Scream Bloody Murder (1973) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
60 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
Better Than Required 1970s Mommy Issues Psycho Killer Horror Trash
Squonkamatic5 September 2006
DVD PLAYER AT K-MART: $29.95.

PUBLIC DOMAIN DVD RELEASE OF THIS MOVIE + 3 OTHERS JUST LIKE IT: $5.95.

A CASE OF BEER & TWO BAGS OF SNACK MIX: $20

BEING ABLE TO WATCH THIS MOVIE DRUNK WITH YOUR FRIENDS: Priceless.

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.

6/10
23 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Simple, early B movie slasher film.
ChuckStraub5 April 2005
What surprised me the most about this movie was how gory it was. For 1973 this is a very bloody movie. The plot is simple. The main character is crazy and for reasons in his own deranged mind goes around killing people. It's a B movie, lots of mistakes and plenty of unanswered questions but you have to expect that from a B slasher movie. It's very simple and easy to follow, no in depth characters. There are some pretty disturbing scenes and I do not recommend the squeamish, children, or those prone to nightmares to view this film. If you're a fan of blood and guts B movies here's an early one that you should see. For the mainstream movie viewer, I would advise passing on this one.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Woah Black Betty with the bambalam!!!!!
elmondomacabro13 February 2006
First off the bat this is a ZERO budget production from all points down but, in truth, thats never hurt a movie in my opinion anyway.

This was made in 1973 and you can pretty much feel the influence of certain other movies which had made such an impact from 1968 onwards, it strives for that Last House feel and almost succeeds in some cases. The opening is pretty cool (love that squashed Dad effect!) but the actual storyline seems like its pretty jumpy and zooms along from start to finish, which is where it gets interesting.......

Anyone expecting gore galore better hit the road Jack because what we have by the end is some great scenes of 'Woman In Peril'and, yeah, she is treated pretty poorly but why the hell are you watching a movie called Scream Bloody Murder in the first place if you can't take some FAKE abuse? This film is like watching something on fast forward just to get to the money shot, taking in an ending which recalls both Maniac (1980) and a sublime Carnival of Souls (1962), its a shame people haven't got the gall to make stuff like this anymore because its got more originality than most of the celluloid waste thats forced down our throats these days. Check it out if only for Angus Scrimm in an early role.
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Oedipal nightmare posing as cheapo horror flick!
El-Stumpo1 November 2007
Originally released under the less hook-like Scream Bloody Murder, Claw Of Terror opens with a young farmers lad Matthew starting up the family bulldozer and running over his father, as well as his own hand. Cut to ten years later, and Matthew is now a weird loner with a claw for a hand, who sees red whenever his mother Daisy is kissing someone else, and it doesn't take long - he comes home from the hospital to find Mr Parsons is sleeping in the big bed with Mommy. The honeymoon doesn't last long: Matthew gives Mr Parsons a few whacks with the ax, mama falls on a rock, and before you can say "rigor mortis" he's hitched a ride with newlyweds. But, as he's plagued with visions of his dead mother in increasing stages of decay, THEIR honeymoon doesn't last either. And this is in the first twenty minutes of the movie!

Claw Of Terror doesn't waste celluloid plunging you, the unwitting viewer, into a Freudian whirlpool of psycho-sexual deviancy. He's befriended by red-haired Vera, a hooker with a heart of gold, who becomes his Mommy substitute - not surprisingly, as she's played by the same actress. She lets Matthew call her Daisy and starts to believe his outrageous lies about his rich family, which he feels he must prove. Ingratiating his way into a mansion, he slices his way through the household; strangely enough, the one killing in the movie he is squeamish about is the family dog! He proceeds to romance his prostitute Mommy substitute with a closet full of dead bodies, and then - and only then - do things start to get weird.

