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Boring Horror Film
Michael_Elliott7 April 2015
Savage Weekend (1979)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Five New Yorkers head to the country so that one of them can check on a boat that he's having built. Once there they settle in but soon a psycho in a mask shows up and starts killing them off.

SAVAGE WEEKEND might seem like a Friday THE 13TH or HALLOWEEN clone but this here was actually made in 1976 but not released until 1979. With that in mind, it's easy to see why this thing wasn't released because outside of a few good things there's really not too much here worth watching. The biggest problem with this picture is that it's pretty much deadly dull and you're just waiting around forever for something fun or interesting to happen but you just keep waiting and waiting.

The boredom is the film's biggest fault as we're introduced to some slightly interesting characters but absolutely nothing is done with them. We get incredibly boring subplots that just drag the film down even more. The characters are pretty much what you'd expect from a one-note film like this. You've got the divorced woman fearful of her ex but she's still with her new boyfriend. You've got the slut friend and of course there's a good-looking man there for her. The fifth member of the group is a gay man who is basically just comic relief but I will admit that he's the best thing about the film. Not only do we get some funny scenes with him but he also manages to beat up some rednecks in a local bar.

The murder sequences are all mostly forgettable as there's not enough memorable violence or gore to recommend this to horror fans. The actual mystery is kept fairly well but at the same time you don't really care who is killing everyone. The film ends with a decent machete versus chainsaw battle and I will admit that the set-up of the picture pays off nicely at the end. Still, SAVAGE WEEKEND is a forgettable horror film that not even the non-stop nudity can save.
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6/10
Maybe he called up and ordered the bat
nogodnomasters28 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Greg Pettis (Jeff Pomerantz) former spokesman for a governor that committed suicide has his son (Adam Hirsch) for the weekend. His ex-wife is off for the weekend or so with her boyfriend Robert Fathwood (Jim Doerr). He is having a boat being built. The group includes broker friend Jay Alsop (Devin Goldenberg), Shirley Sales (Caitlin O'Heaney) and the flamboyant Nicky (Christopher Allport) who has all the best lines. There is a story about a girl being branded with an "H" for "whore" by Otis (William Sanderson). Toward the end of the film a slasher appears.

The film opens with a teaser that happens at the end of the film. Greg wears a black suit with a black tie when we first meet him. There are three scenes where the microphone appear and a fourth where there is a microphone shadow. Nicky was great in his bits and they needed to fit him more into the script. Much of the film was "so bad it is good." I watched this on a 50 DVD pack which showed the branding scene and plenty of nudity.

Guide: Sex and nudity (Marilyn Hamlin, Caitlin O'Heaney)
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8/10
Sleazy proto-slasher outing
Woodyanders21 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Several couples go to a woodland retreat in upstate New York to see a boat being built. The friends all get on each other's nerves and copulate with one another until a masked killer shows up to brutally crash their decadent grown-up bash.

Writer/director David Paulsen does an expert job of crafting and sustaining a seedy rural atmosphere that's brimming with sexual tension and barely suppressed negative emotions, offers a flavorsome evocation of the moody sylvan setting, presents an interesting array of mean, cynical, and backbiting adult characters, delivers a few genuinely surprising moments (the sequence with a flamboyant gay man beating up a couple of belligerent rednecks in a bar is simply priceless!), stages the sadistic murder set pieces in a riveting realistic manner, cranks up the raw deviant sexuality to the seamy ninth degree (a sequence in a barn involving the suggestive milking of cow udders rates as a definite perverted highlight), and provides a satisfying serving of tasty gratuitous nudity and pretty raunchy semi-pornographic couplings. The solid acting by the capable cast keeps this picture on track: Christopher Allport as catty homosexual Nicky, Jim Doerr as the wimpy Robert, David Gale as rugged logger Mac Macauley, Devin Goldenberg as smarmy jerk Jay Alsop, Marilyn Hamlin as the forlorn Marie, Caitlin O'Heaney as shameless slut Shirley Sales, William Sanderson as scruffy and twitchy local yokel Otis, and Jeff Pomerantz as the bitter Greg Pottis. Zoltan Vidor's sunny cinematography makes neat occasional use of a hand-held camera and gives this movie an attractive sparkling look. Dov Seltzer's wonky synthesizer score does the flesh-crawling trick. A trashy treat.
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7/10
Not just another average everyday backwoods slice 'n' dice horror.
BA_Harrison28 February 2014
A group of New Yorkers travel upstate for the weekend where they upset the locals and find themselves stalked by a deranged killer wearing a rubber horror mask.

The moment screaming queen Nicky (Christopher Allport) started kicking redneck ass in a bar room brawl, I guessed that Savage Weekend wasn't going to be just another average everyday backwoods slice 'n' dice horror; scenes like that don't happen in 'normal' slashers. Sure enough, although the film delivers several of the expected genre clichés (gratuitous nudity, a masked killer, suspicious hillbillies etc.), there is simply too much off-kilter weirdness and sleaze on display to pigeon-hole this one as a routine slasher flick.

Take the movie's collection of characters, for example, whose behaviour is far from predictable...

