Four 1970s b-horrors from a DVD multipack…and some are not all that bad

My multipack madness continues! I’d never seen any of these, so I was in for some surprises, and only one major disappointment.

STANLEY (1972)

Stanley is Willard in the Everglades with snakes.

This goofy movie is all about a Native-American man striking back at those who wrong him or are less than respectful of nature and wildlife. He simply sics his pet snakes on them, including Jo’s dad from The Facts of Life, who gets a laughable airborne kill scene.

It’s a cheesy, dated film running way too long at 105 minutes. Bad music sets a silly tone, which is fine because it’s the perfect complement to stupid shit like a hunter getting bit in his ass by a snake and the main guy flinging snakes into the bed of a stripper that uses snakes in her show.

I really don’t know if this film expected viewers to take it seriously, but if it was being tongue-in-cheek, it definitely hit the mark.

SATAN’S SLAVE (1976)

Norman J. Warren, the director of Bloody New Year, Prey, and Inseminoid, offers a fairly generic film about a woman who comes to stay at her extended family’s home after her parent’s die, not realizing they plan to use her for a satanic ritual.

The gothic setting and tone bring to mind Hammer films, but what gives this melodramatic horror flick a more modern feel is the nudity (including va-jay-jay during numerous ritual sacrifice scenes) and the gore, which actually gets better and more gruesome as the film progresses.

The head of the beast worn by the leader of the cult during sacrifice scenes is cool, and there’s an awesome eye piercing scene. These also happen to be the two most memorable parts of this otherwise forgettable film.

TERROR (1978)

Another one from Norman J. Warren, I think this is one of his best even though the plot is a sloppy excuse just to kill a bunch of random people. Or perhaps that’s why I think it’s the best.

A descendant of a family that was cursed by a witch as she was being burned at the stake makes a movie about the situation and shows it to a group of people at his home. They then play a hypnosis game that leads to one girl going after them with a decorative sword.

From then on, it’s impossible to care much about any of the victims or why they’re being killed. And really, they are just victims, because there’s no storyline here, just a string of awesome murders that makes this an early entry in the supernatural slasher genre.

The kills are the star of this one. There are several very long and meandering chase scenes that suffer wonderfully from too much darkness, creating an eerie atmosphere and heightening the suspense. They also have a classic Argento feel, complete with false horror moments leading up to the real thing.

The gore is graphic and brutal, with knife stabs, impalement, beheading, and a car kill.

There are also some whacked supernatural kills, like a guy being attacked by a tornado of filmstrip, as well as a crazy scene of a car being lifted and twirled through the air.

There’s even some male beefcake.

Plus, Terror doesn’t even bother to conclude. It just kills everyone then rolls the credits.

TRIP WITH THE TEACHER (1975)

The only thing that spoils this otherwise awesome exploitation flick is the worst fucking 1970s pop muzak playing incessantly throughout most of the film, killing the raw grit of some of the most brutal moments. It’s like putting “Afternoon Delight” on repeat while watching The Exorcist.

Babes on a bus trip through the desert with their teacher have a flirtatious exchange with three guys on motorcycles. But when their bus breaks down and the bikers show up, they quickly discover one of the bikers is a fricking psycho.

It’s as exploitation as exploitation gets. Not gory, but plenty of misogyny as girls are stripped, get raped, are killed trying to escape, attempt to use seduction to save themselves…the nonstop action works despite the shitty music, because the guy in the role of the psycho plays one perfectly.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.
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