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Forgotten 70's Grindhouse Sleaze: Scream Bloody Murder (1973)

Scream Bloody Murder definitely starts with a wallop that truly can be found nowhere other than 1970’s Gonzo-esque film making.

The 70’s were such a “wild west” days for films.

People were churning out the most brutal, savage and sleazy movies they could think of.

Audiences, especially drive-in audiences, demanded quick and brutal movies.

Crowds were eating up the gore and sleaze.

Producers realizing they could cash in were throwing small amounts of cash at anyone willing to shoot and cut a movie about anything taboo.

Movies were meant to be quick and never let up from start to finish.

Word is, when an audience got bored by a movie at a drive-in they would honk their horns and flash their headlights.

Sam Raimi took this idea to heart when making his Evil Dead movie.

He knew he was making a trash movie and knew that it would be making the rounds in drive-ins.

So that's why once that movie starts rolling it seldom lets up.

Honestly, a lot of movies now a days could benefit from this ideology.

Too many horror movies are stretched out unnecessarily to the 80-90 minute mark just so it fits in the movie theatre format.

I guess people feel cheated if they aren’t getting at least an hour and a half worth for their money.


I’d rather be in a theatre for 40 minutes and pay the same as a 3 hour movie if it meant trimming the fat.

Anyway, enough of my rambling.

Getting back to what I said about this movie starting with a wallop. The first scene starts with a farmer riding his tractor while his son watches on.

Something happens and the farmer hops off to investigate only to have his son stroll on board, take the control and roll over his old man.

This is going to sound offenve but the boy’s acting was pretty rough here.

He somehow managed to look…well…how to put this in PC terms….globally delayed?

Search the term and I’m sure you’ll find the dreaded “R” word I’m implying here.

Not dreaded by me.

I use that shit daily.

Anyway, after the dad is mowed down by the tractor somehow the boy falls off and loses an arm.

How the fuck did that happen anyway?

When he fell we could see he only fell to the de yet somehow his arm managed to get stuck under the track.

The track that is continuous from the start to the end of the tractor.

I won’t even try here as we’re only like 30 seconds in.

No need to get worked up so soon, Carl.

After that scene we find out Matthew was sent to a mental hospital (Holy fuck a lot of people end up in mental hospitals, are released and kill a bunch of people.)

He decides to return home where his mother has just remarried much to the shittyness of Matthew.

Must be noted, Matthew’s voice is a bit fem for me.

After being married Mac, the new man, and Daisy - Matthew’s mom- are chatting up the attendees.

One guy says to Mac, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do...In that case, nothing” Oh you clever, greasy bastard you.


Daisy says something to the affect, “What does he mean?” to which Mac replies, “Oh...I’ll tell you later”.

Nothing says fisting like a retort like that.

It must be noted here.

Matthew’s hair rages on and on with it’s bad self.

Only the 70's would accept that.

Daisy and Mr Parsons are also on a milar level.

How the fuck did any dude get laid in the 70's with those hair styles and those fuckin’ moustaches.

So later Mac takes Daisy outde where he decides to attempt to pressure her into outdoor sex.

Now I’m not into the peer pressure aspect of Mac here but Daisy response of “That’s no way for a newlywed couple to act” is a bit unrealistic.

Kelly and I had copious amounts of intercourse during our Toronto honeymoon.

People fuck, ya know.

I must note that I hate the actor playing Mac.

He’s terrible.

When Matthew comes along to put an end to Mac’s bullshit, he lets out the lamest “Help me’s” you’ve ever heard.

He’s all out of breath in one section even though he moved about 10 feet.

Anyway, Matthew takes out Mac here.

There must be some cuts because the scenes are a bit jerky.

The gore seems misng.

So I wonder if that longer cut exists or not.

Matthew tries to explain to his mother why he killed Mac.

He says she won’t have to let him touch her anymore.

She responds with “I wanted him to touch me” and Matthew says “No you didn’t you hate it!”

Yeah, things got all fuckin’ awkward here.

Matthew shoves his mom down and she dies when her head hits the rocks.

The most terrible dubbing comes in with Daisy’s monotone “oh’s” and “ow’s”.

I’m getting annoyed, impatient but I’m still intrigued.

Damn 70's gonzo cinema captivates me every time.

So Matthew decides to book it out of town and hitches a ride with a young couple.

They travel a while asking inane questions and then decide to stop off for some horse play in some natural springs.

While frolicking, Matthew sees the couple as Mac and Daisy and proceeds to kill them both.

Sure, the sound and visuals lead to effective atmosphere, but I’m long interest.

There’s not much happening here storywise.

Matthew takes off in the car but has problems driving and he’s still tripping out.

He lands in town at some hippy, painter girls place.

He strikes up a conversation and leads straight to asking if he can stay with her.

Gotta love the 60's and 70's.

No other time after these decades would an introductory conversation between two people lead to one asking to stay with the other.

Can you imagine striking up a conversation with a fellow customer at McDonald’s and ending the 45 second conversation with “So, can I live with you?”

Yeah fuckin’ right.

You’d have 3 heavy hitting, meathead cops on your ass literally and figuratively.

After some more disappointing banter for Matthew, a sailor rolls up on Vera’s (the hippy) shore.

He talks about a friend and wonders if he can hang for a bit.