Middle-aged stockbroker Robert Fathwood (Jim Doerr) is dating sexy Marie Sales (Marilyn Hamlin), who is on the rebound having just split with her husband Greg (Jeff Pomerantz), who is having a personal crisis after his boss committed suicide. Marie, however, still fantasises about Greg during sex, and also likes to flirt with local bit of rough Mac Macauley (David Gale) by suggestively stroking his tractor's hydraulics. Macauley eventually succumbs to Marie's advances (after she suggestively fondles one of his cow's udders) but discovers that she is just being a tease. Marie's hot-to-trot sister Shirley (Caitlin O'Heaney), on the other hand, is a genuine goer: she enjoys sunbathing nude and has impromptu outdoor sex with Jay (Devin Goldenberg), one of Robert's employees, under the watchful gaze of the group's only gay member Nicky, who she later tries to seduce by doing a sexy tango for him in her undies. Meanwhile, local weirdo Otis (William Sanderson), who allegedly branded his unfaithful wife with the letter 'H' (for 'whore'), spends his spare time in the graveyard chatting to his dead brother!

After an hour of watching these characters interacting (i.e. mostly flirting and having sex)—and dodging the boom mic (which makes regular appearances)—the mysterious killer turns up to off the city folk one by one, via hanging, hat-pin in the ear, table saw activated by light switch (that old chestnut), and defenestration. The identity of the killer is then revealed (I won't say who it is, but it's not too hard to figure out), Marie gets chased a bit, and there's a chainsaw/machete fight.

Like I said… not just another average everyday backwoods slice 'n' dice horror.
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2/10
Written and directed by the Banjo Kid from "Deliverance"??
Coventry14 February 2009
Struggling through "Savage Weekend", I was instantly reminded of "Deliverance". Not necessarily because the film also takes place in a remote backwoods area or because there's banjo music playing during the opening credits, but merely because this is such an incompetent and amateurish production that it looks as if it were written and directed by that infamous mentally underdeveloped Banjo Kid from that classic film! This movie is bad, and not just low-budget bad but really BAD to the third degree. We're talking incoherent screenplay, insufferable characters, long stretches of boredom where absolutely nothing happens, predictable twists, laughable killing sequences and utterly senseless dialogs. There's already something very wrong with the title of this dud. "Savage Weekend" is misleading because there's no savagery going on at all. 45 minutes of sheer boredom and then a handful of lousy and bloodless murders does not equal savage in my dictionary. "Sleazy Weekend" I would have accepted, since there's really a lot of sex and female nudity, and "Nonsensical Weekend" would have even been better! Two couples and one flamboyant gay boy head out to a woodsy region to check up on the construction of a boat owned by one of them; a wealthy stockbroker. A considerable amount of time later, we witness someone putting on a reasonably unsettling mask and going on a killer rampage. One of the boat's workmen – Otis – has a grisly past and behaves suspiciously, but the film tries too hard to make him look guilty so you quickly know that it won't be him. There isn't a single moment of genuine suspense or horrific excitement and even the sex sequences start to look tedious and work on your nerves after a while. That's just never a good sign. According to the trivia section on this website, the finished film remained shelved for several years. Well, in my humble opinion, it should have remained shelved for all eternity.
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7/10
Savage Weekend
Scarecrow-885 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In one of his token weirdo roles, William Sanderson might be way down the list in the credits but along with Christopher Allport(who plays Nicky, a "queen", in a role which might shock those who are accustomed to his "All American dad", tough guy, or straight arrow corporate types as a staple on television), he easily has the more interesting role as Otis, a backwoods loner who was to fix up a giant boat which used to belong to his late brother(for whom he visits at the cemetery regularly).

The one who purchased the boat is a stock broker named Robert(Jim Doerr)who was tired of waiting for his "investment" to be completed so he brought along Jay(Devin Goldenberg) to assist in its completion—girlfriend Marie(Marilyn Hamlin) and Marie's hot sister Shirley(Caitlin O'Heaney; HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE)also come along. Marie is the recent divorcée of the troubled, psychologically tormented Greg(Jeff Pomerantz)who used to work for a governor who committed suicide after media scrutiny cost him a lucrative political career. Greg may seem like a minor character as the film leaves "the big city" and heads into rural USA, but don't expect him to remain absent for the entire running time. Anyway Marie is experiencing emotional issues. She needs to feel alive, to be desired, loved, and to also share those emotions with someone else. Robert is a man she hopes that will occur with although Greg's presence continues to linger with her even as she makes love to the new man in her life. Meanwhile Shirley has a fling with the married Jay, but quickly sours on him as the sex doesn't provide her with the thrills she so longs for. It seems, oddly enough, that the homosexual Nicky might have a thing for Shirley, and vice versa as he grows impatient with Jay's "methods of seduction" and conversations while she flirts with him often. There's even a moment towards the end(as the killer has put on his monster mask and is stalking about) where Shirley does a striptease for Nicky addressing him to follow her upstairs. Sanderson talks to his brother's grave in regards to doing something about Robert, which instigates to the viewer that he might be the one who has donned the mask and is about to start killing folks. Or it could be a red herring—what do you think?

