Death By Cinema – 19 – Shriek of the Mutilated

“If I must just choose the method of my demise, I choose…

Britt

Death By Cinema!” -Britt Rhuart

Day 19 – Shriek of the Mutilated

So, a couple things about today’s film… when I was growing up, there was this cool Mom and Pop video store near my house. I went there a couple times a week as they had thousands of VHSs ranging from the most popular titles to the most obscure. Not only that, but rentals were $5 for 5 films for 5 days. That was an awesome deal. That place is gone now. I miss it dearly.

One of the tapes I often saw was for this film. For whatever reason, I never checked it out. I have no idea why. I dig the title. The cover had one of the better VHS horror covers I can think of. I love the Abominable Snowman. For whatever reason I passed it up and the place closed. Eventually, I found it referenced in some horror movie book as a very violent and very bad film. I now knew I wanted to see it, but had no means. Then, about 6 months ago, I picked up a box set called The Beast Box that had this and about 10 other films in it. I knew I was going to watch it, but I put it on the shelf. Now I’ve taken it off the shelf and you all have to read my opinions on the film. Lucky you.

Random Thoughts While Watching the Film:
The film opens in a very awkward and confusing manner. A guy gets his head cut off by an axe (literally just as the film starts, we cut to it as if in the middle of the scene). We then hear the shriek of the Yeti, then see him in a photo negative skulking around. I have no idea what that beginning indicates, though I bet we’ll see it again later in the movie.
There are two songs credited in the film: Popcorn by Hot Butter and Love Shriek by Mark Pines and DC Joy. Those are some great names and titles, hopefully the songs are fun.
Our heroes are not going to the Himalayas, they’re going to Boot Island to meet a professor who studied the Yetis. Boot Island is a stupid name.
There’s a montage of a party scene with a bad rock instrumental behind it. What do you want to bet this is either Popcorn or Love Shriek?
This one dude, Spencer, seems weirdly opposed to the idea of the field trip. Not the trip to Boot Island in specific, just field trips in general.
It’s really hard to hear any of the characters speaking over the music. Bad Foley!
Spencer keeps muttering his insanity. I have no idea why he’s even at this party. He’s obviously nuts though. It’s also really hard to hear what he’s saying as well, even with no music.
Ok, so they’re trying to simulate snow in this picture, but they do it by just turning the contrast up, so everything looks white and shitty. Also, it’s clearly not snow because, even though the character is crawling through the “snow”, he’s clearly crawling through leaves and pine needles.
I just realized that all the student characters look exactly like Scooby-Doo characters. Seriously, they have Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Shaggy… if a Great Dane shows up, I’m gonna lose it.
Spencer slits his wife’s throat (she somehow still manages to scream though) and she bleeds the most metallic looking blood I’ve ever seen. He then sits in a bathtub, fully dressed, and drinks a beer while he half heartedly starts to scrub the blood off his clothes. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! His wife somehow survives briefly and drags herself around the house, grabs a toaster, drags herself back to the bathroom and throws the toaster in the bath, killing Spencer in the most fake looking shock death I’ve ever seen, dying with an open mouth full of beer. BTW, this is never referenced again in the film, nor does it have anything to do with the rest of the plot, so… why’s it here?!?
Holy crap, the Gang has a Mystery Machine! Literally a microbus the drive in covered in flower stickers.
Actual line: “Sonny boy, I make it a practice never to interfere with folks when they’re bound and determined to get someplace. Cause no matter what I say, they’re bound to get there, and they’re bound to get what they went there for. May not make much sense to you; makes sense to me.” Doesn’t make sense to me, either.
Say what you like about this film, that man made waterfall in the background is cool.
The creepy Professor, Dr. Prell, has a creepy friend named Dr. Werner. Who will out creep the other?!?
The overhead shot as the group enters the house tells me that the director thought he was hot shit, but guess what, he wasn’t.
Wait… I just looked it up on IMDb… the director is MICHAEL FINDLAY, director of The Touch of Her Flesh! NOOOOOOOOO! JR, tell ‘em how I feel! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNgxyL5zEAk)
Wow, Laughing Crow is the most fake Native American I’ve ever seen. Literally, it’s a white dude with his shirt off, a bit of face paint, and one lone feather on the back of his head.
Actual song from Shaggy: “People say that he’s downright nasty, he’s mean and he’s gruesome. He’ll make your threesome into a twosome. Now is your chance to make a break, don’t let a moment go to waste. On the prowl, hear him howl, here comes the Yeti now!”
Dr. Werner had no personality whatsoever. Just the most bland line readings ever.
I don’t know why there’s a Yeti in North America. It could be a Sasquatch, but they keep insisting it’s a Yeti.
They just showed the monster in the distance behind the trees. It is a crappy white fur suit.
Why is that Velma girl sleeping in her glasses? For that matter, why is Daphne sleeping in full makeup? BTW, I’ve just gonna call them their Scooby names.
Zoinks! The Yeti appears and kills Shaggy. That Yeti looks like the drizzling shits.
So, to simulate the sunrise, they just altered the contrast again. That is lazy and cheap as all get out.