It’s obvious Vera does the hibbidy-dibbidy for cash.

Yeah, she’s a free spirited prostitute.

Is that an oxymoron?

Dunno but it might fit here.

Anyway, Matthew is ignored and Vera goes on with sailor.

Matthew has a break down outde, cuts up Vera’s painting and waits like a creep.

Eventually, sailor heads out only to be confronted by a raging Matthew.

Matthew kills the sailor.

The gore here is as hokey as it gets but the mood is right enough for me to ignore the corn syrup, cutless blood effects.

So Matthew heads back to see Vera and he lies and says the sailor destroyed her picture so Matthew followed him and gave him a “what for” with the hopes of gaining her trust.

He does and they begin to bond.

Matthew and Vera talk about this and that and bacally the convo leads to Matthew deciding to find himself a house to confiscate.

He finds a suitable house, tells the maid that his car broke down and need to use the phone and then he proceeds to kill the maid and the old lady that the maid works for.

The gore again is shitty at best but of note here is the old lady.

She had two canes and can barely walk but when attacked by Matthew she turns into a fucking Jedi or something and gives Matthew a decent fight.

In the most disturbing scene yet, Matthew takes the dog living in the home, puts him on the table and kills him.

Not necessary for any film.

Like Kane Hodder once said to a director who wanted him dressed as Jason Vorhees to kick a dog, “Jason is bad but he ain’t that bad” Tou chez, Moneur Hodder.

Anyway, Mattyboy takes Vera to his new home and tries to convince her to stay.

She doesn’t want to so he attacks and ties her up and makes her stay.

This is the point of the movie where everything starts to lose any kind of steam it had.

There’s many scenes that just go nowhere.

Scenes between Matthew and Vera and scenes with Vera trying to escape drag on and on.

One scene of note: Matthew boots Vera down the stairs and she falls a dark stairwell and when she lands it appears she has landed in a completely different room.

My first good laugh of what’s turning into a pretty dreary movie.

So Matthew starts to rob random people so he has money for things for Vera.

Again, nothing of note here and just a bunch of scenes that go nowhere.

Someone knocks on the door, Matthew kills them.

Vera still captured so on and so on and so on.

My attention is waning.

I’m fighting off urges to search ebay for movies to spend my Paypal money on.

Vera’s last attempt at escape is to try to seduce Matthew.

Matthew’s mommy-complex kicks in and things start getting weird.

He sees his mother again and rage takes over and he starts choking Vera.

Vera breaks free and tries to run out front.

In clasc slasher fashion, somehow when she opens the door Matthew is there and he viciously stabs and kills her.



Matthew’s vions of his mother start up again.

I will admit, the make-up, lighting , sounds and camera lens enhancements here are amply creepytastic.

I don’t know what it is about a witch sounding laugh and ugly make up that sends chills through me.

So yeah, Matthew runs through the city trying to escape his mother but no matter where he turns, there she is.

Matthew runs into the only last place of hope, The Church but is still followed by Mommy and now all the others he’s killed.

They all close in on him and he gives into the vion of his mother by slashing his own stomach open and dragging himself to the church altar to die.

Cool pan out shot from the altar backwards past the pews to the front of the church.

FACT! -This movie was originally filmed in 1971 but sat on the shelves for 2 years.

Wrap Up: Not 100% sure I liked this one.

Not 100% sure I didn’t like it.

Scream Bloody Murder oozes 70's grimy, grindhouse cinema.

There was obviously very little money spent on the movie yet it somehow works.

The scenes that got me the most were the vions of Daisy and the overtly mean kills.

I mean come on...why the dog...he wasn’t even vicious.

I can envion 70's crowds at the drive-ins across the land loving this one.

Sure the last 40 years of the film world have made it seem tame but back then, I’m sure there was shock and awe by some crowds.

With how many movies from this era of film making that still have a following, I’m surprised more isn’t said about this one.

Does it deserve a big, extended, cleanup DVD/Blu-Ray Combo pack release? Probably not.

Does it deserve to be forgotten.

Probably not.

If Crazy Fat Ethel has a release and a following then this one definitely should.

Too bad it slipped into public domain and now no one will care to release anything other than chopped up, poorly lit copies.

Direction: 4/10 - Certainly nothing of note other than the vion of Daisy scenes.

Performances: 3/10 - Severely wooden and untalented actors litter the screen.

Not surpring that most never appeared in much after this one.

Effects: 3/10 - I would have given a two but gave 3 for the make-up on the Daisy vions.

Script: 4/10 - Good ol’ crazy man with a momma complex starts killing.

Pretty standard stuff.

Maybe when it was filmed in 1971 it was edgy but not so much now.

Pacing: 5/10 - It does ok.

Sure it drags in the middle but I guess you had to build some sort of relationship between Matthew and Vera.

It could have been handled with more intenty.

Overall 4 / 10 - It’s not one I’ll revit anytime soon but it was a nice, genuine grindhouse time waster from the 70's.

I’d much rather watch something from those categories instead of something made in the

00's involving slasher/comedy with a

zero budget made by assholes that think it’s a good idea to make an intentionally shitty, lame humor movie just because they loved them when they were kids.

Alternate artwork:

Asmodeus Wednesday 10/03/2012 at 04:31 PM | 96818