The film is edited rather amateurishly and the boom mike nearly pops a few actors damn near on the head, but I have to admit I rather liked SAVAGE WEEKEND overall mainly because I do think the film has some interesting characters and some oddball behavior, particularly a barely unrecognizable David Gale(far from the mad scientist whose head is held between Barbara Crampton's legs in RE-ANIMATOR)who portrays a "lumberman" who chops wood and has a farm which produces eggs and milk! Gale driving a tractor and chainsawing wood is just bizarre, I'm sorry, but I think his treatment of Hamlin is definitely intriguing. They have this attraction which is clearly visible, but as Gale's Mac Macauley attempts to seduce/ravage her(because he, like the viewer, can notice her desire for him), Marie pulls away. Mac is also an obvious suspect because he yanks fish wire which causes a hook to stab Robert(he clearly has a disdain for this hot shot from the city)in the foot.

Essentially, I felt, SAVAGE WEEKEND is a precursor to the slasher genre as other films from the 70s, and following HALLOWEEN, there's a point-of-view scene in the film from the killer as he finds a mask and puts it on, as the others are away from the house unaware that he is in their midst. And therein lies the film. Found the opening chase through the woods accompanied by banjo music rather effective, and there's a pretty solid close as two men combat each other with a machete and chainsaw, the latter used to great efficiency by film's end. I imagine many will find the film a bit slow and boring in spots because there isn't a lot of action until near the end, but both Caitlin and Marilyn get naked at times much to my delight(I figure fans of HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE will be quite surprised to see a *very* different side to Caitlin in SAVAGE WEEKEND as she is quite alluring and sensual rather than virginal and innocent as she appears in ALONE)and there's a weird atmosphere that permeates. Funniest scene would have to be when Nicky annihilates a bar of homophobic patrons looking for trouble.
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6/10
Completists will want to check out this obscurity.
Hey_Sweden15 October 2015
Writer / director David Paulsen ("Schizoid") got something of a head start on the slasher craze with this offering. It predates Carpenters' "Halloween" by two years; it was filmed in 1976, but not released until 1980. It's just weird enough - and kinky enough - to be watchable, although it may not appeal to some hardcore devotees of the genre as it takes a long time to begin its murder spree, and even at that point there's really no gore to speak of. Instead, what we get is a lot of odd touches and interesting character details, not to mention a fair bit of humour.

Marie (Marilyn Hamlin) goes on a weekend excursion to the country with her new husband Robert (Jim Doerr), her younger sister Shirley (Caitlin O'Heaney, "He Knows You're Alone"), and their openly gay friend Nicky (Christopher Allport, "Dead & Buried"). Soon, their good time is ruined by a psychopath wearing a goofy Halloween mask.

While there are no real A-list stars here, there are certainly some very recognizable faces. O'Heaney has some seriously sexy moments (viewers will definitely appreciate the doses of nudity in this film). Allport is amusing, even if his character is somewhat stereotypical. It's great fun to see David Gale of future "Re-Animator" fame as a lumber man providing wood for a boat that Robert is building with some associates. Top notch character actor William Sanderson is a vivid, unkempt redneck / red herring. A very young Yancy Butler makes her film debut. It's not surprising that Hamlin never got much acting work, because she's simply atrocious here.

There might not be enough here to completely satisfy some slasher fans, but it remains rather offbeat for its 88 minute time and it is worth a look.

Six out of 10.
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5/10
Am I Demented for Actually Enjoying This?
evanston_dad13 October 2012
A group of well-to-do New Yorkers go on a weekend trip into the country and get picked off by a mask-wielding psycho.

There's a lot of plot exposition setting up one character in particular as the killer, so it's not much of a surprise that this person ends up not being the killer, and it's also not much of a surprise when we find out who the killer is, despite the moment being treated like a big reveal. The killings are far too tame to appease gore hounds, but there's plenty of nudity for those looking for it. The film's pretty entertaining, actually, the kind of bad movie that you can laugh at despite it's being so sleazy. There are numerous bizarre choices made throughout, like the inclusion of a snarky gay character who beats up two rednecks in a bar and has some sort of sexual dysfunction that's introduced but never developed, and a seduction scene that revolves around the milking of a cow.

No one in the film was recognizable, for obviously good reasons once you see them act, with the exception of the actor who went on to play Larry on the T.V. show "Newhart."

Grade: C+
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Dismal slasher
Wizard-824 December 2013
Though the 1978 "Halloween" is seen by many to be the horror movie that gave birth to the slasher genre, in actual fact the seven or so years leading up to that movie had other filmmakers make stabs (ahem) in horror movies with remarkable similarities to the modern slasher movie. "Savage Weekend" was one of them, filmed before "Halloween" though released after that other movie became a big hit. But despite beating "Halloween" to the punch, it's not very memorable. True, the direction occasionally has some atmosphere, and there are some welcome scenes of nudity and sex. It's also fun to see a pre-fame William Sanderson. But for the most part the movie is a big bore. We are stuck watching forgettable character for the longest time. Over half the movie passes before the first person get killed, and the kills that there are aren't that spectacular - very little blood, for one thing. And it's pretty easy to figure out who the killer is, since the movie doesn't exactly give us a big list of suspects. If you must watch the movie, make a little game by counting how many times the boom mike (or its shadow) makes an appearance.
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"You Get Lonely, You Get Weird!"...
azathothpwiggins18 August 2021
SAVAGE WEEKEND has some problems. However, it has some good points as well, including the character named Otis (William Sanderson). Sanderson plays him with just the right mixture of backward hick and unbalanced menace.

