Directed by: Michael Findlay/Roberta Findlay/Horacio Fredriksson/Simon Nuchtern (all uncredited)
Written by: Michael Findlay/Roberta Findlay/A Bochin (all also uncredited)
In 1971, Michael Findlay (hero of The Deuce in NYC and creator of such grindhouse “classics” as The Touch Of Her Flesh and A Thousand Pleasures) directed a film called The Slaughter. It was inspired by the Manson family murders, depicting a cult that killed young, beautiful people.
Five years later, he decided that he wasn’t finished with The Slaughter. And he needed more money for very little work. So he reworked the footage a little bit and filmed a bit more for a new film called Snuff. Again, it was about a cult of beautiful women following a man called Satan. (Pronounced Sa-TAWN, natch.) This time, though, there was a HUGE difference at the end.
Ya want me to tell ya? Huh? Do ya? If ya don’t, you’d better skip to the next movie.
They actually kill a girl on screen at the end.
That’s right. They have the Big Scene between the cult members and the actress who is, of course, pregnant. (Don’t ask…the plot is so fuckin’ convoluted that there’s no way anyone but Findlay could actually follow it. But there are some pretty creepy parallels to the Manson murders.) Then the camera crew, which we haven’t seen for the entire movie, cuts. A couple decides that they’re turned on by the final scene and start to make out on the bed just outside of the scene where the pregnant actress was just “killed.” When the girl realizes that she’s being filmed, that’s when the shit hits the fan. The guy starts cutting her, chopping off body parts and eventually disembowels her. He holds up her insides, screams and the camera cuts. We then hear the crew saying, “Did you get it?” “Yeah!”
“A film that could only be made in South America, where life is cheap.”
Yeah, whatever. The special effects are pretty good for a movie made on $5 in upstate New York, but they no fool anybody. The girl didn’t die. No one killed anyone. The blood was FAR too red. Blah, blah, blah.
But this movie started a pretty big controversy in 1976. People really believed it! They started looking at other movies to see if anyone had died during filming. Could there be an underground film community that actually kills in their films?!
No. Not at all. There has never been a proven case of someone being intentionally killed on a set for a commercial film. No matter what Charlie Sheen says.
But it makes for pretty good propaganda. And if you can look past the horrible acting, worse dialogue and obvious “Born To Be Wild” ripoff playing throughout the movie…well, it’s still a pretty awful movie with no redeeming qualities.