Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shriek of the Mutilated - 1974

I'm listening to the omitted song "Popcorn" by the band Hot Butter as I read this.  Early Moog songs have a kind of simplicity to them.  This track is definitely a forerunner to techno music, disco, Kraftwerk, etc.  It may not have been the first, but it was probably one of the first real hits.  I guess.  So Wikipedia tells me.  This song was omitted from Shriek because of rights issues, obviously.  It's a sad day when the song you put in your movie goes on to be better known than your movie...  But it's also quite common.

So now I switched to Kraftwerk.  We Are The Robots.  Are you, Kraftwerk?  Ah, simplicity.  Getting back to Shriek, I guess that's why I'm here.  Shriek of the Mutilated.  So what if the yeti just caps a dude?  Bangs him into a rock, tosses him off a cliff?  Since he's not mutilated, does he get to shriek?  Common sense would say yes, the title of the movie might say no though.  It's a question that must, must be answered.  Did I mention that the villain in this is a yeti?  It's a yeti.  Also apparently known as just "Mutilated" and "Scream of the Snowbeast"

I guess my crisis of faith isn't really an issue.  I think I am now determined to just approach movies with a more open mind.  Like this movie.  I found myself entertained in an odd way while watching this.  This movie is just so over the top in virtually every way.  First of all it has completely unconnected scenes in it.  Scenes that aren't related to anything.  In the beginning for example, some guy slits a woman's throat, but she survives long enough to electrocute him while he's in the bath.  Completely unnecessary, unrelated scene. Also, the post-production of this added a few dubbed lines that are completely fake.

The editing is one of those jobs as well where you could honestly have filmed the scenes years apart, in another country.  You never see where anything is in relation to anything else.  It's like you see a woman, cut to a bloody body (with completely different lighting and everything) then cut back to her reacting as if she just saw said body.  Another thing is that this movie has some truly odd characters.  First there's the "Indian" guy Laughing Crow who is supposedly insane, there's Dr. Prell, who leads this exhibition to the outdoors trying to find a yeti, and leads this thing every seven years (?) apparently.  I really don't know what to tell ya.

So basically Prell takes some students out to find the yeti.  The students get killed.  Then randomly in one scene some average sized white thing appears out of nowhere and runs up to some dude and kills him.  First of all, a yeti running is just hardly imaginable.  We imagine the abominable snowman, we always picture him big and lumbering.  Although, size is usually not excluding speed so in a way it almost makes sense that he should be fast.  He has to catch other animals to survive, if he exists, remember that.  But he's also quite small, kinda just looks like a big dog or something.
"Good boy!  Doggie go walkies?"

At this point yeti's had been mentioned, sure.  We were kind of expecting to see one, yes.  But the way the yeti first appears, that sequence - it's done in such a way where we are not sure what that white thing was, and what we just saw at all.  The scene comes completely out of nowhere and it's not led up to, and it's extremely anti-climactic.  As I saw it my initial reaction was "there's no way that was the yeti just now because that scene was so stupid".

But the movie, somehow, wasn't all that bad.  Incoherent at times, sure!  Cheaply made, thrown together, with no real actors - why, of course!  Directed by a director who made a rated-X film called "Snuff" about snuff films, as well as had a history in porn?  Double YES!  One of my favorite things ever is to put the movie's volume on mute and play music in the background while I watch it.  For this movie I'd recommend Kraftwerk Computerwelt.  The dialogue doesn't fucking matter anyways.  

For being slightly weird, very grade Z, yet approachable.  For being a good movie to put on if you're tired or if you're in a wacky mood.  For being a movie about a yeti, for all of these I guess it can have 2.5 stars.

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