The nefarious Mac Macauley (David Gale) is also quite good in a wicked "macho man" sort of way. His dialogue on the fishing boat is priceless, especially during the branding iron flashback sequence.

As for the rest of the cast, they're very dull indeed, in spite of their disrobing every few minutes.

THE PROBLEMS: #1- It takes over half the movie's running time before anyone gets killed! #2- The acting can get pretty wooden -like a sentient forest- at times! #3- The boom mic is visible in several scenes, making them painful to watch!

Incredibly, even with all of its flaws, once the killer puts on the mask this becomes an effective horror movie. Made two years after TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and BLACK CHRISTMAS, and pre-dating HALLOWEEN by two years, WEEKEND gets points for originality, a nice twist, and a boffo finale!

Be sure to watch the uncut version only...
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8/10
Sleazy Canadian slasher.
HumanoidOfFlesh4 August 2008
A few couples spend the weekend at an upstate cottage/resort,where a boat is being constructed and where a sadistic masked killer is on the loose.While they're there,sexual tensions abound and finally the blood begin to flow...First of all Substance DVD of "Savage Weekend" I have displeasure to see is poor and heavily cut.It seems that all the scenes of nudity and violence were censored.Avoid this release like the plague.Still "Savage Weekend" certainly delivers the sleaze and violence.I especially enjoyed this grubby,dimly-lit and washed out atmosphere of the film.The deaths are unsettling(pin in the ear,tablesaw),but never very bloody.The unmasking will surprise no one,but the chainsaw duel perks things up.Shot in 1976 as "The Killer Behind The Mask",then wallowing in obscurity after a brief theatrical release this film is pretty tough to find-at least in its uncut form.
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2/10
Terrible Slasher Film
Rainey-Dawn26 October 2015
This is one of those films I acquired in the 50-pack Drive-in Collection. This is another one of their filler films. We all know that there will be some awful films in a 50-pack and this is one of them.

It's another stereo-typical slasher film in way out in the backwoods of nowhere with lots of bluegrass music, women showing their boobs, sex and of course some killing. The story is lame - nothing to hold my attention for very long.

I am going to rate this film a 2 instead of a 1 because I got a chuckle at the end of the film. Two guys fighting - the one grabs a machete and the other a chainsaw. The machete guy was wining then the 3rd guy pops up to grab the chainsaw and he ends the film.

2/10
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6/10
One of the first classic-style American slashers
Red-Barracuda22 July 2015
Savage Weekend is quite an interesting movie. It's intriguing because, while it looks like many of the countless slice and dice flicks that made up the slasher cycle, it was in fact made some time before these films became popularised and clichéd. It displays some facets that would go on to constitute the classic style slasher film, yet it was made in 1976 and only released three years later in the wake of the huge success of Halloween (1978). It seems to clearly have been a movie somewhat ahead of its time in this respect. Its story is one that would go on to become fairly standard in this sub-genre. A group of rich urban friends travel to a remote location for from R&R, before long a masked psychopath begins picking them off.

Notably, the characters here are adults, in this respect it deviates from the later slasher template which focused almost exclusively on teenagers. One thing these adults do have in common with their teenage descendants, however, is that they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time having sex. In fact Savage Weekend is pretty ram packed with abundant nudity. On the other hand, it also spends an unusually long time on the plot set-up, with a reasonable amount of character development before the killer finally kicks into action. Maybe it spends a little too long on the build-up in fairness, as it does feel at times that the movie could do with a little more thrills and suspense but in the final half hour, the bloody action is certainly ramped up.

The cast was also quite notable for featuring a couple of actors who would go on to star in two 80's cult classics - William (Blade Runner) Sanderson and David (Re-Animator) Gale play a couple of the local hicks. The other most prominent presence in the film was unquestionably the boom mic, which popped up so often and in such hilariously prominent ways that I felt that it should really have been given a special mention in the end credits.
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4/10
Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat
BaronBl00d29 August 2006
Low budget "slasher" film of a very odd, sometimes interesting nature about a group of people going to upstate New York for the weekend only to find death. It seems that the man who owns the property there is building/restoring a boat - which otherwise does not figure prominently into the story. While some of the scenes are very tense and horrific, the film also has oodles of gratuitous nudity, a homosexual man flaunting it and sticking sharp objects into himself for no apparent reasons, and some really strange locals that make upstate New York look like Hillbilly land. The cast is made up of unknowns, but most of them are adequate in their limited roles. There is a bizarre sexual current throughout the film. The first "real" death doesn't come for almost an hour, so this isn't that fast-paced in any way. Yet, despite its inadequacies, Savage Weekend is not your average, run-of-the-mill slasher film. There are, as previously mentioned, some very shockingly filmed scenes. The basement scene with the saw being one EXCEPT for the resolution of that scene. The film has a hanging, a duel with a machete and a chainsaw, an impaling, and one individual is needled in the most extreme manner. What was that whole scene with the hook about?
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3/10
Dull 70's Backwoods Horror/Slasher Flick
gwnightscream4 February 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This 1979 horror film features a group of friends from the city that spend the weekend in the country where a masked killer hunts them one by one. This is a dull flick with a couple good moments, but has a porno feel at times and the characters are kind of bland in my opinion. William Sanderson (True Blood) and David Gale (Re-Animator) are featured plus the film was actually shot in 1976, but shelved for 3 years. You could give this one a try if you're into backwoods horror/slasher flicks.
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6/10
It's good, but...
Bezenby29 September 2014
I think this is the first case of a slasher film taking a slight nose dive once the killing begins. Luckily, there's still a lot to recommend in this film. Instead of a bunch of teenagers running around arguing, drinking and having sex, you've got a bunch of adults, er arguing, drinking and having sex.

Two couples whose names I've forgotten head out to the country to see how construction is going on a large schooner (being built by crazy hick William Sanderson). Also in tow is hard as nails gay guy Nick, who seems to get off on getting a into fights with the locals and basically flaunting it, baby. Our two couples are a bit less interesting. One is a divorcée (and her new boyfriend is having the boat built) the other is her sister, who's playing sexual games with the other guy, including having sex with him out in a field while Nick watches (and injures himself on a barbed wire fence).

However, there does seem to be someone else hanging around. The first indication of this is a dead bat nailed to the door of where the couples are staying. We also see someone picking up a mask to wear while they do something. Is it Sanderson, who talks to a grave? Or David Gale, a local fisherman type with eyes for one of the chicks? Or is it someone else? Well, you have to wait almost an hour for the killings to start so a little patience is needed.

The problem is, there are several folks in here that would have made perfect heroes, but a lot of them are dispatched by the killer, kind of reducing the cast to the less interesting ones. It's still worth a look if you're into proto-slasher films. There's little gore but a bit of atmosphere, although it's easy to peg who the killer is.

This is usually found on 50 movies packs, one in particular also having another seventies slasher film, Creeper, on it too. I like that better to be honest.
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6/10
Odd, but not unwatchable
jadavix7 May 2019
"Savage Weekend" is a weirdly disjointed, almost dreamlike experience. Its plot is impossible to follow. It is called a "slasher", but I don't know if I agree with this classification. Sure, there's a killer with a mask, but he only appears in one or two scenes. There are also scenes of violence where non-masked people kill each other and beat each other up.

The mask is a weird addition. In slashers and gialli, the mask is worn for two reasons: one, to scare the audience, and two, to provide a sense of surprise when we find out who's behind it. Here, I don't think the killer was even unmasked. There was more than one. I think.

The movie is not without a certain charm. There is a surprising scene where an openly gay man is threatened by some homophobes in a bar and beats them up. Not something you'd expect from a Seventies flick. It also has quite a bit of nudity - even of the full-frontal male variety.

It's an unusual experience, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but is actually entertaining and interesting at times.
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8/10
Kooky horror with surprising thematic depth
drownnnsoda9 July 2015
"Savage Weekend" has Marie, a recently separated mother going away to upstate New York with her new boyfriend and her sister, Shirley, and their gay pal Nicky to a remote farmhouse. There, a massive boat is being built on the property with the help of a lazy and potentially unhinged country local, Otis. Shortly after their arrival, someone shows up on the property, lurking about with a sinister mask.

It is to my utter surprise that after over a decade of being a die-hard fan of the genre, this film just now came to my attention. Where have I been? Or, maybe the question is, where has this film been? "Savage Weekend" is a flick that seems to have been relegated to the realm of low-budget obscurity for various reasons. Filmed in 1976, it was not released until three years later, and was probably never given a second thought. Given that it predates most slasher films by many accounts (aside from "Texas Chain Saw," which appears to have been a bit of an influence), the positioning of the film in the horror genre's historical timeline is certainly worthy of attention.

On the surface, "Savage Weekend" has all the hallmarks of a bad movie: quirky and uneven performances, utterly bizarre music choices (a strange mixture of synthesizers and twangy backwater banjo), and some of the most horrendous editing I've ever seen in a movie. Why did I like it? Well, as a longtime genre fan, I take a lot of the film's surface pitfalls for granted. It's a B-movie, no doubt, but it's got a lot of heart in it.

The characters, despite some hammy performances, are uniquely drawn, for one. They are not cookie cutter slasher characters, nor are they teenagers (probably because the filmmakers didn't have that trend to ride on in 1975), so there are some unusual dynamics operating here for a film of this nature— these people are established, worldly adults, not babes in the woods. The inclusion of the gay male character is a bit surprising for a seventies film, even in spite of the slight stereotyping that occurs — we do get a rather funny scene in the beginning however where he beats the living hell out of two rednecks pestering him in a bar, followed by "I wasn't raised in the South Bronx for nothing" retort. It's the weird moments like these that also help make the film stand out— that, and his goofy, sexually-charged dance with Caitlin O'Heaney in the upstairs of the farmhouse.