On one hand there's an utterly unsympathetic portrayal of a deviant serial killer, and an almost unbearable streak of cruel humor underpinning the carnage. Matthew of course gets the best lines like "I get groceries and art stuff and kill people - but do you appreciate it? No!" On the other hand... there's some incredible imaginative photography you don't usually see in B-grade horror, with fantastic distorted angles, almost as distorted as the minds who dreamt up this celluloid nightmare.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A surprisingly good psycho flick.
BA_Harrison23 October 2010
F**ked-up farmer's son Matthew only has eyes for his mother, so he hops onto his father's tractor and ploughs down dear old dad, mangling his own hand in the process. After years in an institution, Matthew, now equipped with a hook (who's stupid idea was that?), is finally allowed to go home only to find that his mother has just remarried.

When he sees his new step-dad making moves on his mum, Matthew wigs out and gets chop happy with an axe; unfortunately, mum catches him red-handed (and red-everything else) and also winds up dead. Matthew decides to hit the road, but everyone he meets seems to remind him of the dead couple back home, so he kills them too.

Eventually Matthew arrives in Venice, Los Angeles, where he befriends Vera, a hooker with a heart and a passion for painting. Amazingly, Vera doesn't pick up on the obvious signs that her new pal is a raving nut-job (even when he interprets her art as 'a man being tortured for chopping up the man who took away his mother'), but she sure gets the message when he abducts her, takes her to his mansion (the previous owner's body being stuffed in an upstairs closet, along with the maid), and treats her like his possession.

Scream Bloody Murder is an unjustly ignored, low-rent B-movie that has been been allowed to fall into the public domain—which is great news for fans of grind-house/drive-in sleaze because it allows them to check it out for next to nothing, via the internet.

I chose to watch this title at random from The Internet Archive, and boy am I glad I did, 'cos it has everything I could ever want from a '70s psycho film: a seriously insane killer with a mommy complex; umpteen mean-spirited murders (hell, even a dog gets it!); messed up hallucination sequences; a sexy female tied up and terrorised; and a few seriously tense and harrowing sequences including a doozy of a finale.

Recommended for those who like their entertainment rough 'n' ready and good 'n' bloody.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
One of The More Funny Slashers
CMRKeyboadist6 January 2007
Scream Bloody Murder is quite an interesting film. Interesting in that it has zero logic and is quite humorous. If you can prepare yourself for a really bad movie you could easily enjoy this movie.

The movie starts with a young boy named Matthew and his Father working on the farm. Matthew decides for no reason whatsoever that his Father would look better dead. So, he jumps into a tractor and runs his Father over. After he kills his Father he jumps off of the movie tractor and has his hand crushed by one of the wheels. Matthew is sent to a psychiatric hospital and has to have a hook placed where his hand was. Matthew is released years later and returns home to find that his Mother has remarried and has moved on with her life. Well, Matthew doesn't like this very much and kills his Mother and her new Husband. From here on in Matthew leaves town and starts somewhat of a killing spree until he meets with a prostitute named Vera. He kidnaps Vera and forces her to do whatever he wants. Until the climax of the film, what will happen?

