Tuesday, October 9, 2007

"Shriek of the Mutilated"(1974)d/Ed Adlum

From Michael and Roberta Findlay,the directorial team responsible for "Slaughter"(which had a new ending sequence added later and re-released as "Snuff"),and the producers of the equally catchy title, "Invasion of the Blood Farmers",comes the best toilet-budgeted "cannibals-use-yeti-as-an-excuse-to-eat-collegiate-hippes" movie ever made,bar none.Dr. Prell,a professor with a bigfoot fetish,leads the live action equivalent of the Scooby Doo gang, complete with the flower- stickered Mystery Machine van, but sans the Great Dane,on the same investigative class trip that 86ed his previous students save for one,who's gone bananas and secured himself a job as the college greenskeeper(they let this cornflake around the hedge-clippers?)some seven years ago.The former top student/lone survivor/greenskeeper catches wind of Prell's plans to lead more lambs to the slaughter at a seriously groovy college popcorn party at his house,goes further into a state of crackers,slashing his wife's throat after the party guests leave,effectively killing her,except she drags her dying frame acroos the floor(and a plugged-in toaster too)to the bathtub where he sits,fully bloody clothed in the bath water,and electrocutes him in a vortex of bad 70's visual effects.
Outrageous murders never stopping a hard-driving man like Dr. Prell,he and Fred,Velma,Daphne,and their obligatory acoustic guitar strumming folkie chum, press ahead to a secluded island where Prell's associate,Dr. Warner has conveniently gathered evidence of a living yeti(in New York state,mind you).Warner shares household duties with Laughing Crow,a mute Indian servant who looks more like Al Pacino's retarded brother.The gang immediately sets out into the woods outside Warner's humble abode to look for their hominid,who upon first glance looks a lot like the sheepdog from Disney classic,"The Shaggy D.A.".Prell's yeti isn't nearly as loveable though,and it soon goes through hippie students one by one like a middle-aged barfly through tequila shots on a lonesome Monday night.
"I'm out of ordah?You're out of ordah!This whole fucking saturnalia's out of ordah!"
Outrageous murders never slowing down an adamant yeti-tracker like Prell,he uses the mangled body of one of the girls to try and trap the snowman,but in a sudden melee of plot twists,we find out that Prell,Warner,Laughing Crow,and even the island's police are in actuality modern cannibals preparing for a Saturnalia feast they hold every seven years,and that the hokey white yeti is just a suit(really?)they use for their fiendish games.Is the last remaining student inducted into their flesh-eating cult by sharing his girlfriend's meat with the partygoers?Or is he resigned to trimming shrubbery around campus,while mumbling to himself and peering up mini-skirts? The ending is left up to you. My daughter's future lemonade stands will have a bigger budget than this flick did,but between the interesting story,the laughable acting,surprisingly sparse gore for a 70's exploitation film such as this one,and the toe-tapping rhythms of one-hit wonder,Hot Butter and "Popcorn",I highly recommend this guitly classic/sleeper to anyone who can appreciate low budget gems that have a little heart behind 'em,even if it may be tied to a tree as bait for cannibals in yeti suits.See it.
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From the worst blizzard in New York state history comes the...yeah,whatever the hell he's supposed to be.
Three out of four B.W.'s

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