Tuesday, March 30, 2021

freakboy on film: SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974)

 "And remember...the heartbeat you hear may not be your own." 

screenplay by Ed Adlum & Ed Kelleher /
directed by Michael Findlay 

One thing I miss about video stores is searching for a particular title but finding a completely different, but equally entertaining film instead.  The closest I've encountered this phenomenon in the streaming world is via Amazon Prime Video.  I was recently searching for various films directed by Andy Milligan when I stumbled across this crazy, possibly offensive, low-budget excursion into furry terror.

Those meddling kids.

Keith, Karen, Lynn & Tom are college students hand-picked by Dr. Ernst Prell to join his Yeti expedition.  While suck-up Keith dines on exotic cuisine at a specialty restaurant with Dr. Prell, the others attend a super-groovy, swingin' popcorn party.  The party really starts poppin' when Spencer, a former student, arrives with a tale of mutilation.  Seven years ago, he and three other students went on a similar field trip with Dr. Prell, but the Yeti killed his friends.  This story doesn't cause Tom, Karen and Lynn to shriek because Spencer, who became a teacher, is now just a maintenance worker at the college after a nervous breakdown.  Oh, and Spencer drinks...a lot...much to the frustration of his wife. 

What to do before watching this film. 

Bright and early the next morning, with no popcorn hangovers, Dr. 
Prell and his students drive to an island owned by a colleague of his.  Dr. Karl Werner has informed Dr. Prell that a Yeti with horrible body odor has been lurking about.  He has seen and smelled the beast, but failed to take photographs of the creature or its sizable footprints.  Maybe Dr. Werner was too busy playing records with his Native American housekeeper to bother grabbing a camera. 

  Move over, Hazel.  There's a new housekeeper in town!

Laughing Crow is a burly, hairy, intimidating housekeeper.  My half-blind eyes thought he looked maybe more Italian than Native American, but the character is portrayed by an actor named Ivan Agar.  So, Laughing Crow's actual heritage may be more of a mystery than the Yeti, especially when the character's backstory is totally blown out of the water by the end.  I'll leave it for others to decide whether or not to be outraged over the character of Laughing Crow in this utterly outrageous film.

(We now interrupt this post to bring you the Broadway musical stylings of Tom...) 

🎵The Snowman's on the prowl 
He's mean and he's ugly 
And some people say that he's downright nasty 
Yeah, he's mean and he's gruesome 
He'll make your threesome into a twosome 
Now's your chance to make a break 
Don't let a moment go to waste 
On the prowl 
Hear him howl 
Here comes the Yeti now!🎵

The Yeti boogies to Tom's song.

The whole film is nuts, but in a surprisingly good way.  The acting and the Yeti  are perfect for a low-budget 1970's flick.  In other words, nobody is going to win any awards, but the performances and costumes will haunt you long after the credits roll.  The most shocking and impressive aspect is how the plot mostly makes sense, which shouldn't happen with this type of film.  

Dr. Werner & Dr. Prell make Yeti-hunting fashion statements.

Will they find the Yeti?  Will the mutilated shriek?  Will Lynn and Tom get it on or does she only have four eyes for Dr. Werner?  Will it be revealed that Dr. Prell uses Prell shampoo?  There is so much more I could say, but I don't want to spoil the insane surprises waiting for you! 

What to do to get a friend to watch this film.

In conclusion, there is nothing I didn't enjoy about SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED.  I'm thankful Prime Video suggested it in lieu of what I had been searching for.  So, grab a bottle of booze (if you're of legal age), some better-looking popcorn and join this crazy hunt for the elusive Yeti! 

Seriously, this popcorn looks sketchy.

Now I have the urge to dig out a very different Yeti movie I have on DVD.  Hmmm...there may be more furry action to come! 😱

Another Yeti movie?   Pack the essentials!

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 

P.S. A different crazy film...

In case you missed my very short film....



  1. Fun review, John! This movie looks like it's right up my alley (especially for Cryptid Month). I liked the bonus song lyrics - I think you might have something there! :)

    1. Thanks, Barry!
      It's a delirious and fun movie! I'm glad you put it on your list. And yes, it would be perfect for cryptic month. 👍

      as for the song, I wish I could take credit for it, but you'll see and hear when you watch. LOL

  2. This movie has been in my Amazon watch list for a while now. After reading your review, you know I have to move it to the top of the list. I'll keep your recommendation of what to do before watching in mind. :D Very funny review.

    Coincidentally, last night I watched Project Moonbase, a ultra- cheap SciFi film from 1953 with the most deplorable attitudes towards women I have ever seen. Why is this a coincidence? Because one of the characters was Dr. Wernher (sic)!

    1. Thanks, Michael!
      Please let me know what you think of this delirious film!

      However, I may skip Project Moonbase, even with a Dr. W.
      I have other low-budget stuff that needs my attention first. 😁