This is truly one of those movies that needs to be seen to be believed. It is quite off the wall and ridiculous at times. The first half of the movie is great as you should get quite a laugh out of it. The second half of the film is a little bit slow, but has a great ending. Look for a very early appearance from Angus Scrimm from the Phantasm series. 6/10
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
This is one demented piece of film making
christopher-underwood4 August 2010
This is one demented piece of film making. The oft mentioned pre-credit sequence sets things off just nicely but little did I imagine that this would carry on in much the same manic fashion. Fred Holbert was rather stiff in the title role, and I see he did nothing else. Leigh Mitchell, on the other hand , was excellent as the lady in distress, and I'm surprised she did little else. Well written and decently directed, my public domain copy was a bit faded and jumpy but the passion (or possibly madness!) of the maker shines through. A little repetitive at times, there are nevertheless some super moments. I liked the sailor's arrival at Vera's dwelling. I loved the doctor's arrival and Vera's plucky post bath action. There is also a delicious moment when after a big surprise he casually picks up a limb momentarily so he can close the front door.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
The inspiration for I Know What You Did Last Summer
hatemail-215 September 2000
Many people call this the best and most gruesome horror film ever made. Many hacks have tried the idea of the hook killer,but none compare to this classic horror masterpiece. This is a must see for every single horror fan! The killer is guy named Matthew who lost an arm,now he's p***ed,invincible,has a deadly weapon for a hand,and wants to kill everybody!
7 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Scream Bloody Murder (1973) **1/2
JoeKarlosi25 August 2007
The action begins with a young boy climbing onto a field tractor and running his dad over, then losing a hand himself when he jumps off and runs over his own arm. He's sent to a sanitarium and emerges as a young adult with a hook hand (Fred Holbert) years later, but with major mental problems. He goes on a grisly killing spree and ultimately keeps a prostitute (Leigh Mitchell) prisoner in a house. As far as sick and depraved psycho slasher movies go, this one delivered the goods and was uncompromising in most of its gore scenes. For what it's worth, PHANTASM's Angus Scrimm has a very small role as a doctor late in the film, and he's just terrible. I got a kick out of seeing a movie marquee that was playing "Charlton Heston in The Omega Man" in the background of one outdoor scene. **1/2 out of ****
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Random Acts of Violence
Hitchcoc3 January 2007
This guy is pretty scary. From Norman Bates on down, there seems to be more terror in gentle souls than in the overtly violent ones. The movie isn't much. It's just going from one act of bloody violence tot he next. It always stretches the realms of reality when guys like this always seem to get away with everything so easily. Of course, they have the element of surprise, but their carelessness and the sheer numbers of attacks should do them in. Then, there are the demons. The motivations are in the character's head This makes it hard to be either sympathetic or non-sympathetic toward him. When you get right down to it, the director and screenwriter just wanted us to spend our money to watch people being torn to shreds and then cook up some way to punish this bad boy.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
You can't run from mommy!
HumanoidOfFlesh9 July 2009
Matthew is a young man just released from a mental hospital after many years for murdering his father.In the process of driving a bulldozer over poor man his hand is damaged terribly and in place he has a sharp metal hook when he returns home he finds that his mother has remarried to a man he doesn't approve of.After killing both he flees on a cross country murdering as many people as he can.Marc Ray's "Scream Bloody Murder" is an quintessence of early 70's trash.The killings are bloody and alarming and the gore effects are lovingly cheap.Of course one can treat "Scream Bloody Murder" as another flick about a momma-obsessed prudish psycho on the prowl.He is full of Oedipal rage and thinks that all decent women should hate sex.The score by Stephen Burum is wonderfully campy and the film is impossible to take seriously.So if you are into amusingly trashy and unpleasant 70's horror you can't miss it.7 out of 10.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Hot easel action!
Zeegrade1 February 2009
Matthew will do anything for sweet easel exctasy. Even murder! Fred Holbert in his one and only movie role plays functional retard Matthew with the mother of all complexes, pun intended. A tractor "accident" leaves a young Matthew without a father and his mangled left hand is replaced with a hook. After being released back into his mother's custody he returns to his murderous ways as anyone with a pulse draws his ire. The bulk of the movie revolves around the relationship between Matthew and virtuous artist/hooker named Vera played by Leigh Mitchell.

Bad seventies cheese dominates this movie. Fred Holbert isn't bad as his character remains with a childlike demeanor despite his violent tendencies. What mystifies me is the fact that they gave this character a hook for a hand and he uses anything but that to kill with. This movie does have a few unintentionally funny parts. Matthew's run-in with a cane waving grandma and her useless dog as well as the most persistent candy sales-boy ever provided the lone bright spots. Scream Bloody Murder is part of mill creek entertainment's 50 chilling classics collection though I recommend finding it on the internet for free as it's worthy of one viewing and nothing more.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Almost a comedy.
Pretentious_crap13 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone but those who like bad movies for laughs. The plot here isn't bad; the badness is the execution of the acting, and the script.

The unintentional comedy in this is provided mostly by Matthew-- especially the part where he has Vera tied down to a bed and he says "Betcha no one got you a steak before", while brandishing a raw steak in polystyrene. She tells him off, and he yells back still brandishing the pack of meat! Matthew is such a weird geek, that if they were to remake this movie, kept everything the same, but the main actor-- it would be a comedy, say Tom Green or Christopher Walken.

