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  Shriek of the Mutilated Put Your Bigfoot In It
Year: 1974
Director: Michael Findlay
Stars: Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Michael Harrris, Darcy Brown, Jack Neubeck, Tom Grail, Luci Brandt, Ivan Agar, Marina Stefan, Harriet McFaul, Dwight Marfield, Jimmy Silva, Warren D'Oyly-Rhind
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dr. Ernst Prell (Alan Brock) has planned an expedition for four of his students to an out of the way spot in the forests of North America. What are they supposed to be looking for? Nothing less than the Abominable Snowman itself, also known as the Yeti. He asks one of the students, Keith (Michael Harris) to accompany him to a specialist restaurant that evening, much to the displeasure of his girlfriend Karen (Jennifer Stock) who wanted to go to a party but now must go alone. However, when she gets there she hears from another partygoer who is suffering a nervous breakdown of the last time Dr Prell staged an expedition - let's say it didn't go well...

Doubtless many exploitation movie producers and distributors will tell you that finding a great title for your opus is half the battle when it comes down to publicity, and with Shriek of the Mutilated Michael Findlay, with his wife Roberta Findlay, had struck gold. A title like that suggests a wall-to-wall gorefest so imagine the disappointment of the drive-in crowd when they settled down to watch what turned out to be a wall-to-wall chatterfest. OK, there was a bit of wandering about as well, and a rarely-glimpsed man in a suit monster for excitement.

Never mind that an actual Yeti is to be found (or not, as the case may be) in the Himalayas and it's Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch, who is to be found in North America (or not, etc), geography doesn't appear to be this painfully amateurish production's strong point. Neither does the weather, as in the early stages the students are warned to watch out for the heavy snowfall, of which there appears to be absolutely no sign whatsoever no matter how often the characters mention how cold it is round those parts. It becomes clear after a while that the best thing this film is good for is unintentional laughs.

The lunacy is piled high, but sadly fails to make for an approximation of entertainment in the conventional sense. See how one student, apparently inspired by Velma from Scooby-Doo, goes to bed at night still wearing her glasses - she does complain she can't see without them, but she must really have a problem if she needs them on while her eyes are closed. Then there's Prell's colleague Dr Werner (Tawm Ellis), who has a manservant called Laughing Boy - sorry, Laughing Crow who is supposedly an "Indian" who can only communicate in grunts, but you know, I don't think he was a real Native American, unless he was supposed to be from New Delhi or something (and even then...).

Once they arrive, and once joker Tom (Jack Neubeck) has performed a song about the Yeti, they can set about catching one, but oh dear, he does a better job of catching them, bumping off at least two of them in the first half of the movie. No matter that Prell leaves out a steak with red paint on it as part of a trap, this Yeti is a wily creature, looking not unlike a cuddly teddy bear with fangs from what we see. I wonder if the makers of The Blair Witch Project ever saw this? There's an abundance of footage of the young people meandering around the woods, when they're not conducting earnest conversations, that is. However, just to keep us in the audience who are still awake on our toes, there's a great big twist that involves cannibalism but doesn't involve anything close to logic, leaving the film good for trash fans with a sense of humour, but a no-go area for those with a low tolerance for shoddiness.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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