“The shriek of the mutilated!”
Listen, if there’s noting else that can be said about this 1974 film, Shriek of the Mutilated is a brilliant title. I mean, it’s not only catchy but it’s honest. The mutilated do tend to shriek. You see a title like that and how can you look away? How can you not watch just to see if the film itself lives up to the title? That’s the genius of the grindhouse right there. Promise a lot in the title. Even if the film fails to deliver, people will remember the title. Let’s be honest — I could say right now, “Shriek of the Mutilated is the worst movie ever made,” and the only thing you would hear me say is “Shriek of the Mutilated.”
Anyway, as for the film itself, it’s an Abominable Snowman film. There’s a lot of bigfoot films but Shriek of the Mutilated is one of the few films that I’ve ever seen about the Abominable Snowman. I’ve always wondered what makes the Snowman so abominable. I mean, did he just choose that name or was it forced upon him? Abominable doesn’t sound like a compliment so I’m going to guess that the Snowman was named that by someone who he owed money to. I imagine if the Snowman had his say, he’d prefer to be known as the “The Wonderful Snowman” or maybe “The Triumphant Snowman” but, because he must live his days in hiding, he’s been given no choice. It just doesn’t seem fair to me.
If it seems like I’m padding out this review, that’s because there’s more to Shriek of the Mutilated than just the Abominable Snowman but if I tell you too much about the plot, I’ll be spoiling the film. And before you say that there’s no way you’d ever watch this film in the first place so it doesn’t matter if I spoil it, allow me to point out that not only is Shriek of the Mutilated available on Prime but it’s also been included in a quite a few of those cheap Mill Creek box sets. So, chances are, you will be watching Shriek of the Mutilated at some point in your life. And I don’t want to spoil it for you. I want you to watch this film and shake your head and say, “What the Hell was that all about?”
Basically, a professor recruits four of his students to come search for the Snowman with him. The students agree, despite the fact that one of the professor’s former students warns them against it. As he explains it, he had a bright future until he joined the professor on one of his quests. Now, he’s the school janitor and he’s a drunk! That’s why the Snowman is abominable by the way. He ruins lives!
Anyway, the Snowman does kind of make an appearance but, far more important than the Snowman, is a plot twist that’s so silly and so stupid and so out-of-nowhere that it simply has to be seen to be believed. The entire film has a kind of “make it up as you go along” feel to it and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone just randomly thought up the twist in the middle of filming. And listen — the film looks incredibly cheap and the acting is terrible but that twist is such a “WTF” moment that I recommend watching the film just to experience it.
I also recommend the film just because of the Snowman. Check him out:
Shriek of the Mutilated was directed by Michael Findlay, who was one of the pioneers of the grindhouse cicruit. His best films — like the Flesh trilogy — achieve a sort of dream-like intensity. Even his worst films, like this one, are entertainingly weird. He also directed a film called Slaughter which achieved a certain infamy when the producer (without Findlay’s input) filmed some extra scenes, renamed the movie Snuff, and then advertised it as being an actual snuff film. Tragically, Findlay was killed in a helicopter accident in 1978 but his wife, Roberta, continued to direct movies through the 80s.
Shriek of the Mutilated is a frequently inept movie but it’s also strange enough that everyone should watch it at least once.