Come to think of it, it was pretty much "Freddy Got Fingered" goes to the grindhouse.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Don't Be Fooled
jed-estes8 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Don't be fooled by the case on this one. I buy movies in bulk like the crappy movie sets that come with 10, 20, or even 50 movies and that is where this classic came from,in set titled Chilling Classics which in fact had 50 movies in the pack. When I buy these packs I tend to shy away from the films that are made before 1978 and describe themselves as slasher movies, I do this because before Halloween in 1978 there is very little out there that could pass for a slasher film before then, Black Christmas, Blood Feast, and Psycho excluded and I am aware that there others I neglected to mention that pre date Halloween but for space sake I will limit it to those popular choices. With that said 1973's Scream Bloody Murder is a pre slasher history excitement fest. The killer lays to waste ten victims in the flick and then to top that offs himself. That body count tops Halloween by six and far bloodier gore fest Friday the 13th by one. Both films would come years later. Also the killer in this film is boss. He looks like he's around 15 our 16 (though I'm sure he's older)and it just looks so cool and believable when he kills people and throws them around. The way he is defeated at the end is great for a 70's film. While beauty killed King Kong, Sexual lust destroyed Matthew. Even though he kills his final victim he gets his in the end and is not that what life is all about?
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Scream Bloody Murder Remade!
dave_beinlich5 January 2006
....in the 90's this movie was inferiorly remade as "Misery" with Kathy Bates playing the Mattew character and James Cahn playing Vera. I hear there was even a book written about it called "Misery" as well.

i am shocked nobody has made the comparison yet, its obviously the inspiration that King used to write his novel.

I thought the film was terrific, The film seemed heavily inspired by Mario Bava's "Hatchet for the Honeymoon", even using a similar soundtrack.

I suggest watching Hatchet for the Honeymoon then Scream Bloody Murder then Misery all in a row with no bathroom breaks. A little red food coloring on the popcorn and you are in business.

dave_beinlich@hotmail.com
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Boring (spoilers)
lthseldy128 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand the type of character the main person is trying to portray in this film. Is he insane, dumb, stupid or just mentally "not there" or all the above. This movie is about a man that ends up killing his mother and step-father after he is released from the mental institution ten years after he murdered his father. When he arrives home he discovers that his mother has remarried and becomes jealous of his step-father and kills him and accidentally kills his mother after killing her husband. Soon after, the man meets up with an artist and takes a liking to her and becomes overly possessive of her and jealous of anyone who comes into her life. He tries to please her by killing off her one night stands, going on killing sprees to buy groceries and steal money for her as well as murdering the occupants of a nearby mansion in order to prove to her that he does in fact own a mansion and soon after he ties her up in his "mansion" and holds her captive against her will. This movie is so slow and mind boggling that I was happy for it to get to the end. There was one part of the film that was worth all the time wasted and that was the part of the old lady beating the man up with her crutches, that was a laugh and he did deserve it, she acted even better than he did in this movie even it was a short role.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Scream Bloody Murder is low-level garbage that may provide some amusing moments
tavm5 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Having just watched this on YouTube and read several of the comments here, I've concluded that while Scream Bloody Murder has some effective scenes, some partially good performances from the two leads, and an interesting early bit from Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), this is just mostly junk that has inconsistent characterizations (Matthew, having spent most of his life in a convent with a hook hand, is actually able to drive and actually found the car's key for the stolen vehicle on such short notice, really?), randomly gratuitous killings (what was that doomed young married couple thinking when they let Matthew ride with them?), and painful dialogue (especially Matthew's constantly saying "Now we can be free" to both his mother and Vera who he calls "Daisy" since she resembles his mother-no surprise since the actress is the same). Anyone expecting logic should look elsewhere. And part of me wonders how the "MST3K" gang would have 'riffed on this picture. Occasionally, there are some unintentional amusements like when that old lady hit Matthew with her canes or when that dog, seeing him pick that now-dead lady up, was just staring at him! LOL! And how about when that delivery boy kept knocking and talking for more than a few minutes even though no one was answering! And that near-sex scene with "Daisy" and Matthew did turn me on. But with all the inconsistencies I just mentioned, I can't quite recommend Scream Bloody Murder. It's on YouTube, however, if you want to see this for free.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Nice Gorefest but the story is totally implausible
alicespiral14 June 2007
Psychiatrists have identified well over a million males on the planet who have a problem with the fact that men have sex with women-there's some fancy name for it but whatever the central character here Matthew is one of them believing sex is the most disgusting thing in the World.Which is probably the reason why he bumped his own father off as he drives a tractor. As he jumps out the tractor runs over his own arm and he ends up with a metal hook. Then his new career as a killer begins with his mother's new husband-how dare he touch her-and the accidental death he causes to her.This wasn't really necessary to remove her from the picture-she could have died of shock! Though Matthew has a hook arm he doesn't really use it to kill people he relies on more traditional methods but when he stumbles upon a woman painting a picture he gets into conversation with her as she looks like his late mother but is also a hooker-a good enough reason to follow her last client and kill him. The same actress played both his mother and the hooker which may be why he insists on calling her his mother's name and as part of his plan to convince her he's rich he conns his way into a mansion and slaughters everybody in it. Thus the stage is set for the next act which is to abduct the hooker,tie her up and force her to at least get used to it-but the motive is not sexual its just to stop her leaving so its about Control. The film is fast paced and easy to follow with more killings on the way and at one stage even the hooker is attacked and dumped in the cellar with the other bodies. The police and the authorities are unaware iof any of this and the ending in a church is rather abrupt as the ghosts of all those he killed finally crowd in on him. Its not a satisfactory ending but then few of them are.You get the impression they kept adding stuff which was never concluded-not much point in the hooker concealing a weapon found in the bathroom when she never uses it.Or even the point of her insisting on having a bath just so Matthew could find it more distasteful when she appears nude and later tries to seduce him-which is more of a ploy as it transpires he is not aroused by the sight There's also no reason why he should keep her tied up because this isn't a bondage thing.Its just a movie which is saying "yes there are people like that who find sex disgusting"
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Where does the claw come in?
ethylester3 October 2005
I don't know why the creators of this movie gave Matthew a claw hand because he only does two things with it - rip up a painting and kill one person. The other people he kills, he uses a different weapon. For example, a knife. Why would he need a knife if he has a claw hand? Despite the disappointing use of the claw hand, I liked this movie for some reason. One thing I liked about it was how unsexy it was. I know I'm in the minority of horror movie lovers, but I get tired of seeing the same old sexy clichés about male killers wanting to have sex with their victims. Or that women who have sex are bad. This movie's heroine (if you can call her that) was a prostitute and I thought she was likable. The killer doesn't rape her or kill "impure" women, like in so many other horror movies. His aim it to kill the men who touch the women, not the women who touch the men. And as we see, he has real hangups about even kissing a woman. He doesn't want any part in it.

Even though this movie is predictable, I give it credit for slightly going against the grain and portraying a killer who doesn't just want to kill beautiful women. He would rather kill the men who touch them. That is why this movie stands out to me.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Matthew's doctors should have probably kept him at the asylum a little longer.
happyendingrocks16 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This alternately grim and goofy curiosity doesn't offer a ton to distinguish itself among the crop of essential low-budget horror films birthed in the 1970's. However, for fans who have already made their way through all of the era's genuine classics, Scream Bloody Murder does feature enough effective moments to render it a worthy use of 90 minutes.

The plot is centered around an unhinged moppet named Matthew who is institutionalized after murdering his father via tractor for no apparent reason and then managing to run over his own hand when the deed is done. When he is discharged several years later, now outfitted with a metal hook to replace his lost appendage, he returns to the family farm just in time to discover that his beloved mother has remarried. His already dicey mental state disintegrates completely when he sees his ma (gasp!) kissing her new husband, a scandalous act that prompts him to summarily kill both of them. He wisely decides a change of scenery might be a good idea and hits the road, racking up a couple more victims along the way before eventually making the acquaintance of a prostitute named Vera, who he develops an ardent obsession for after talking to her for a total of three minutes. Determined to "save" her from her line of work, he locates a nearby mansion and slaughters its occupants, then takes Vera to the appropriated home so they can live there happily ever after together. The only thing standing in the way of Matthew's blissful vision is Vera's understandable aversion to being kidnapped and held prisoner by her demented paramour, and her desperate attempts to escape launch the film into its uneven but effective climax.

Splatter enthusiasts will be pleased by a couple of suitably bloody set-pieces, while horror scholars may find the brief appearance of a barely recognizable pre-Phantasm Angus Scrimm of interest. Unfortunately, a nifty story with ample opportunities to flower into an engaging thriller is largely squandered here. The psychological duel between captive and captor is confined to the last third of the film, and moments like one harrowing sequence when Vera attempts to use the phone to call for help while bound and gagged are glossed over far too quickly to generate any true tension. Fred Holbert's Matthew isn't ultimately all that menacing, no matter how many interlopers he kills along the way, so some of the tale's potency is diluted by questionable casting. And while the character demonstrates some adequately disarming sociopathic proclivities while luring other cast members into lowering their guards, his interactions with Vera are basically creepy from the moment he meets her, which makes it a bit baffling to behold this streetwise prostitute who has ostensibly met enough unsavory men to immediately spot one actively nurturing a friendship with some random puppy-dog stalker who wanders onto her porch without preamble and insists on calling her "Daisy".

Still, Scream Bloody Murder does plenty of things right. Though abbreviated, there are several vignettes which adeptly highlight Matthew's maniacal fixation on his unwitting bestie, and his complete sexual disinterest in her is certainly novel given the rape-y mindset of many of the period's more infamous grindhouse offerings. Consequently, the way Vera eventually uses her abductor's intimacy aversion against him infuses the movie with its most suspenseful scene. The spectral images that haunt Matthew throughout his campaign of carnage are orchestrated very well, lending the affair a handful of truly unsettling moments. And the finale is genuinely shocking, putting a ghoulish exclamation point on the story and leaving us in the audience reeling from a display of kaleidoscopic mayhem that appears to have inspired William Lustig when he was putting the finishing touches on Maniac several years later.

A benchmark, this is not. But Scream Bloody Murder is assuredly entertaining and modestly intriguing. I've sat through way worse outings than this, and so have you.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Interesting Horror Film
Michael_Elliott9 October 2017
Scream Bloody Murder (1973)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Matthew (Fred Holbert) is a deranged young man who has a serious mother issue. He kills his father with a tractor but when he goes to get off of it he ends up getting his hand caught in it. Now with a hook on his hand, he gets out of the hospital and is enraged when he learns that mommy has married a new guy. He soon hits the road slashing up various men and women who he feels are bad.

SCREAM BLOODY MURDER isn't a perfect horror film or even a good one but there are certainly enough interesting moments to make it worth watching if you're a fan of the genre. It should go without saying but Matthew here has bigger mommy issues than even Norman Bates and watching his madness was part of the entertaining and especially early on in the picture where this thing is basically a slasher way before that term would become popular.

The first forty-minutes or so basically has Matthew meeting a variety of people and eventually getting upset at them for a variety of reason. This causes him to lash out and kill whoever he is upset with. None of the violence is overly graphic or bloody but the scenes are certainly effective with some clever editing. The second portion of the film has him falling for a prostitute (Leigh Mitchell) who he wants to try and make "good" but when she doesn't want to play that he decides to kidnap her and hold her hostage.

Holbert's performance isn't one that I'd call good but there's a certain rawness to it that makes it work in this low-budget tale. The performance almost seems like a real person and thought the weakness of the performance actually helped a little. Mitchell was good in her role as the prostitute and the two of them worked quite well together. The biggest issue with the film is the entire second half as there's just not enough drama or suspense to make up for the lack of killings. Still, SCREAM BLOODY MURDER is an interesting little gem that is worth watching.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Incredible! This should have been named Psycho II. Great story/dialogue/cinematography/atmosphere, acting needs work, but overall great film.
Bababooe3 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This is my second viewing. First time May 2016 B-/B. Second 7/2/17 B+.

The story is great and its well executed, everything from dialogue, scenes, sets, cinematography, kills, editing, progression of the story. It does drag a bit towards the middle/end, then picks up. The acting is professional, but these are not great actors. They do the job, they read the lines and emote what they can. Music, and sound effects/voice overs were great.

