Friday, December 18

Some quick thoughts on Savage Weekend (1976...or 1979...or 1981)

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A recently divorced woman, her new hubbie, and a couple of her fellow city slicker yuppie friends go off to the country for a weekend to relax while checking on the build progress of a yacht. The locals are stand-offish bumpkins and the guy working on the boat, Otis (William Sanderson), is the local dimwit with a checkered past. See, years ago Otis assaulted a couple in the woods and ended up branding an H (for "whore", ol' Otis can't spell too good) onto the bare chest of a girl. He's not the only one keeping a watchful eye on the outsiders. There's also a lumberjack supplying wood for the seafaring restoration whom the flirtatious woman kinda lusts after. Though no one is safe once a figure dawning a gory Halloween mask begins the meek slaughter...

Awesome cover, eh? Unfortunately, this pretty much forgotten slasher is pretty much crap. The chief problem is everything being lazy from the drag-ass editing, absent acting, and a story that could have been condensed into fifteen minutes or less that still wouldn't have quite made sense. The opening scene even resorts to shuffling the climax to forcefully infer who the makers wish the viewer to perceive as the killer throughout. One couldn't care less about the yuppie meatbags as they bounce into each other trying to provoke inane intrigue. The presence of a smattering of old style thick an' rich 3M effects blood (no gory moneyshots here, folks) and some pasty boobies can't save this not-so savage weekend as we push this ten ton monolith of bad bad movie into the last half hour. Just another example of slasher with an okay looking killer (in that last half hour) being plowed by overwhelming watch once mediocrity. It's hard to believe this was shot just three or four years after Craven's seminal The Last House on the Left.

Besides looking like Moochie and Tuna got a hold of the box, Paragon Video's tape has some quirks. Later releases of this tape stated "A Cannon Films Release" on the front but this one doesn't. Before the film, there's a notice of an R-rating from King of Video, Inc. which was Paragon's original name. Some shots, like the opening credits and close-ups of the masked madman, are matted at 1.85:1 widescreen while the rest is left unmatted. This leads to many obvious occasions of boom mics floating above and below the actors.
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2 comments:

Jonny Metro said...

Hey man. I reviewed this myself not too long ago...glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought it was crap.

--J/Metro

J. Astro said...

I guess I'll be the voice of dissent here - I LIKED this one quite a bit. It's got oddball, quirky characters (Allport as the gay brother stands out), a total sleaze-o-rama feel all the way through, and a chainsaw/machete duel. And that weird fucking cow udder/penis imagery.

All the more for me, I guess. You guys are missin' out. ;)

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