Jack Hill, circa 1960.
The deal was set. A young Jack Hill, fresh from shooting filler for such Roger Corman-lensed productions as THE WASP WOMAN and THE TERROR, found financing for his first solo directorial effort, CANNIBAL ORGY. A friend of Hill’s, fellow Corman alumnus Karl Schanzer, had been moonlighting as a private detective when he met two men, Gil Lasky and Paul Monka, on one of his assignments. The two businessmen were eager to invest their profits from the real estate market into a horror film, and Schanzer suggested to them that Hill might have such a story. As it turned out, Hill did have an outline, and based on that, Lasky and Monka hired him to write, direct and edit the film in the summer of 1963. And what a mad story it is:

Only three direct descendents of Titus W. Merrye (Virginia, Elizabeth and Ralph) are still alive, living under the watchful eye of the family chauffeur, Bruno. One day, a letter is delivered to the family home stating that distant relatives, Uncle Peter and Aunt Emily, are on their way to visit the siblings. Little does Bruno know that Peter and Emily’s intent is to take over the family home and full custody of the children. And what Peter and Emily do not know is that the children suffer from a rare brain disorder in which the brain rapidly regresses into savage, incestuous and animalistic behavior as they reach puberty.

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