I teased it a couple of times, so why not, let’s go down deep into the yeti hole by fishing out cult exploitation crapfest Shriek of The Mutilated, a classic go-to for fans of the cinematic abysmal, a common territory for most movies about the legendary humanoid cryptid Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti, as the poor bastard it’s quite popular fodder for bad movies regardless of decade.
This is some primo shlock, coming from Michael Findlay and his wife Roberta Finlay, both infamous exploitation directors and producers behind many erotic and horror films, but i’d wager you most likely know them for the rather infamous Snuff from 1975, aka them riding the rumors around the existence of actual snuff films, marketing Snuff itself as a real snuff movie and making it about non-Charles Manson guiding around his cult followers into a killing spree.
But that would happen a year later, in 1974 they were releasing this specific kind of low budget exploitation crap about a group of students brought by their professor to the mountains, where they search for the legendary Yeti.
But instead they get killed one by one, leading to what it’s admittely a kinda cool and gruesome twist, with some surprising similarities to M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, but leading to a completely different ending.
I wouldn’t spoil the ending itself in cases like these, but it’s the only thing worth discussing about the movie that actually makes it sound a tiny less shit… and it’s basically already spoiled by the main poster of the movie, there isn’t another twist to it, so yeah, the yeti thing it’s a ruse by a cannibal cult to obtain human flesh to feast on. It’s the Blood Feast thing again, and they’re quite picky for cannibals too, since they prefer the bodies to not be bruised and rather scare them to death, but are also incredible cheapskates, as the “yeti suit” it’s unbelievably cheap it has be seen.
Though that it’s deliberately made hard to do, as the suit it’s so embarassing it wouldn’t even be fit for a frat prank, let alone a straigh faced horror movie, but it’s there regardless.
Heck, most of the scenes are so absurd and bad they have to be witnessed, like the one where the ex-college student with ‘Nam style PSTD of the yeti encounters eventually snaps at home and slashes his wife with a carving knife… but she won’t have it, as she survives just enough to crawl on the floor, dragging along a toaster, plug it into the wall socket and push into the bathtub where her husband is resting.
Magical stuff indeed, even more as it’s random as it sounds like.
Just complety random, tacky, any excuse to imply violence but having to cut away and sprinkle cheap fake blood into something from off-screen will do for Shriek Of The Mutilated. Or have a chill 70s party with the track Popcorn in the background, only to have it edited out for the DVD release due to copyrights bullshit. That and the “italian-native american” mentally challenged (and mute) servant-housekeeper Laughing Crow, every mountain residence has one of those!
Seriously, this movie has it all…that you may want from a cult shlockfest: the acting it’s so awful it’s downright hilarious, same goes for the dialogue, the incredily cheap special “effects” and the editing, coupled with low budget “delicacies” such as occasional echo-ish audio, stock music, actors frequently pausing their dialogues as if reading from an invisible script page on set (one paragraph at the time), disembodied voice lines clearly redubbed later rivaling the notorious “Watch out for snakes!”, abrupt cuts to characters already mid-sentence, day for night shots, etc.
But the production values are nothing compared to the total incompetence on everything, hilarious incompetence, that does actually make this a so-bad-its-good flick, a cult film for the ages and the lovers of trash cinema, even more if you’re into that specific brand of 70’s bigfoot sleaze garbage.
It sure has some funk to it, though not of the disco variety, and true to the title there is both mutilation and shrieks, the latter mostly all done by one actress.
The “shriek queen”, if you will.
But as i – and others – know, this is not the real “bigfoot abyss”, there’s even worse and cheaper to be found in the bowels of trash cinema…