Monday, November 27, 2017

Scream Bloody Murder (1973)

One imagines the creators of this unpleasant horror flick compiling a laundry list of repellent scenes, then stringing together a storyline that could support all of those scenes, no matter how sketchy the narrative connections. Scream Bloody Murder, also known as The Captive Female, begins with a weird, gauzy vignette on a farm. A little boy climbs onto a tractor, runs over a man (presumably his father), then falls off the tractor and recoils when the machine crushes one of the boy’s hands. Years later, adult Matthew (Fred Holbert), who has a hook in place of his missing hand, exits the mental hospital where he’s spent the intervening years, then travels home to surprise his mother, who has remarried. Seeing her with another man drives Matthew mad, so he kills them. Hitting the road, Matthew travels with a young couple until they become affectionate with each other, at which point he kills them, too. Never mind the filmmakers’ failure to explain why seeing people in love triggers Matthew’s psychosis. Eventually, Matthew makes his way to a California beach town, where he becomes obsessed with Vera (Leigh Mitchell), an artist who moonlights as a prostitute. Through circumstances too involved to describe here, he takes her captive inside a mansion, leading to kinky psychodrama—as in Matthew walking Vera on a leash, and so on. Most of Scream Bloody Murder is grubby and sluggish, but a few scenes, particularly the very end, have a modicum of style. Ultimately, one hopes the filmmakers got all the darkness out of their systems—it’s sobering to imagine how much damage this level of hatred toward women could have done if channeled in other directions. FYI, this picture is not to be confused with the 1974 release Scream Bloody Murder (a/k/a My Brother Has Bad Dreams).

Scream Bloody Murder: LAME


Destination Nightmare said...

This is a Grindhouse Classic! Matthew had a total Oedipal complex with his mom and Vera both played in this movie by the same actress Leigh Mitchell
The director Mark B. Ray also wrote the screenplay for "The Severed Arm"

Guy Callaway said...

'The First Motion Picture To Be Called Gore-nography!!!'

Can't question that, though it was eventually trumped by 1976's 'Hardgore'.