“Well, we’re just working with a homicidal maniac — that’s all.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
… and he argues that while the “picture has camp value, to be sure” he “wonders about Lewis cultists who thrill to no-holds-barred violence and disgusting images”.
He ends his review by noting that “if you detest horror films that show how many shocking ways a creative sadist can do away with young women, then Lewis is the man you’ll want to blame and this is the film you’ll want to burn”.
While Peary’s points are all valid, I believe this flick holds more camp value than he gives it credit for. Its ineptitude on multiple levels is so extreme that personally, I couldn’t help giggling throughout its short (60-minute-plus) running time; and while the graphic violence against women is reprehensible, it’s all so shoddily done that — unlike with more recent/modern fare — you simply won’t believe any of it for a second. Along those lines, I’m genuinely puzzled by Peary’s assertion that cultists “want to know exactly how Lewis accomplishes the famous effect” — considered to be “the picture’s highlight” — in which “Ramses rips a tongue out of a woman’s mouth”, given that we simply see Ramses (Arnold) putting his hand in a screaming woman’s red-paint-filled mouth, then a separate shot of Ramses holding up a (sheep’s) tongue covered with red paint. Where’s the mystery, exactly, in how this shoddy “effect” was achieved?
Ultimately, this movie is on a par with what today’s 12-year-olds could easily achieve — and whether it should still be considered “must see” viewing is a point of debate. However, I’m leaning on the “yes” side simply due to its historical relevance for ushering in the era of “splatter films” (a dubious distinction to be sure, but a notable one). For much more information on the film’s Z-grade production history, be sure to listen to the director’s commentary on Something Weird’s DVD release.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: