Snuff (1976)

No matter what Charlie Sheen and Black Emanuelle tell you, snuff movies are urban legends. This movie is probably the reason why so many people think they’re real.

Starting out as a low-budget exploitation film called Slaughter — made by the husband-and-wife team of Michael and Roberta Findlay — it was filmed in Argentina for the low, low price of $30,000. Shot with no sound and concerning a Manson-like cult, it made the film’s moneyman Jack Bravman some money before it was released, as AIP paid to use the title for its Jim Brown blacksploitation vehicle of the same name.

Allan Shackleton, who produced Misty and Blue Summer, had shelved the film for four years when he released with a new ending, shot to look like actual footage, based on an article he had read about South American snuff films. This led to the film’s tagline: The film that could only be made in South America… where life is cheap!

The new ending shows the crew of Slaughter killing one of the actresses for real, with the abrupt ending and lack of credits all planned to make the movie appear legitimate. Then, Shackleton hired fake protesters to picket movie theaters showing the film. That blew up, as even though the fact that the film was exposed as a hoax in a 1976 issue of Variety, it kept getting more popular. At one point, protests reached such fervor that New York District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau investigated the movie.

The plot of this movie is paper-thin. Actress Terry London (Mirta Massa, Miss International 1967) and her producer Max Marsh visit South America. She gets pregnant by another man and a female-filled biker cult led by a man named Satan stalks and murders her.

As for the infamous murder sequence, shot in the New York production studio of adult film director Carter Stevens (who made movies for the Avon Theater chain as well as the adult film Punk Rock), it’s very tacked on. But if you’re coming to see someone get murdered, do you even care about art?

You can get the blu ray of this from Blue Underground or watch it on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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