And now Dr. Warner is creeping on Velma, hitting on her even though her boyfriend Shaggy is missing, though really dead.
Actual line: Velma: “I can’t see without my glasses.” That’s exactly what Velma would say!
Actual line: Describing Laughing Crow: “Unfortunately, the tribe doesn’t believe in Yetis, and after severely beating him and cutting his tongue muscle out, they cast him out of the tribe.” Jesus, that’s harsh.
So, Daphne just found Shaggy’s leg and… it’s pretty decently gory. Good amount of blood, plus we see the patella sticking out of the skin.
Velma lost her damn glasses after the gang split up! Classic Velma. Now, she’s running bling and her leg’s trapped in some rocks. The Yeti comes and… so long Velma.
Daphne screams and loses her cool. It is hard to make out what she’s screaming. Prell punches her, which seems to calm her down. She then asks for the keys to the car, but they vote to stay. That’s stupid, why can’t they just let her leave and stay on their own?
Now they plan on using Shaggy’s leg to lure and trap the Yeti. Great loyalty to the memory of your friend, guys…
Actual line: Prell: “Karl, do you have a bear trap?” Werner: “No… I have a bear sized wolf trap!” … THEN YOU HAVE A GODDAMN BEAR TRAP, WERNER! Stop being an ass.
Now they want to use Velma’s body as bait. These people are just the worst. Except Daphne… at least she’s trying to be a decent human being.
We see Daphne go into the greenhouse and she tries to hide Velma’s body, but she find’s Shaggy’s instead. She then faints and we see it from her perspective, which is really jarring.
Fred just yelled at Daphne, they argued, and Fred said they brought Daphne for a reason. What the hell reason?
So, they set a trap for the Yeti at night (despite some tracks are clearly during the daytime). They don’t see the Yeti until it’s 2 feet away and next to Daphne. Fred shoots at it and the Yeti runs off. He chases after it, following the sounds of it’s heartbeat (yeah, that’s a thing in this film). Until… Laughing Crow changes the audio to calliope music over a loudspeaker and Fred gets knocked out by a blow to the head? What’s happening now?
Laughing Crow then butchers Velma’s body to prepare her meat and… wait… no… they’re not… they’re not gonna… I just realized. There is no real Yeti… It was ol’ Doc Werner and Prell all along! Yes, they literally went for a Scooby Doo twist, implying there was no real monster, just these guys in a suit. Also, cannibalism.
There’s that fake Yeti. We see it’s face for the first time. It looks terrible. Like a guy with a furry wig, fake teeth, and a dollar store Santa beard.
The “Yeti” tries to scare Daphne to death… I guess because it’ll make her meat taste better when they cook her? She also runs across Velma’s body. Whoever did the dead person makeup… Kudos. It looks fake but very fun. Also, Laughing Crow comes out with the hatchet and dead person makeup and seems to scare Daphne to death.
BTW, they actually did do the reveal of Werner pulling off the Yeti mask to reveal himself underneath. We’ve gone full Doo at this point. Both Scooby and Doo meaning shit.
Fred goes for help, bringing a sheriff, but at the same time, the doctors have a set of guests from all around the world to feast on flesh. There’s a black dude in full headhunter gear. They’re pretty much a Satanic cult.
The others have brought bodies to eat as well, but all of them died in accidents, like a car crash or avalanche. This doesn’t make sense, because earlier Prell and Werner had to get bodies with no visible wounds on them. That’s why they scared Daphne to death.
Surprise, surprise, the cop is one of the cannibal crew.
Actual line: Fred: “This must be some kind of devil cult!”
The end here is just all exposition without conflict, with the cannibal crew telling Fred all about the history of their organization and filling in the plot holes. Even though these things he explain do not need to be explained, they can easily be inferred.
So, earlier in the film Fred went out to eat with Prell, and it’s revealed now he’s eaten human flesh. They also finally tell him that Daphne’s dead, finally. They bring in her corpse as the cannibals prepare to dig in. But they go after Fred instead, stabbing him with forks. They leave him alive, asking him to join their group and eat his girlfriend or they will kill and eat him.
These reactions of the cannibals at the end are by far the creepiest things about the film.
Actual last line: Laughing Crow: “Mr. Henshaw… white meat or dark?” He then cuts into Daphne’s body with an electric carving knife to end the film.

Okay… let’s start off. This film was bad. Very bad. Terrible even. But goddamn if this film wasn’t a ton of fun. It had enough violence to keep me entertained throughout, yet didn’t overdo it on the terrible gore. The fact that all the younger characters were blatant Scooby Doo rip-offs was cheesy, but fun. The plot twist was either brilliant, stupid, or some combination in between, but it made the film, as did the murderous ending of evil triumphing over good. The cinematography is not well done, particularly the way it uses in camera contrast to change from night to day and, worse still, fall to winter. The makeup is about what you’d expect from an extremely low budget film and a makeup artist with no real experience beyond face painting at a country fair.Really, I don’t know who to recommend this film to. Fans of really good horror films might hate this. I know Scooby fans would. However, if you like the exploitation genre and want a so-bad-it’s-good flick, this one’ll do you.

Tomorrow being the 20th, I’ll do part two of my Sleazemania review. See you then!

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