100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Twenty-Three -"The Severed Arm!"

Wow, am I tired.

I apologize for the brevity of this post but I'm off to my wife's company picnic and have limited time.

Last night's film, "Drag Me To Hell," was great. All I ever expected from Sam Raimi was there - violence, disgusting sights, quick action-oriented jump cuts ... It was great.

Tonight's movie, however ... is not.

The Severed Arm (1973): Directed by Thomas Alderman. Starring Deborah Walley, Paul Carr, Marvin Kaplan, others.

The Skinny: One of a spate of bad 70s-era exploitation films that are now in the public domain and can be found on any number of compilations. I don’t know who the main star is exactly but the film follows a group of cave explorers who become trapped. As they debate their situation and hunger sets in, they decide to hack off the arm of one randomly chosen victim and eat it. Just after the act is accomplished, however, they are rescued. Now, years later, each of the men who ate of the arm are being killed off one by one.

What’s Good: I own this POS and I only recall watching it once, but I do have some recollection of it, and despite poor (almost non-existent) lighting and shitty dialogue there are actual moments of disturbing horror. When it decided to eat the limb, there is madness and bedlam, most of it in darkness. As the men are picked off one by one, however, it becomes standard stalker fare.

What’s Bad: When I went to IMDB to check the date of production, some of the reviews said things like: “utter crap,” “junk with a capital J,” and others even less friendly. And, I cannot refute them. There is a scene where Marvin Kaplan (of “Alice” fame) is talking to one of the other survivors. In one cute, he is wearing a monstrosity of a polyester pantsuit in lime green. The camera cuts to the person he’s talking to briefly. When it then jumps back to Kaplan, he is wearing the exact same suit, only now it is ORANGE. After a second series of cuts, he is back to the green suit. Now … come on, dude. That’s so fucking bad you want to believe it was intentional. But I really think the costume person – nay, more than half the production team – were a little too high on the groovy 70s.

Why We Like It: Hmmmm … well, I like shitty cinema when it’s done right (if that makes any sense). But this polished turd, I am not too sure about.

Memorable Stuff: All of the above scenes I mentioned are the only things I remember about it, so it must not have left much of an impression on me. We’ll get back to you on all that.