Shriek of the Mutilated at the Tar Heel

TAR-HEEL-10-25-74

10-25-74
I have been going on about the interesting and the weird, but now it’s onto an area where the Scene has not ventured into until now…Yeti-sploiation.

Made at the very tail end of the career of Michael and Roberta Findlay, Shriek of the Mutilated is remembered for being one of those films which made it clear that things were not as inspired for the Diabolic duo of Exploitation as before – this was the team behind excellent slabs of New York city Roughie Madness as Take Me Naked that possibly made people wonder about the sanity of the film makers. The turn of the decade was not too kind to their abilities as film makers as they decided to try their skills on Horror in Color as the market for the Black and White Roughies they excelled in was getting dryer by the second after 12:01 AM on Jan. 1, 1970 and The Slaughter, a Manson-inspired film made in Argentina that got turned into Snuff when it was sold to Monarch Distribution with an altered ending that gained all the fame, was kind of a non-starter even with the X rating although it has some kind of demented Home Movie charm that must have worked in aged theaters either with a group of crazies in the audience or in an audience with an attendance low enough to make the viewer worry about an attack. Shriek of the Mutilated was even worse, as the take of College students in search of the Yeti was mainly like watching paint dry even with the wall to wall 70’s fashions, the Findlay-style use of Classical music throughout, and the use of the hit song “Popcorn” although the final 15 Minutes was something to watch if you were awake by then, especially if you kind of get into those Scooby Doo type moments with some kind of Cult thing thrown in when you find out the mystery and wanted things to be a bit off the rails.

The theatrical plays it got were very limited and were seriously stuck in second/third level Drive In Hell and the few indoors screens desperate for anything to play. Its appearance at the Tar Heel in High Point, NC, is a magical one as it was a Drive In that pumped out the Indie Horror, Regional Horror, and Nudie flicks (some hosted in the Late 70’s by it’s Kitten Club, it’s Sexploitation night with the titles not published in the paper) with only a few weekends for Mainstream fare  – most importantly one in the Carolinas where these were all around through the 60’s and 70’s. I will have more on this theater a little later, although you might have had already had a taste of what it was about in the 70’s through other posts here.

Shriek of the Mutilated is one of those titles in Exploitation movie history that was something to watch at least once, most preferably on shows like The Ghoul where you can enjoy the madness of the host while wondering where in the hell the film actually played. Distributed by American Films Limited, certainly no relation to the Stan Borden company known for unleashing such Findlay epics such as The Curse of Her Flesh and Take Me Naked, this went out with Moonchild on several of it’s few First Run showings. Lightning Video, the tape where Screen first saw this (I think I MIGHT have seen it on The Ghoul in 1983…).

And to start things off, you will see a very familiar face – think Richard Jennings, and you will know.

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~ by screen13 on December 26, 2015.

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