Snuff (1976) (part 9 of 9)
Well, folks, I hope you enjoyed the story of Satahn and his all-girl cult. Not that the movie’s over yet, of course. There’s still ten more minutes left. But everything we’ve seen up to this point will now be completely forgotten. That’s right, we’ve come to the most infamous scene in Snuff, the tacked-on ending that had law enforcement and women’s groups up in arms. Yes, a girl is about to be supposedly murdered on camera for our enjoyment.
And there will be a lot of enjoyment, trust me. Not because of any sick, morbid desire to see an actual murder, but because this attempt at faking a “snuff” film is so hopelessly inept that you’ll be laughing through the whole thing.
This being the “historically significant” part, I’ve loaded this page of the recap with lots of screen captures. But please be forewarned, some of these images will be gory. Of course, not realistically or convincingly gory, but gory nonetheless.
From Terry’s murder in the previous scene, we immediately change angles and find ourselves supposedly on the set of Snuff. Movie lights and cameras are set up, and there are random crew people wandering around. There’s even a script girl, as if a movie as bad as this one actually had somebody checking continuity.
It’s all a reasonable facsimile of the scene we just watched, and there’s even a girl leaning over a bed and wearing an outfit identical to Angelica’s. There’s another girl standing behind “Angelica” who I think is supposed to be Ana, because she’s holding the knife (or, rather, another knife just like the one we saw in the previous scene). Laughably, this “Ana” has blonde hair [!] and is wearing a totally different outfit [!!]. Perfect, guys. Smooth and flawless.
You know, if this is really the set of Snuff, I’d love to see one of the actors address the camera as he strolls on over to a director’s chair and does an ad for Denturecreme or Gold Bond medicated powder. “When you’re making snuff films, you can’t let jock itch slow you down!”
A guy in a black shirt yells “Cut!” and everything breaks up. Off on the side, a random crew person in a blue t-shirt comes up to the blonde “Ana”. He kisses “Ana” and channels Jimmie Walker as he tells her, “That was dynamite!”
In what we’re supposed to believe are secretly recorded “whispers”, Blue T-Shirt Guy says, “That was a gory scene! You know, that really turned me on!” The girl admits it turned her on, too.
The guy suggests, “Why don’t you and I go over to the bed, and we’ll get turned on!” Then he adds, “We’ll turn each other on!” Uh, no thanks, I can take care of that myself.
She’s reluctant to do this with all the crew people still milling about, but Blue T-Shirt assures her they’ll be gone soon. He pulls her onto a bed, which is just across from “Terry’s” bed, and they start kissing. Almost immediately, the director and the camera guy run over and start filming them [!]. Then a crewman even lowers a boom mike [!] over them.
We cut to another angle on the couple making out. Oddly, the “cameraman” is still in the shot, making me wonder who’s supposed to be filming this.
The two continue to make out as the script girl takes notes [?] behind them. I appreciate her diligence, but I really don’t think there can be a second take on a snuff film.
We see that Make Out Guy is slightly balding, and his light blue t-shirt says “VIDA ES MUERTE”. Ha ha, my, that’s clever. The two lie back, and we see the guy now has the knife in his hand.
The girl closes her eyes as Vida Es Muerte Guy kisses her neck and starts to feel her up. Then we cut to another angle [?] on them. No, seriously, who’s filming this?
Vida Es Muerte Guy then starts to honk her horn, if you know what I mean. We somehow cut to yet another angle as the girl opens her eyes. “What are you doing?” she cries. “Are you filming this?” No, the boom mike is just for show, honey.
She tries to push Vida Es Muerte Guy off and screams that he’s “crazy”. But Vida Es Muerte Guy holds her down and brandishes the knife. About here is where we notice that “Ana” actually bears a strong resemblance to Julia Stiles. Not that I have any strong desire to see Julia murdered or anything, but I did see Down to You.
Then we get a close-up [!] on the script girl looking very excited by the proceedings. Um, okay. You know guys, this “snuff film” hoax might have been a bit more convincing if it hadn’t been obviously edited together.
Anyway, VEM Guy holds Julia Stiles down and turns to the camera. “You all want to get a good scene?” Obviously not, considering the movie they just supposedly made.
The guys behind the camera yell at the script girl to hold Julia down, which Script Girl proceeds to do very lightly. But yet, it still seems to work.
VEM Guy straddles Julia as she continues to scream that he’s crazy. He says, “No, ma’am! No, ma’am, I’m not!” Well, at least he’s a polite psychopath.
The camera comes around them as the girl shouts, “You’re not really gonna do it!” Oh, that’s smart. Taunt your killer, why don’t you?
