Shriek of the Mutilated
Before I saw Shriek of the Mutilated (1974), I considered Return to Boogy Creek as the worst Big Foot movie ever. Now I know how horribly wrong I was. Shriek of the Mutilated falls into the “so bad it’s good” category. Barely. It definitely helps to have a fondness for bad movies, the 70s, and booze when you decide to check Shriek of the Mutilated (1974).
The story involves Professor Prell leading a group of graduate students into the woods on a search for the Yeti. Said yeti apparently migrated from Nepal to the states during the 60s. Before they embark the professor throws a party, where one of his former students tells of his experience on a yeti hunt. He claims to be the only survivor, other than the professor and the experience has led him to becoming an alcoholic.
The kids pay him little mind, writing him off as an insane drunk. Later that night the former student attacks his wife with a knife and cuts her throat. With her last strength, she dumps a toaster in his bath tub where he is sitting fully clothed.
The students and professor head out to Boot Island home to the professor’s friend Dr. Warner and his mute Native American servant Laughing Crow. The island is also home to a yeti, trapped by the melting ice, they surmise.
They begin their search for the yeti and when two of the students are killed the professor suggests using the bodies as bigfoot bait. Things don’t go as planned as the yeti, which looks exactly like a man in a St Bernard suit, outsmart them.
spoilers for Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)
It turns out that the yeti is in fact, a man in a yeti suit. Ok, I was almost right. Professor Prell and Dr. Warner are in fact cannibals preparing for a large satanic celebration. The rules of their society call for the main course to die without a mark on their body. Thus the yeti ruse was all to scare one of the students to death.
Karen is captured and tormented while her boyfriend Keith, aka scared ass pussy, leaves her and runs for help. The local police are, of course, involved, and when Keith reaches them for help, he is trapped. Professor Prell offers to let him live to return to civilization to keep the yeti myth alive. Laughing Crow turns out to not only be the most offensive Native American character ever on film, but he isn’t even deaf. The movie ends with Laughing Crow asking “Dark meat or white” as Keith is about to be force-fed Karen.
Shriek of the Mutilated is really bad. It’s bad all the way through, on a level with Ed Woods most uninspired work. From the film and sound quality, to the non-existent acting, silly story and not very special effects. Seriously the rubber suit in Robot Monster has nothing on the yeti costume. There is some blood but it’s so silly that only the youngest kids would be shocked or bothered.
Most of the violence happens off-screen, and when it doesn’t, you kind of wish it did. One ludicrous scene near the end has the cannibal party goers holding Keith down. They stab him with their steely knives (actually forks and spoons but I couldn’t resist) but they never break the skin. Nevertheless spots of blood appear all over his stomach. No wounds mind you, just the blood M’am.
Shriek of the Mutilated is one of those films to watch with a cold beer, group of friends and a light heart. It’s pure camp and should be enjoyed as such. I’m sure the director thought he was making a serious film, but even in the 70s it’s hard to see this film being taken seriously by audiences. Remember this came out two years after Last House on the Left, so good, hard horror films were being made then. So if you are a fan of bad movies, really bad movies, I think you might like Shriek of the Mutilated. I ended up laughing a lot so I guess I have to officially give it my seal of approval.