Body of the Prey (1967)


The movie Body of the Prey (1967) is a unique blend of horror and science fiction, directed by Norman Earl Thomson. The movie is also named or released as Venus Flytrap and in Japan as Akuma no Niwa (The Devil’s Garden). [1] [3]

Dr. Bragan, portrayed by James Craig, is a dedicated rocket scientist at NASA who is engrossed in a mission to outer space. The stress of the mission triggers a mental breakdown, prompting his assistant, Dr. Paul Nakamura, played by Yagi, to suggest a vacation in Japan at his deserted luxury resort for recovery. Dr. Bragan agrees to the proposal and embarks on a journey to Japan.

Upon arriving in Japan, Dr. Bragan resides at Nakamura’s abandoned hotel, where he is assisted by Dr. Noriko Hanamura, portrayed by Kami, who is the charming cousin of his coworker. In the hotel’s secluded greenhouse, Bragan initiates an unusual botany experiment to validate his theory that humans evolved from plants. He grafts a potted Venus flytrap, which he brought from America, onto a Japanese carnivorous oceanic plant, resulting in the creation of a hybrid creature that assumes a humanoid form and thrives on mammalian blood. However, Bragan’s obsessive and temperamental nature remains unchanged, causing Noroko to suspect his sanity, especially when he covertly extracts a victim’s “heart blood” to nourish it. When his creation, named “Sectovorus”, starts moving independently and poses a threat, it soon begins to prey on human victims from a nearby village. The villagers revolt, and Dr. Bragan is faced with the dilemma of either safeguarding his creation or eliminating it to protect humanity. He chooses the latter and lures it into a nearby volcano.


  • James Craig as Dr. Bragan
  • Tota Kondo as Customs Officer
  • Lawrence O’Neill as American at Airport
  • Al Ricketts as Gas Station Owner
  • Atsuko Rome as Noriko Hanamura
  • Edward M. Shannon as Dr. Shannon
  • John Stanley as Dr. Stanley
  • James Yagi as Dr. Paul Nakamura


The credits on the version of this movie which exists today are actually for the movie Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968) and bear no relation to this film. This comes from when they were originally intended to be released as a double feature. [1]


“Well, this is a head-scratcher. An Ed Wood written 50s monster movie script, Venus Fly-Trap, produced in 60s Japan as Body of the Prey by a former Orson Welles associate…with funds and possibly a monster suit likely supplied by Toei, who denies all acknowledge! The Japanese title translates as The Devil’s Garden, but due to a mis-translation became known as Double Garden! And by the time the film finally saw the light of day in the mid-80s, courtesy of Regal Home Video (a furniture company subsidiary), the lack of any opening credits on their source wasn’t a hindrance. They simply took the credits from The Revenge of Dr. X, a re-issue version of 60s Filipino gore-shocker Mad Doctor of Blood Island. So apologies to any John Ashley or Angelique Pettyjohn fans…they ain’t in the movie! Whew!” [3]


[1] Wikipedia
[2] IMDb

Last updated byCody Meirick on November 30, 2023