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 "Sargassum -- the weed of deceit."

"Sargassum fish -- mighty hunter of the deep. What an inspiration you have been in my plot."


The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, originally known as ZaAt, is a 1970 film about Dr. Leopold, a mad scientist who wants to get revenge on all those who thought he was silly for wanting to make a half-man, half fish. Using a chemical of his creation (the titular "ZaAt"), he makes himself into his first test subject, and turns the local catfish huge and man-eating. Next steps: kill those who wronged him, and find a mate to breed the new race, and then conquer the universe.

Shot on location in, of course, Florida.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page. Red Letter Media reviewed it as well.

Tropes present in The Blood Waters of Dr. Z include:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: ...Sort of. It's probably more accurate to say The Bad Guy Manages To Pull A No Score Draw.
    • If getting the canisters to the ocean will mutate all sea-life then he did indeed succeed. We don't know if the bullets killed him, and also he got the girl...kind of.
  • Blessed with Suck: Being turned into a fish probably wasn't worth the constant, wracking agony.
  • Deep South: Especially the Sheriff.
  • Fainting: Near the end, the female scientist faints when Dr. Leopold breaks into the cabin where they've set up shop. She then stays unconscious as he roughly carries her, over his shoulder through a humid, noisy, treacherous swamp, for several miles.
  • Heroic BSOD: Martha gets kidnapped by the mad doctor, gets injected by the forumula, narrowly avoids getting transformed into a fish-woman, and then afterwards she's not quite the same---zombielike she follows the doctor into the ocean at the end.
  • Leave the Camera Running: Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans were lucky in that the televised version used for the show cut the first 15-20 minutes, which was nothing but Dr. Leopold walking around, checking equipment, and reading notes, and nothing else.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "I'm planning revenge on your friends..."
  • Non-Indicative Name - There is no Dr. Z.
  • Notable Original Music: "World War II Boy" by Jamie DeFrates. If you interpret the mildly incoherent lyrics to the World War II Boy to being in reference to Dr. Leopold, then it counts as his Villain Song, but with a rather upbeat, catchy tune.

 Hey World War II boy

Holding back a wagging fatter

Olaf messing with your luck

Keeps you up at night

Mel Pool hang a cocoa bean

Drags you down helplessly step of fate

Tombstones are piling up your last mistake

We all wait for you to give us a break

Give us a break!

Sashay through the sarcasm [sic]

Stalking, skulking through the sargassum

Sashay through the sargassum

Planning re-veenge on your friends!

  • Room Full of Crazy: Dr. Leopold's huge chart showing each phase of the years he spent on his Evil Plan to turn himself into a half-catfish hybrid.
  • Science Marches On: Sargassum fish are no longer a danger to Floridian waters - in fact, they're endangered.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Say what you want about Doctor Leopold, he's meticulous and has EVERYTHING planned out on a huge chart on his wall. Almost makes you believe that he could conquer the universe through transforming himself into a fish. Almost. Can't stress that enough.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: World War II Boy sung over the beginning which is upbeat and catchy in contrast to the doughy, unimpressive evil scientist.
  • Take Over the World: Through mutated walking catfish no less.
  • They Called Me Mad: "They think I'm insane... they're the ones who are insane!"
  • Today Florida, Tomorrow The World!: Emphasized when Catfish!Leopold emphatically marks Florida with an "X" after infecting the water.
  • Transhuman Treachery
  • Who's Laughing Now?
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