and serving in the Navy for two years during the Korean fight before getting down to the primary nitty gritty with a wealth of nice and entertaining stories on every and each one of his motion pictures.Among the greatest tales woven within are how Grefe shot his early movies on weekends to receive around union rules, family members supporting out on the films in multiple capacities, Grefe nearly managing to receive a movie 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 stage 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 true thing in "Whiskey Mountain." Such Grefe actors and collaborators as bubblegum pop melody idol Steve Alaimo, veteran hero actor John Davis Chandler, writer Gary Crutcher, "Stanley" star Chris Robinson, and make-up expert and creature boy Doug Hobart relate lots of fun anecdotes on their time in the trenches with Grefe while movie 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 movie clips, this one sizes up as a spot-on loving tribute to William Grefe and his movies.


They Came from the Swamp: The Movies of William Grefé (2016) **** (out of 4) When it comes to exploitation films, William Grefe really isn't the most well-known name even though he created some of the largest hits for the sub-genre including the snake movie STANLEY. He is greatest remembered today for shooting his movies in Florida and adding the atmosphere of the state to movies like STING OF DEATH, DEATH CURSE OF TARTU, THE HOOKED GENERATION, THE DEVIL'S SISTERS, IMPULSE and MAKO: THE JAWS OF DEATH.I was excited that someone decided to create a movie on Grefe but at the same time I was a tiny worried about the 123 minute running time. I mean, did someone who made sixteen movies really need that long of a documentary? Well the respond was yes because director Daniel Griffith has created an incredibly entertaining movie that does what each nice documentary could do and that is create it even more interested in the subject. If you're familiar with the work of Grefe then you're going to be wanting to re-watch all of the films and if you've never heard of him, well, I think you'll still be entertained by this movie and will then wish to see the movies in question.As with another exploitation documentaries, we receive interviews with some of the large names in the category like David F. Friedman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Fred Olen Ray and Frank Henelotter. Thankfully there are also interviews with the boy himself who gets to talk about the production of all his films as well as share some unbelievable stories about different problems that happened on the set. There's a storyline about a near-death in IMPULSE that is just downright crazy. Also on hand for interviews are some of the fine folks who also worked on the movies and these contain the likes of John Davis Chandler, Randy Grinter, Gary Grutcher and exploitation expert Chris Poggiali is also here.The interviews themselves are nice as are the clips from not only the films and their trailers but there's also some news cast footage and some outtakes from the movies themselves. THEY CAME FROM THE SWAMP is a movie I had very high expectations for and it delivered everything you'd wish plus much more. You can say that there was a lot of passion in the project and director Griffith has really given fanatics the end-all project on Grefe and his films.



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