The movie is actually rife with sexual dynamics, and even social and political themes that bubble up within the narrative to varying degrees. There's commentary on class, sexism, sexuality, power, and jealousy, all of which are rather hefty themes for a shoestring grindhouse flick, and I think that is maybe the central reason I found this little picture so fascinating. Slasher fans of course will be pleased with the sinister face mask and the killer hiding out in the barn and lurking around the upstairs of the house; these classic genre elements come in full swing in the film's last act. Some have said the film is slow, and I would tend to agree, though it is certainly not boring. I'd actually almost hesitate to label it a slasher film, as it comes across as more of a twisted psychothriller that may have ended up inadvertently lending some blueprints to the slasher canon, yet doesn't actually meet (and pre-dates) "slasher" qualifications. The murders are essentially bloodless, and the body count low; there is a well-played twist ending that is still mildly surprising even today.

As I said before, the film does have a lot of surface problems, especially in terms of choppiness and continuity, but under the technical dirt is one of the most unusual and thematically rife horror films to ever fall under the label of the purportedly "mindless" slasher genre. "Savage Weekend" is definitely a B-movie and may pass as a slasher in the textbooks, but it is not a stupid film, and for that I commend it— no matter how much I may curse the editing department. 8/10.
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4/10
Unusually moody "slasher" film with interesting elements
lemon_magic7 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
While "Savage Weekend" is by no means a good film, it managed to be a lot better than I thought it would be reading the plot synopsis...or even after watching the first 3 minutes.

The bad news first: the killer isn't the least bit scary, his identity is pretty obvious, and his so-called keystone speech (where he rants about how people used to be like ants to him in his job as a,um, lobbyist???) is just plain goofy. And the murders themselves aren't especially vivid or visceral. And things don't really crank up in the violence department until nearly halfway in.

But there are a lot of interesting elements that keep it from being too blah or unwatchable. There's an unusually moody folk/bluegrass soundtrack adding a somber "Deliverance" feel to the proceedings that gives the screenplay a little weight it might not have otherwise. A couple of the actors manage to inject some interest and humanity into their cardboard characters, especially the actor playing the flamboyantly "gay" character and also William Sanderson, who puts some juice into the "geek" character that makes him more interesting to watch than you might suspect if you saw his lines in the screenplay. Some of the acting is awful, of course, and a few of the foreshadowing gimmicks were so predictable that that only question was exactly when they would prove out. And there was some really mean violence towards women, and some weirdly glazed portrayals of sex and sexual desire that might have been a bit too candid...like peeking inside the head of someone who had real issues with eroticism and normal human relations.

But, you know, that might have been the director's point. If this thing had had a real budget and some decent lighting and film stock, it would have been at least as watchable as one of the slicker (but hollow) 'Jason' sequels.

I'm not sorry I saw it, but I wouldn't pay money to see it again under any circumstance.
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6/10
Sex, boats and duct tape
Chase_Witherspoon24 March 2012
Five people take a trip to a backwoods community where one of them is restoring a large boat, the ownership of which is a matter of considerable anger on behalf of local yokel Otis (Sanderson) whose father, and the original owner of the boat, has recently died. Otis is "none too pleased" that city folk are taking away his blood, sweat and tears and he plans to get even. Meanwhile, promiscuous Shirley (O'Heaney) sunbathes naked, has random sexual encounters with Jay (Goldenberg) while the new boat owner (Doerr) and his girlfriend Marie (Hamilin, essentially the central character) are also indulging their carnal desires at every given opportunity. Flamboyant queen Chris Allport minces about, making salads and peeping lustfully as the two couples cavort, all the while Otis is plotting his revenge by his late-father's grave-stone.

It reminds me of a poor man's "Deliverance" in some respects and while at first glance, the cast may be unfamiliar, many of the faces are recognisable. Sanderson, Allport and Pomerantz have become better known actors, while Gale (pre "Re-Animator") appears in an early role as the sinister-looking Mac, all-purpose local man who could be a hero or a villain. Despite these names, it's Caitlin O'Heaney's presence that really emboldens this low-budget slasher flick. Light years before "Tales of the Gold Monkey", the brassy brunette is like a divine nymph and between Allport's colourful peacock like performance, the two make an odd yet engaging pair.

If you can overlook the moments of despair (Hamlin's cow-milking scene or the irritating banjo music spring to mind), there's enough material in this low-budget shocker to make it worthwhile. And while the climax descends into little more than a killing spree, it's energetic, gruesome and the plot twists satisfying. I watched this film many years ago and found it underwhelming, but on second more recent viewing, there's more depth in the cast and sub-text than perhaps initially meets the eye.
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3/10
The Decline of the American Empire with a chainsaw thrown in!
Maciste_Brother13 March 2007
I just watched the uncut Paragon video of SAVAGE WEEKEND (great title but misleading here) and I have to say that as slasher films go, this is one is slightly different but like so many of them, it's still a near complete failure. How does SAVAGE WEEKEND differ from other films like Friday the 13th or HALLOWEEN? Well, the script tries hard to be a bit more dramatic, have more intricate dialogue, or, in the end, it's simply more pretentious.

