Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

Ostensibly a Bigfoot flick but really just a psycho-killer/Satanic-cult gorefest made in the trashy Herschell Gordon Lewis style, Shriek of the Mutilated is completely devoid of redeeming qualities. The acting is atrocious, the storyline is moronic, and the thrills are nonexistent. The picture even fails as an excessive splatter movie, because the special makeup effects are amateurish. Following a few random vignettes that get the movie off to a disjointed, uninteresting start, the story proper begins when college professor Dr. Ernst Prell (Alan Brock) organizes a group of students for an expedition into the woods where a Yeti has allegedly been sighted. (Why a Yeti and not just Bigfoot, since the picture is set in America rather than Asia?) Prell loads a group of bland young adults into a van and schleps them to the remote home of his colleague, Dr. Karl Werner (Tawm Ellis). Karl’s a strange cat who’s balding on top but wears a graying ponytail, and he favors creepy ensembles of turtlenecks and way-too-tight pants. He’s also prone to florid lines like, “Your Yeti waits for you still, Ernst.” Before long, the college students start getting killed during attacks by a “monster” who’s really just a dude wearing a gorilla suit that seems like it’s made out of white shag carpeting, some pasty makeup, and a pair of dime-store Dracula fangs. It turns out the doctors are actually cultists who lure students to the woods, dress up like Yetis to scare them, and then kill the students for pagan rituals. This plot “justifies” close-ups of decapitated heads and dismembered limbs, none of which have any shock value—more like schlock value. Literally the only amusing moment in the whole movie is the scene during which one of the college students sits at the piano and croons a ditty he’s written about the situation: “On the prowl, hear him howl, here comes the Yeti now!”

Shriek of the Mutilated: SQUARE


Will Errickson said...

This Bigfoot thing not workin' out for ya, huh?

By Peter Hanson said...

It gets better (though only moderately so) toward the weekend. But, yeah, trudging through Sasquatch dung not as much fun as one might think.