Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Today's bit of cinematic wonder is a classic. Well, it is one of those that scarred the memory of this adult child. Back when I was a wee lad, they used to run ads for movies on your local radio stations. Why? Because they were honest-to-god local stations, not corporate dumping grounds. Anyway, someone came up with the great idea of using the promo line of "Just repeat to yourself: It's only a movie. It's only a movie...." And this would repeat and fade out to reverb echoes. For a kid who spent three hours locked in the family bathroom because I was sure a monster was outside the door, this was Trauma City.
Honestly, I can't remember if that ad campaign was used with this movie, but it could have been. I remember seeing the ads for it in the paper alongside Three On A Meathook and Last House On A Dead End Street and similar gross out films from the time. So it has that stigma attached to it.
Yes, sleaze horror fans, we are talking about Scream Bloody Murder, made in 1971 and released around 1973. Do not confuse it with the beefcake/cheesecake slasher clone that came out a few years ago. This is the stuff that really matters to a true crap film fan. Like wine, crap films must age before they have any real flavor.
We start, rather abruptly, with a boy watching his father on a bulldozer. When the father goes to adjust something on the engine, the boy hops on, throws the thing in gear and flattens dear dad in a second. When his mom sees what he had done, he ends up coming off the bulldozer and his arm is crushed. Years later, sonny boy, with his new hook arm, is released (or escapes, which would have more fun) from the nut house after finding out his mother is getting married. See, sonny boy kinda has this warped love-thing going with Mom. And he isn't about to let anyone take Mom away from him.
Lots of people die, including a poor dog who just happened to be in the wrong house at the wrong time. The blood (there's lots of it) looks like they used red poster paint for the effect. It gives an already warped little film an extra touch of unreality.
Don't look for name stars. Don't look for Oscar-caliber acting. But do enjoy the icky weirdness that is shoveled about with gusto. But is it as unnerving as the old ads that I associate with this film? Nah. I generally rack up a few good laughs. Well, worth the the time. You can find it on two different releases from Mill Creek. The first is a 50 movie set called Chilling Classics (a great deal for 20 bucks), and the other is Mental Maniacs, which is released under Pendulum Pictures and the film is under the video release title of Matthew.