Speaking of pretentious, while I was watching SAVAGE WEEKEND, I couldn't help but to remember that pretentious French-Canadian flick, "The Decline of the American Empire": a bunch of men and women spend time in the country and talk endlessly about sex. SAVAGE WEEKEND is almost exactly like "The Decline of the American Empire": a bunch of uppity New Yorkers go to the country, and talk endlessly about sex (and are often nude or doing it).

Seriously, the whole thing was like watching a Bizarro version of "The Decline of the American Empire": both films have a gay man as a main character and they are the ones who cook the supper for their straight friends. This aspect is one of the few original points of SAVAGE WEEKEND that sets it apart from other slashers: when was the last time you saw an openly (but nonetheless stereotypical) gay man in a slasher?

Another so-called original aspect is the nudity. I almost thought the story took place in a nudist camp. Much more nudity then your average slasher (and they usually have a lot to begin with). And the last original aspect of SAVAGE WEEKEND is the cast, which is made of actual adult actors playing adult characters and not adult actors trying to play horny, stupid teens. What a novelty!

Anyway, once the film finally became a slasher, when someone picked up a mask and started killing the whole pretentious bunch, I didn't care for anything. It was too little too late. And the killing scenes are not very interesting (except for the long needle in the ear bit).

Aside from William Sanderson, whom I believe cannot give a bad performance, the rest of the actors are average to just plain awful. The story makes little sense when you think about it (too many crazy killers) and the direction even less sense. For example, SAVAGE WEEKEND starts with the ending, and when we finally arrive at the end, we still don't know who survived the whole thing. But I have to say that I got a kick out of watching something with aspirations of being an artsy John Sayles type of flick turn into a rather routine horror film.
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3/10
I'm sure the celluloid this was shot on has turned to putrefaction by now...
Vomitron_G14 February 2009
Just to begin with a side-note: I watched this one together with Coventry yesterday night, and at one point we both went "What the hell kind of trash did we manage to put on this time...?!?".

This being said, SAVAGE WEEKEND - in my humble opinion - is about as pure vintage, obscure trash as you can get 'em, when it comes to horror and sleaze. There's a bit of torture, gruesome/inventive killings (but I'll warn you right away: don't start drooling over this yet) and quite a bit of uncomfortable yet strangely arousing (and very naked) sex-scenes that are supported be the most unworldly sounding music and sound effects. To top things off, we even get a pretty damn pathetic chainsaw-fight during the movie's climax (thankfully, the saw did hit the flesh in at least one, brief shot).

Sadly, all this comes in the shape of a very, very bad film. Seriously, this might have been one of the worst attempts at film-making I've ever seen (but hey, at least it was shot on real film - thank God it was still the 70's). The way the film was put together (from story-telling to editing) was so atrocious the word "sloppy" doesn't even begin to describe things in a million years. To make it all worse, we've got microphones and boom-sticks pooping into to the frame all over the place (sorry, I meant to say "popping", but I really like this typo).

A truly horrible film, and at the same time fascinating (even if for all the wrong reasons). The red herrings are laughable, though they made guessing the identity of the killer all the more fun (at least when you watch it with some friends). The acting - I hate to admit - could have been worse. But not much, of course. When you're looking for killings and death-scenes, you might become bored rather soon, as you practically have to wait for all of them until the third act of this wretched film. Before all this, you can only be amazed by all the inept qualities this rancid pile of celluloid displays. Actors mumble stupid things, pointless events take place, and all character-drawings are a bit, ehrr,... odd, to say the least.

What the motivation behind certain scenes were, are plain incomprehensible. At one point, we witness the killer's POV when he's walking through the house in a creepy search & stalk manner (think Carpenter's opening-scene from HALLOWEEN). Best thing about this scene: There's actually no-one in the house at the time he's doing his lingering 'heavy breathing'-routine. It's completely deserted. Everybody's outside in the woods, at the lake or in the stable (having sex in one way or another, I might add). So what the hell was this stupid killer doing in the house? One of my favorite scenes, sets up for an incredibly gruesome (and potentially very nasty and bloody) killing. I found myself cheering during the set-up (so trust me, you're bound to love the idea as it's close to frickin' Torture Heaven). It takes place in a basement; That's about all I'll say. But damn the hell out of this movie for totally failing to deliver the bloody carnage it promises during the pay-off! Utterly aggravating.

Another "OMG"-scene has one lady caressing the udder of a cow (in an explicit, sexually orientated fashion). A big-moustached local (friend of the family, apparently) steps in to give her a helping hand. It doesn't take long for these actions to lead to attempted rape (and again the gratuitous portrayal of female breasts). I have frowned upon lesser things, if I may say so.

I'll just wrap it up, because if by now I don't have you convinced this is a very, very bad movie, then I'm sorry to say you're a lost cause. However, when it comes to SAVAGE WEEKEND, I'd love to play the bad boy: I recommend this to anybody who's into Total Trash and alleged Shock Features. I myself can't even help having liked that "100% vintage 70's exploitation feel" the movie irrefutably has. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I did. Yes, I know, I can be a bad boy sometimes.

