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    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Snuff



    Released by: Blue Underground
    Released on: October 22nd, 2013.
    Director: Michael and Roberta Findlay
    Cast: Mirtha Massa, Aldo Mayo, Clao Villanueva, Enrique Larratelli
    Year: 1976
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    “The film that could only be made in South America… where life is CHEAP!” started out as a movie called The Slaughter shot in Argentina and directed by Michael and Roberta Findlay. It was then sold to producer Alan Shackleton for five grand, at which point… it sat. The movie was deemed unreleasable by the producer until rumors of supposed snuff films started making it into the news. At this point, he came up with the idea of taking on a new ending to the movie in which the cameras pull back and one of the 'actresses' from the original movie is killed.

    Before we get to that part, however, we head into rural South America where we meet a cult obviously inspired by Charles Manson and his family. This cult is led by a man named Satan (Enrique Larratelli) and he controls a veritable army of sexy biker girls who enjoy drugs and will do whatever he asks, they'll even commit murder. From here we meet a Sharon Tate styled actress named Terry London (Mirtha Massa) who has arrived fresh off a plane from the United States. She's to meet with a local film producer named Max Marsh (Aldo Mayo) who is potentially interested in casting her in his latest and greatest sex film.

    Of course, Terry, who we soon learn is pregnant, falls in with Satan and his crew and while things seem innocent enough at first, it won't be long before she realizes that they're up to no good… but really, dude's name is Satan and even if it's pronounced 'Sah-tan' for some reason, she really should have known better.

    Cheap, tacky, tawdry and pretty poorly made, Snuff nevertheless has some wacky charm. There are a few decent gore scenes (and by decent I mean obviously fake but plenty gory) highlighted by a wince inducing scene in which one poor victim has her toes worked over with a big knife and there's a fair bit of nudity here as well. The whole thing appears to have been dubbed in post and those familiar with the Findlay's oeuvre will definitely notice some familiar voices in the cast. The movie spends as much time functioning as a cheap biker/druggie counter culture movie than it does a horror picture, what with the hot chicks zipping around on their motorcycles, jamming out to some music and taking drugs for much of the movie's running time. The plot is pretty minimal and it sort of meanders around without making a whole lot of logical sense but as an oddity of seventies low budget trash movies, Snuff is pretty watchable even if it never comes close to approaching the traditional definition of a good movie.

    The infamous tacked on ending may have successfully freaked out audiences enough in its initial run to cause a whole lot of controversy (which the supplements do a nice job of documenting) but by today's standards the effects are obviously just that - effects. When the camera pulls back it's pretty clear to anyone even half way paying attention that the blonde on the bed is not the same actress and that this isn't even happening in the same room that the 'movie' ends in. The score also uses music that teeters so close to the opening of Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild that it's not even funny, except it is kind of funny, because it's repeated over and over again throughout the movie. How they didn't get sued for this remains a mystery.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Snuff arrives on Blu-ray completely uncut from Blue Underground in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.66.1 widescreen in a film sourced transfer that offers a nice improvement over what DVD could provide but which still retains a rough and gritty look. The elements used for those transfer were obviously in less than perfect condition so expect some print damage, scratches and heavy grain throughout - at least for the 'The Slaughter' portion of the feature. The ending shot afterwards looks impressive and clean, which is kind of surprising. Either way, this is a nice film like transfer that shows pretty solid detail and good color reproduction. There are no obvious edge enhancement or noise reduction issues and all in all, the movie looks pretty solid here.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD Mono track and while it shows its age and makes obvious its low budget origins, for the most part it sounds fine. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow and any hiss that creeps in is easy to ignore. There are no alternate language or subtitle options but optional English closed captioning is provided.

    Filmmaker Carter Stevens pops up in the extras for a ten minute interview in which he talks about the origins of this picture, the ending of which was shot in his New York City studio when Alan Shackleton decided to tack the controversial ending onto the movie. He talks about how he was asked by various authorities to help debunk certain movies that were thought to be actual snuff films and he talks about how the actress who gets murdered in the ending freaked out at one point and actually thought she might get killed on camera. He chalks this up to being over tired. Never one to mix words, Stevens notes the poor quality of the picture and tells some amusing anecdotes about its reception. He also talks about how the film turned a meager $5000 investment into a serious money maker.

    Nicholas Winding-Refn, the man behind Drive and Only God Forgives shows up for a seven minute featurette which he begins by noting his appreciation of the movie's fetishizing of certain aspects: the girls drive around on motorcycles, listen to rock music, smoke dope, then get back on their motorcycles and more or less do it all over again. He makes the case for the movie's oddball appeal and its bizarre underground aesthetic and while he didn't have anything to do with its production, his thoughts on the movie are interesting. He also pops up for a quick optional introduction to the movie.

    Up next is Porn Buster, a five minute interview with Bill Kelly, a former FBI agent who was part of the infamous 'MiPorn' sting in the eighties. Here he talks for five minutes about being asked to investigate rumors regarding the existence of snuff films and about the rumors that surrounded this feature upon its initial release.

    Rounding out the extras are the US theatrical trailer, a German theatrical trailer (under the alternate title of American Canibbale), a still gallery of promotional materials and behind the scenes photos, a gallery of articles relating to the controversy that the movie caused when first released and an essay on the picture entitled Snuff: The Seventies And Beyond by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. Animated menus and chapter stops are also included and the disc comes housed in a blood red Blu-ray case and features reversible cover art - a nice touch!

    The Final Word:

    Is Snuff a good movie? No, not really, but it's enjoyable enough in its own strange way. It's a pretty unapologetic trash film with a completely nonsensical ending thrown in to cash in on what was then a bit of a fad but in its own odd way it works. Blue Underground Blu-ray release is a welcome one, presenting the movie in as nice a shape as we're likely to see any time soon and with some quality extras that do a good job of putting the movie in its proper historical context and offering up some insight into its quality (or lack thereof) as well!

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!












































    • John Bernhard
      #2
      John Bernhard
      Senior Member
      John Bernhard commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks John...looking forward to this streeting. The package looks very nice indeed.

    • MarcM
      #3
      MarcM commented
      Editing a comment
      Does anybody have any info on where this was released? Does an original poster exist?

      There's a synopsis on the IMDb that says it's from the pressbook. I'd love to see one!

      Max Marsh, a major film producer, comes to Buenos Aires. He plans his next epic there, with his famous star, Terri London. They arrive to the press, and murder. Terri finds Horst Krein and begins to see him . . . more and more . . . until Angelia cannot stay anymore. Angelia returns to her cult and is told to murder Max Marsh during carnival. She costumes herself as Terri does, and lures Max away, to his death. Terri is distraught, and goes to recover at home with Horst. His father arrives and very much approves the situation. Terri stays on, and Horst is bound to her by her beauty and the baby that is coming. Angelia returns to her cult filled with vengeance. Fresh blood is needed to appease the leader and his cause. The unborn blood of child. Until that time of SLAUGHTER days must be occupied, for all. The girls of Satan must live, and to them life is one of challenges and violence. They live and love, torture and kill. Horst must also play, and his wife heavy with child is no longer appealing. During the company of others Terri becomes withdrawn and finds that Horst's father is willing to offer understanding and companionship. But the time of Satan draws near, and while forces are gathered the prey sleeps. And they sleep forever. For the SLAUGHTER has ended.
      - pressbook synopsis

    • Ian Jane
      #4
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm no help but that's a pretty cool poster.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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