We then get a close-up on VEM Guy as he says, “Oh, you don’t think so? Oh, you think I’m kidding! Do you?” The close-up reveals the guy is being played by a young Jack Nicholson. Or, at least, that’s what it looks like to me.
Julia insists he’s not serious, so VEM Guy proves his point by supposedly cutting her. He slices a long line from her shoulder down to her chest and she starts howling in pain. As the blood flows, VEM Guy yells, “Scream! That’s it, scream!” Scream, Blacula, scream!
There’s a cut, and instantly the blood has completely soaked Julia’s shoulder. She then tries to fight off VEM Guy using the arm that he just sliced [!!]. Okay, that’s realistic.
VEM Guy just chuckles, until Julia grabs at his Vida Es Muerte shirt. This totally pisses him off. He wails, “SHUUUUT UUUUP! YOU WANNA PLAY?” I guess nobody but nobody touches the VEM shirt. I mean, he took the trouble of ironing on those expensive decals and everything.
VEM Guy pulls a pair of wire cutters out of his back pocket and yells, “Bring in the camera, I’ll give ya a show!” VEM Guy takes the wire cutters to Julia’s “hand” and snips off her ring finger at the top knuckle. He does this with very little effort, of course. Almost like it wasn’t really a finger, but just some plastic prop. But, hey, that would be crazy, right?
Julia stops screaming, so I guess she went into “shock”. We get a lengthy shot of her finger-less “hand” in a puddle of bright red blood.
VEM Guy lets out a doofus chuckle when he sees his “hand”iwork (Hah!). There’s another shot of Julia’s hand, followed by VEM Guy yelling for another guy in the crew to come help hold her down. A guy in a gray t-shirt and jeans comes running over as VEM Guy climbs off of Julia.
Julia begs for her life as VEM Guy tells Gray Shirt to “Go get the rip saw!” Which just happens to be in a dresser drawer right by the bed [!]. Hey, it finally came in handy! (Oh, and by the way, what he actually grabs out of the drawer is a jig saw, not a “rip” saw, you jackass.)
Gray Shirt pushes the jigsaw right across the wrist of Julia’s other arm, completely chopping off her “hand”. Blood spurts out of the “arm” as the fingers of the disconnected hand continue to move [?]. Somehow, I don’t think that’s the way it works.
Following this, we get a shot of the camera crew as they film everything [?]. Okay, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Anyway, VEM Guy rears back with the knife and jabs it into Julia’s gut, and Julia pukes up blood. VEM Guy slowly works the knife down the front of Julia’s “abdomen” as she silently twitches. We then supposedly see VEM Guy open up her skin and eagerly slide his hand into her [!!].
Stupidly, a “thumping heartbeat” sound effect is then added to the soundtrack. Because a surefire way to convince audiences of the veracity of a snuff film is to add sound effects later.
A heavily breathing VEM Guy starts to pull a bloody organ out of Julia. The organ is throbbing like a heart, and it looks like a heart, but that makes no sense. Guys? I don’t know if anybody told you, but the heart is not down there. Trust me on this one. And maybe the next time you try to fake a disemboweling, you might want to brush up on your human anatomy a little beforehand.
VEM Guy then reaches in and pulls out a whole mess of animal entrails that I think are supposed to be Julia’s “intestines”. VEM Guy holds the “intestines” high in the air and screams, and the same “echo” effect is applied to his voice as was applied to Terry’s. Which, once again, is another odd thing to hear in supposedly “found” footage.
A light behind him gets brighter and brighter until we fade to white. We then fade to black, and get two random flashes of film equipment, and that’s it. To try to play up the “snuff” angle here, they decided not to include any closing credits at all. Which we should all be thankful for, because this gets the movie over with that much quicker.
Well, like I said, anyone sitting through this film to see just this one scene is going to be sorely disappointed. (Anyone looking for a solid hour of suck, on the other hand, is going to think they died and went to heaven.) So if this series of screen captures has prevented just one person from being morbidly curious enough to waste their money on this movie, I think I’ve done my job as a recapper. (And paltry Amazon commission be damned!)
Of course, I have a funny feeling that this recap itself might soon become a reference for people doing serious, academic research into the snuff films legend. Hey, maybe I’ll even see the Agony Booth cited in somebody’s bibliography! If so, then I’d like to point out the name is spelled A-L-B-E-R-T W-A-L-K-E-R.
Oh, and to all those doing research on this subject, I have a recap of another movie you may be interested in. It may not be a snuff film, but it sure as hell looks like one.