Oh, I failed to mention this in my ravings: SAVAGE WEEKEND stars William Sanderson (of BLADE RUNNER fame, no less) and David Gale (RE-ANIMATOR's Dr. Hill). Though their presence saves absolutely nothing about this putrid film, it does add some cult-value to the matter.
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8/10
WOW! Somebody Got It Right!!
Squonkamatic22 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
SAVAGE WEEKEND is one of the most unique thrillers I have ever seen, and to find out that it was really made *before* HALLOWEEN makes it even more remarkable. I think the reason for the lukewarm comments is that the film was incorrectly marketed as a Slasher Horror outing rather than a lurid psychological drama that just happens to take a blindsided turn into Freddy Kreuger land for the climax. Very low budgeted and shot on location in what look to me like familiar Upstate NY locations, the film only has one "star" in the cast (BLADE RUNNER's William Sanderson) and he plays a dimwit, so ordinary human beings will likely be confused by the film. People with preceptive minds will find this one of the more satisfying films they've seen, regardless of genre. Think David Lynch crossed with Ma & Pa Kettle, with some insane maniac running around for a half hour killing people.

THE PLOT: An arrogantly rich business executive takes a vacation from the rigors of New York City by going "Upstate" to an undisclosed location where he has a summer house on a small lake in a mostly rural community. He has also hired a local n'er do well (Sanderson) to build a 30 foot schooner for him, so yes the movie is essentially about two couples who go Upstate to see a boat being built. In addition to the rich guy's ultra-sultry bought fiancée is the manager from one of his offices & his sex kittenish girlfriend, who enjoys sunbathing in the nude. I enjoyed it too, and the whole movie has a voyeuristic tone to it that will satisfy even the most jaded cult horror freak who requires exploitative nudity in their movies.

The film also has a decidedly non-P.C. streak of homophobia running right down the middle, embodied by cult movie personality Adam Hirsch, best known as the gay gunslinger Adam "Poxy" Saxon from THE GRAND DUEL, sashaying & paravanting his way through another gay baiting pseudo comic relief role that is better than the material surrounding him -- Hirsch's few scenes are mostly played for laughs, but he is excellent, and the Queer jokes actually have thematic relevance to the plot. Nobody ever said good art had to be sensitive and correct.

So the different characters gather for some relaxation involving drinking, fishing, arguing, having sex, and exploring what it is they really want from each other, the best scenes of which involve the sultry raven haired fiancée played by Marilyn Hamlin who dangerously flirts with the foreman on the farm. Their (R Rated) scene in the milk barn is absolutely riveting: I never knew that women were instinctively drawn to phallic symbols like magnets before, and this woman is like an electron in search of a good nucleus. Holy Smokes!!

And as a fellow commenter has observed, at roughly the fifty minute mark sparks start to fly as a masked, psychotic lunatic -- who's identity will be pretty obvious to folks who understand the formula by which Slashers work -- starts to hack and strangle his way through the leads. The killings are not particularly gory but strikingly staged, and the gag involving the dead electrical outlet got a belly laugh out of this "Seen It All" horror junkie. That was great, though it was only funny the first time for me but whatever. The director was bound to hit a foul ball at some point.

What they really achieved with this film was building up so much erotic and human tension that when the machete blades start swinging there is a sense of inevitability to the outcome, with a great "unlooked for hero" role or two and a wonderful ending that flatly refused to explain anything -- Just like those summer vacation urban horror legend stories that sort of starts out the film, and which lends itself so well to the locations used. Definitely a cult sleeper waiting to be rediscovered, though sadly the film is only available as prior rental VHS tapes from Paragon Home Entertainment. If you find one snap it up: Some of the action scenes actually combine widescreen takes with full frame detail shots, and the whole thing is riddled with belly laughs, deviant sex antics, "Good Hackage", abundant nudity, an amusing soundtrack, and the most effective use of electrical extension cords in a movie to establish tension that I have ever seen.
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2/10
Forgettable and Unimagitive
acidburn-1017 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The plot = A bunch of people goes to the country side and fix up they're friends boat and surprise surprise a killer shows up and starts picking them off one by one.

To be honest I just didn't get this movie at all, for a start it takes way too long for anything to happen and when it does well, it's just forgettable, I mean I couldn't remember a single killing, because when it finally does happen, I was dropping off to sleep at the boringness of the first hour or so. The film is just so shoddy and not very well done, as you can see the boom mic in practically every shot and the acting was appalling at the best of times, like the part where the girl seems to enjoy getting raped, that was just stupid and laughable. There are just way too many plot holes which makes this movie hard to follow. The only thing I liked was the ending I was actually quite surprised by the identity of the killer, but by then It was too late to save this movie.

All in all This movie had no imagination at all and deserves to be forgotten, you're more likely to yawn than be scared by this.
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7/10
City Folks Get Needled in the Country
qormi29 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Not bad....very low production values, obvious cheap budget, but the acting is okay and the plot and pace are okay, too. One of the country bumpkins was of "Larry, Darryl, and Darryl" fame from the Bob Newhart Show; this time playing a much edgier Darryl. The lead actress, Marilyn Hammel, is very hot and a very good actress. Why she had virtually no career aside from this is a mystery. The ending was not predictable,but the light switch was. The violence was understated, but very unnerving. Much better than many of the subsequent slasher flicks. One thing - the fights were very phony. They should have used stunt doubles or hired a fight choreographer and ran a few takes until they got it right.
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