Title: Scream Bloody Murder a.k.a Claw of Terror a.k.a. Matthew a.k.a The Captive Female (1973)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
My Tagline: “And people thought the murderer in Sling Blade was crazy.”
Body Count: 11 people, 1 dog
Favorite Quote: “Know what I mean?”
Plot Synopsis: What if Kevin Bacon and Clint Eastwood had a bastard love child who for no apparent reason loved murder and inexplicably had some serious issues with women? It is this scenario that the obviously disturbed people behind “Scream Bloody Murder” explored. The movie begins when, for no reason at all, our young hero murders his father with a bulldozer and runs over his own hand. Now I’m no farmer but do you really plow an empty field with a bulldozer? And shouldn’t he have run over his right hand so he could kill people with his left or “sinister” hand? Though they did give him hook-hand so I guess that’s something. As I said there is no motivation given for his actions though I like to think the kid walked in on his parents having rough sex. This idea coupled with repressed guilt over killing so many people might account for some of his psychosis but at no point is even an attempt to understand this mammary-phobic Momma murdering Matthew made. So little Matt gets sent off to the loony bin not to return home until he is…well they don’t say what age he is supposed to be but he’s clearly in his twenties. It just so happens he comes home on the day his mother remarries with some redneck. This doesn’t sit well with Matthew and he goes a little crazy with an axe…well a lot crazy with an axe. This sends him on the run and not two hours after leaving home the next morning the dude kills two more people. With five dead and a child disfigured within the first twenty minutes I was starting to worry this movie was going to be a blood bath. Things calm down just a bit though as ol’ Matty makes a hooker friend named Vera, or as he later insists on calling her, Daisy. After some more murder Matthew kidnaps Vera and holds her hostage in a mansion he has taken over. Daisy doesn’t take to this new living arrangement too well and outsiders eventually play their part to interfere. Matthew’s world implodes in on itself finally culminating in a bizarre and disorienting scene in a random church. One thing I’ll say for this movie is that it slowly gets progressively crazier without peaking in the middle and just when you think things can’t get any more crazy BAM! There’s something crazier.
“I feel like a dog on a leash.”
I find the character Vera a little funny in that she seems completely incapable of gauging people and must be totally unafraid of harm. She only charged twenty bucks for what must have been hours of sex (I have to pay that much just to get a girl to touch me) and seems degradingly comfortable with her lifestyle. I find the actress who plays Vera a bit funny in that despite the fact she was willing to play a hooker, agreed to be bound and gagged for hours on end, spends a significant portion of the movie running around in just a towel, and at one point is indeed bare-ass naked we never see a nipple or ass. These are staples of slasher films and their absence in a movie where we are forced to watch poor woman jump around a house while hogtied and dial a turn-style phone with her tongue (I see why she became a hooker) seems just a little strange to me. Maybe it was a crew choice over actor’s choice. I don’t know but even while in production they had to know they were on a sinking ship and the only way to get some floatation was to throw in some nice bazongas. With fully clothed bondage you’re only appealing to a niche market and if you want to fill those seats you need universally appealing T&A.
Review: Those who will especially enjoy this movie are those who really like bad acting and bizarre characters. This is a standard variable in the equation for fun-bad movies but in this area “Scream Bloody Murder” triumphs. The death scenes are hilarious and I would argue are among the best, or worst depending on how you look at it, in movie history. Apparently a human’s skin is as fragile as tissue paper and our bones have the compressive strength of peanut brittle. Our bodies contain maybe four ounces worth of blood, mostly kept in a small pouch in our mouth, that once lost instantly kills us. And we don’t struggle to survive or anything. Once we are injured we’re dead. Now maybe I’m spoiled but I just can’t believe people used to watch things with such lousy film quality. It was like wearing someone else’s prescription glasses. I don’t know what they were going for at the first of the movie but it looked terrible. The look improved over time but unfortunately the writing did not. And that Matthew guy is one fucked up little dude. Overall I’d say it was incompetently produced and very stupid but I would recommend it to other bad movie fans. So get out there and watch it.
Questions: -Just what he hell was Matthew’s problem anyway?
-So was Daisy his Mom’s name or something? And her hair was black so why was he so instantly drawn to the redheaded hooker?
-Wasn’t his mom a little young to have such an old kid? And her new husband said he was going to explain all about sex that night but she’s already had a kid so shouldn’t she already be familiar with the mechanics?
-Why the hell was Vera so stupid and trusting? And wouldn’t she make more money working a regular job if being a hooker meant being paid twenty bucks for half a day’s work?
-And wasn’t that the most persistent candy salesman ever?
-Didn’t Matthew seem a little too well educated for just being released from a mental hospital? I mean, he went there before he even hit puberty but he knew how to drive and was friendly with people and everything.