Cannibal Girls (1973)

Let’s check back in with 70s horror exploitation, shall we?

But let’s mix it up a little bit too by going north of the border to Canada! But this isn’t just any ol’ Canadian filmmaker and cast, oh no, dear Enemaniacs… We’re getting director Ivan Reitman for this week’s movie, Cannibal Girls! Now, if that name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the producer of David Cronenberg’s fantastic Shivers and Rabid. And if that’s not enough for you, he was then a man of mighty hits in the 80s with Stripes, Twins, and a little movie called Ghostbusters (and its sequel). So, yeah, he’s a big freakin’ deal.

Not for nuthin’, he also produced Ilsa, The Tigress of Siberia.

But yeah, he got his start doing exploitation. But with Cannibal Girls, we kind of get some classic exploitation horror tropes that are almost uniquely 70s in its flavor. This is a type of situation where we have a young couple, or group of people, who are traveling and all of a sudden their car breaks down or they make a stop someplace out in the middle of nowhere, or at least in an unfamiliar place. There, they come across maniacs or… worse. Like cannibals! This is the sort of thing that mostly became popular post Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it wasn’t exactly new at the time of its release.

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He Knows You’re Alone (1980)

Just a couple weeks ago, I did an article on Savage Weekend. That’s a much maligned slasher that often gets a bad reputation for being a poor horror film with bad characters. I didn’t have that same opinion. In fact, I rather liked it.

Or, rather, there was one particular person in the movie that I rather liked – Caitlin O’Heaney.

In the world of horror, this week’s featured flick, He Knows You’re Alone, is the one Ms. O’Heaney is best known for. She has an interesting life. She was a trained and schooled as a stage actress. She eventually landed on television in mostly guest star roles and a handful of smaller roles in film. However, before all that began, she did receive an offer from Salvador Dali to model for him for a particular project, but Dali’s wife would ultimately poo pooed the project and it was canceled. She’s also a supporter of environmental and animal rights issues. She’s also a designer of fragrances. She ultimately designed a fragrance that has some not-so-insignificant fans (including the likes of Paula Abdul and Terri Hatcher).

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Savage Weekend (1980)

We have ourselves a treat for this week’s new B-Movie Enema. Savage Weekend is NOT a well liked movie. In fact, David Paulsen’s made-in-1976, sent-to-Cannes-in-1978, released-by-Cannon-in-1980 exploitation horror is so disliked, I think it would be a good idea to see what some of the reviews have been.

First up is TV Guide: “A truly reprehensible exploitation film… Ultra-low budget and shot on grainy color stock, the film is borderline pornography, and the gore effects are extremely gruesome.” I’m not sure what the problem is here, TV Guide. Borderline pornography, gruesome gore effects? Sounds pretty good to me.

Next is Ed Blank from The Pittsburgh Press: “Incoherent and inept.” Eek. What else you have, Mr. Blank? “Sexist in nature featuring female characters who serve no other purpose other than to appear in various stages of undress and back up against walls and trees so they can be slain or tied up.” Again, what’s the issue here? Hmmm… Let’s try one more.

From Joe Baltake of the Philadelphia Daily News: “[Nicky, the gay character] is the foulest movie character of recent memory, enough to set gay rights activism back several decades… It’s still not clear to me whether Paulsen wanted to make a soft-core porno film, a horror movie, or a combination of both. It’s not clear because he’s failed at all three.”

Okay, that last one was pretty funny.

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Kenneyville (2011)

This week’s B-Movie Enema article comes from our neighbors to the north. Kenneyville is an interesting piece of independent media. I am going to label it as a horror movie because I think it deals with some concepts that some indie horror movies of the 70s dealt with. However, I also have to label it as exploitation as well – for the exact same reasons.

Let’s dissect that a bit, shall we?

A couple months back, I covered the infamous depravity known as Bloodsucking Freaks. I explored some of the core concepts that lies under the surface of cruelty and violence toward women in particular, and, to a certain extent, elitist scholars. It’s a movie about a guy who twists brains and drives women to insanity to do his bidding. I posited that the movie featured a more violent side of sexual kink. A desire to dominate and control as well as the attractiveness of twisting a submissive object of desire. Bloodsucking Freaks possesses layers of making you feel icky.

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