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Scream Bloody Murder (1973)

 -  Horror  -  February 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 634 users  
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A disturbed boy kills his father with his farm tractor and his arm is mangled in the process. He's taken to a mental hospital where he's outfitted with a hook to replace his lost hand and, ... See full summary »



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Five extremely disturbed, sociopathic children escape from their psychiatric transport and are taken in unwittingly by a group of adult villagers on winter vacation.

Directors: Sean MacGregor, David Sheldon
Stars: Sorrell Booke, Gene Evans, Taylor Lacher


Complete credited cast:
Fred Holbert ...
Leigh Mitchell ...
Vera / Daisy Parsons
Robert Knox ...
Mack Parsons
Ron Bastone ...
Suzette Hamilton ...
Willey Reynolds ...
Lex (as Wiley Reynolds)
A. Maana Tanelah ...
Florence Lea ...
Helen Anatole
Dr. Epstein (as Rory Guy)
Cecil Reddick ...
Mr. Simpson
Gloria Earl ...
Mrs. Simpson
J.M. Jones ...
Young Matthew
Norman ...
Candy Seller
Rob Max ...
Matthew's Father
Winnifred ...
The Dog


A disturbed boy kills his father with his farm tractor and his arm is mangled in the process. He's taken to a mental hospital where he's outfitted with a hook to replace his lost hand and, years later, he's eventually released from the asylum. He returns home to find his mother has remarried, which sets him off on a murderous rampage. Written by David Bassler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who Will Survive the Psychosexual Claw? See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matthew  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in 1971. See more »


Matthew: See what I do for you? I get groceries and clothes and art stuff and kill people. And do you appreciate it? No.
See more »


Referenced in Movie Night (2013) See more »


Matthew's Theme
by Don Bagley
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User Reviews

Better Than Required 1970s Mommy Issues Psycho Killer Horror Trash
5 September 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews





For everything else, there's the crap at Blockbuster. Who knows what the real story behind this movie is. It's graced those cheapo bargain bin horror DVD releases now for about seven years and has yet to be improved upon, as far as low rent, low esteem, low taste entertainment goes. Matthew is a boy with mommy issues who runs over his dad with a tractor, manages to get his arm mangled underneath the runaway machine, and is promptly shipped off to a juvenile mental ward or hospital for the young & psychotic for the bulk of his adolescence. Cue forward to about the age of 18 and Matthew -- who cannot even masturbate because he as been fitted with a razor sharp metal hook to replace his arm -- returns home to find his beloved, creepy mom about to marry one of the hayseed crackers who helped her run the farm after Matthew killed her husband. Imagine his disappointment. So Matthew promptly axe murders the pair of them and sets off on a killing spree across the byways of rural Kansas in search of someone else to be his mommy.

Instead, he finds promiscuous young couples who want him to go skinny dipping with them, a hooker with a heart of gold who paints truly awful paintings, drunk belligerent sailors, various low-wage domestic workers who can't even make chicken right, and a dog that is so unfocused on it's role in life that it doesn't even bark as he hacks up it's 80 year old mistress with a meat cleaver. All he wanted was a nuclear mother figure to tell him what to do and maybe beat him off, but no. Just people & things -- including the church -- which fail to live up to his need for protective authority figures with breasts. We all want things in life we can't have and all Matthew wants is the attention of women who have their own lives to live, don't have to measure up to his moral standards to get through the day, enjoy sex, and look good in the nude. It isn't easy being a psycho killer sometimes.

I mean look, what can you really say about a movie called SCREAM BLOODY MURDER? And, what do you say to people who watch a movie called SCREAM BLOODY MURDER and end up not liking it? Since there are about 14 movies titled or re-titled SCREAM BLOODY MURDER I can see how one might end up with this by mistake, but if you are looking for a movie called SCREAM BLOODY MURDER in the first place, dude, like, what were you expecting? Camus??

But when all is said and done and if you can find it within yourself to get into the spirit of things, this is a fast-paced, luridly subtexturalized and genuinely amusing little pre-Freddy Kreuger hacker about a maniac who isn't bright enough to realize he doesn't need axes, knives, meat cleavers or other weapons when he has a razor sharp metal claw molded onto that dead arm of his. This is all American exploitation horror made at a time when movies like this were the staple of drive-in movie double bills, and half of the time you weren't even bothering with what was happening on screen. Watching it in your dingy little apartment by yourself cold sober isn't exactly going to help improve one's perception of it since you'll be focused on things like plot holes, inept performances, tacky locations & fashions, laughable special effects, and a strange moralistic dichotomy that is at odds with the manner in which the film was meant to be seen: Drunk, in the company of friends. Or, half ignored while scoring with your date.

When used to fill either of those roles this retains it's power as a superior little example of low budget regionally made exploitation horror that is probably a lot better than it had to be, and more satisfying than most similar examples. I like that garden room at the mansion especially, and the idea of an artist making their living as a prostitute is actually somewhat Kafkaesque. One word to the wise: I've been trying to find an "uncut" home video version of this film for years & none seem to exist. I've sampled 2 different VHS and four DVD presentations, including the new one by Retromedia titled as CLAW OF TERROR -- which does look good compared to the others -- but they all show the same fullscreen 86 minute edit purporting to be the R Rated original version. Any one of them is as good as the other, or so it would seem, and it would be amusing to find out why SCREAM BLOODY MURDER was censored in the first place, and what became of the original elements. That's what makes me a FILM DORK, and this movie will always have a place close to my heart for setting it's sights low, aiming straight for the gutter, and scoring a bull's eye.


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