Dr. Kurt Leopold (Marshall Grauer) is the mad scientist du jour. He has created a secret formula he calls ZaAt. The serum can transform humans into a hybrid man/sea creature. He is, of course, laughed at by his fellow scientists.

Now over the edge, Dr. Leopold decides to use himself as a guinea pig. He injects himself with his serum and immerses himself in a tank of water that is connected to a machine and turns himself into a walking catfish (Wade Popwell).

The first thing he does as catfish monster is, using a silly little spray bottle, spray some of his ZaAt formula into the local waterways making the town’s people sick. Sheriff Lou Krantz (Paul Galloway) along with marine biologist Rex Baker (Gerald Cruse) have been investigating complaints from the locals concerning a catfish infestation. The walking catfish have been showing up in people’s yards and have been invading homes. The locals are getting a little creeped out by them. While investigating the infestation Baker discovers that there is also high levels of radiation in the water.

Now that he has spread his formula around, Dr. Leopold’s next plan is to kill the former colleagues that laughed at him and criticized him, Maxson and Ewing. With them dispatched Leopold kidnaps a woman with the intention of turning her into a catfish lady. His aim, of course, is to create an underwater race that will rule the world. His plan goes awry and she dies before the transformation can be completed.

Meanwhile Baker contacts an organization called INPIT. Investigations Phenomena Investigations Team. Or something like that. They send two scientists, Martha Walsh (Sanna Ringhaver) and Walker Stevens (Dave Dickerson) to investigate. With his first attempt at creating a mate thwarted Leopold is on the prowl for another lady catfish subject. In his sights is Martha.

“ZaAt” AKA “Hydra” AKA “Blood Waters of Dr. Z” AKA “Legend of the ZaAt Monster” AKA “Dr. Z” AKA “Attack of the Swamp Creatures” was released in 1971 and was produced and directed by Don Barton. It is your generic low budget “B” movie. It has been touted as one of the most boring and slow moving horror movies ever. The movie is about forty minutes longer than it needs to be. The best part was the last five minutes. Unfortunately you have to watch most of it to understand the last five minutes.

At one point the monster turns into a blood sucking creature. There is never an explanation as to why he, all of a sudden, needs human blood.

The monster is, of course, dumb, and quite clumsy. The clumsy can be contributed to the 120 pound rubber suit that actor Popwell had to wear. To fill the role of the monster Don Barton put an ad in the paper that read: “Wanted: 6’5” or taller male to play the role of monster in horror movie. Must be experienced swimmer, scuba diver. Acting ability not required”. According to Barton ten people applied for the job.

All around, the movie is bad. The acting, script and pacing awful. You do get to hear some uninteresting facts about catfish and see some weird looking sea creatures. The opening credits and the very beginning of the film are really good shots of the creepy creatures and the first twenty minutes or so is some hilarious voice over from the evil scientist. Between that and the ending is your basic bad movie with lots of padding and canned music. Except for the hippy style song stuck in the middle of the film. I have no idea why that was there.

Dr. Leopold’s lab is the same location used for “Revenge of the Creature” 1955.