2020 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 29: Shriek of the Mutilated (1974)

DAY 29. ONE NIGHT IN APE CANYON: Watch a Bigfoot story.

There are tons of Bigfoot films to watch. Trust us, we know. We have an entire Letterboxd list packed with the ones we’ve made it through. And we know that Scarecrow has an even larger section in the store that’s all Yeti, skunkape and sasquatch based.

We decided to go back to the classics and rewatch this 1974 Michael Findlay film, in which Professor Ernst Prell takes four of his graduate students — Keith Henshaw, Karen Hunter, Tom Nash and Lynn Kelly — into the woods to discover if the Yeti really does exist.

Despite a mysterious dinner the night before — their dish of gin sung is broken up by a drunken former student and his wife who loudly proclaim that the last trip to see a Bigfoot got everyone killed — everyone decides that going into the brush to find the beast is a dandy idea.

As if that isn’t enough, that lout keeps drinking and decides to cut his wife’s throat with an electric turkey knife before she responds in kind by dumping a toaster into the bloody bathwater as he tries to clean himself up.

When the students get to Boot Island, they have more gin sung, meet a mute Native American named Laughing Crow and listen to Tom strum a little tune he wrote about the Yeti, who liked that song so much that he rips Tom apart, leaving only his leg as evidence.

The professor isn’t someone I’d like to have as a teacher, as he’s willing to use that leg and the body of another of the students, Lynn, as bait to catch his white whale. Or white Yeti, you get the allusion.

That said, the reveal of this all — spoiler warning for a 46-year-old movie — is that there’s no Bigfoot at all, but a big society of cannibals looking for either victims to be fresh meat or those willing to help them consumer the flesh of their fellow man.

If you’re a big film geek like me — seeing as how you’re reading about a Sasquatch film from the last century when you could be doing something much more productive, I get the feeling that you are — you’ll wonder, did the print Sam saw have Hot Butter’s “Popcorn” in the soundtrack? Yes. It did. It sure did.

In 1982, if you were lucky enough to still have a drive-in around ou, chances are you could have seen this movie as part of an event named 5 Deranged Features. Don’t be fooled by some of these titles, as you may have seen them all before! They’re Coming to Get You is not All the Colors of the Dark, but instead Al Adamson’s Frankenstein vs. DraculaHouse of Torture is The Wizard of GoreNight of the Howling Beast is The Corpse Grinders. And Creature from Black Lake wasn’t so lucky as to get a name change.

You can watch this for yourself on Tubi if you don’t already own it. Trust me, across Mill Creek comps, bootlegs and official releases, I think I have at least four copies.

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