We see the kid, Mathew, killing his father. Maybe on purpose, or accident. His left hand is mangles, the mother sends him to a psyche hospital, where they attach a claw to the left hand. When his older, he reads a letter from his mom saying that she will remarry, close-up of the crushed letter and the claw beating it. He's released from the hospital, sees his mom and new stepdad happily embracing, it's a quick/slow burn where we see Mathew knowing that he will kill his stepdad. The scene where he chases his stepdad is incredible. The step dad hears something behind him and yells out "Who's there". Excellent cinematography and editing here. Then the axe guts the stepdad. Mother finds her new husband dead, and she is also killed.

Observe the victims as they realize what is happening. This is incredible stuff. Some great acting here.

Mathew sees ghosts of his dead mother and stepdad and hears their voices mocking him. He sees there ghoulish faces in other people. This movie goes from scene to scene building into one strange and disturbing show.

Rating is a B+, 9 stars. 10 stars given for balance. Highly recommended.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Better Than I Was Guessing It Would Be
Rainey-Dawn14 October 2016
Scream Bloody Murder (aka Claw of Terror, Captive Female and Matthew). This is NOT the greatest horror movie by any means but I was expecting the film to be far worse than it really is - it's better than I was guessing it would be.

Matthew killed his father with a tracker, one of his arms was mangled in the process and then he was sent to a mental institution for awhile where they tried to fix his mind and his hand by giving him a metal claw to use in place of the hand. His mother wrote him and told him that she had someone new in her life and when he got out the 3 of them could be happy living together... but Matthew didn't like that idea and when he got out of the institution he headed for home and killed his stepdad because he wanted it to be just him and his mom. His mother found the body and in an argument he was upset and killed her too. He got a ride out of town and ended up in a place where he fell for a girl but others will end up dead and the girl held hostage because Matthew decided he wanted to keep her.

Don't expect a high quality film here but it's better than I expected it to be. I will say it's very bloody at times - which I'm not overly crazy about that type of film but at least there is a fairly interesting story to go with the bloody stuff.

5/10
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Perfect late night drive-in filler
lemon_magic4 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK, granted: if you are watching a film titled "Scream Bloody Murder", you're not expecting Werner Herzog or Jodorowsky. So you can at least credit the film and its makers for being honest about what they're doing.

SBM is best considered as drive-in triple bill fodder, the kind of movie that they showed at 2:00 am when you're either completely drunk or 3/4 asleep or both. In that context, it succeeds with flying colors.But taken "straight", it's kind of hard to watch. The plot starts out as a derivative of "Maniac" for the first half, and then turns into a low-rent version of "The Collector" for the second half.

And it really drags in spots, and it looks pretty crummy in spots. However, there ARE some dryly funny lines, and a couple of genuine shocks scattered in the mix. And the actor playing our hooked hero has a few good moments here and there, although he's mostly flat and stiff. (It's entirely possible that this was on purpose).

Not a complete waste of your time, but not worth seeking out. I saw it working my way through one of those Mill Creek public domain collections, and it was by no means the worst movie in it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
exploitation viciousness and morbidity
Cristi_Ciopron4 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Following an insane urchin is not my idea of fun. The storyline isn't unpredictable: the movie simply lacks a plot. On the other hand, there is a market for this kind of thing, and people who enjoy finding out such fiction. The idea being that some find the creepiest psychotics, fascinating, and exciting to find things about. I know people who like such things. Grim slasher, an _uninventive exploitation of gruesomeness, a hitchhiker urchin, raw psychosis, this is something very sick and vicious, because a psychotic cereal killer is essentially a monotonous and creepy individual, and the movie merely indulges in this exploitation. The linear plot indeed only enhances the _unidimensionality of the insanity, leading nowhere. Its interest lies in its sheer morbidity. There's no suspense whatsoever, or chills. It's extremely specialized, in its monotonous meanness. It delivers only to those interested in its subject, and who watch it for the raw subject's sake. The only interactions in the movie are the urchin's, and he deals with people by slashing them. The movie itself has nothing to add to this, and this is indeed the level of its world-view, of sheer psychopathic bleakness.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed