Blu-ray Review: SNUFF (1976) [Blue Underground]

snuffSpoiler Alert Defined: As I do not believe in spoiling anyone’s good time, my film reviews reveal nothing that cannot already be seen by viewing the motion picture’s original theatrical trailer.

 

“I am who am!”

–Satan

 

Release Dates:

1976

10/22/13

 

 

 

The Gist:

An Argentinian guerilla-style film shot by New Yorkers Roberta and Michael Findlay, originally called SLAUGHTER, was then was taken over by Exploitation Film Extraordinaire, Allan Shackleton. In order to gain unsuspecting popularity and successfully market the motion picture, he shot along with Simon Nuchtern, an entirely new ending sequence and partially sold the myth to the public that “people were actually killed in this film.” This film then enflamed protesters and helped incite government authorities to start a global wide sweep and search of material containing real-life on-screen murders. The Charles Manson-esque plot didn’t help their cause. That is how SNUFF became the mythological, infamous film it is today.

The film follows a drug dealing, rebel band of beautiful motorcycling women, led by a sadistic Charles Manson wanna-be, Satan (Enrique Larratelli). It alternates with a story that follows actor Terry London (Mirtha Massa) and her producer Max (Aldo Mayo) on their vacation slash motion picture shoot. She meets up with her lover Horst (Clao Villanueva) and sets forth a series of events that cause all characters to cross paths and become entangled in Satan’s diabolical plot to [Radio Edit].

What ensues is an array of sex, drugs, and rock n roll in the purest form of the phrase… glorious blasphemy, assassinations, grocers, gunplay, fast zooms, and philosophies of butchers and knives and jackals! Also, there is a carnival and Tortuga the turtle. And that is all I’m going to say as it has to be seen to be believed, especially the notorious final five minutes.

The Verdict:

As Nicolas Winding Refn said in the optional intro of the movie, “…it was much better not to see it, then actually haven seen it.” Curiosity killed the cat. For a few moments, I was wholly disappointed. Then I soon realized that the myth isn’t everything. The final ride is. You can’t just hear about a rollercoaster without ever actually getting on and seeing what all the fuss was about. In the end, knowing is the real victory. And I’m glad I know. Snuff is the epitome of why we love bad films. And this presentation is by far the only true way to view it.

 

The AV:

Let me start by saying the new HD transfer that Blue Underground fashioned from one of the only remaining 68194_largeprints, is outstanding, literally outstanding. I acquired the 2003 DVD version for comparison and the original picture is horrendous in contrast. The saturation and colours are well adjusted and strikingly gorgeous. A pleasant amount of grain still shows true to form. There are a few scratches, but I’m sure that couldn’t be helped and does not distract the slightest. Now onto the sound. The Steppenwolf imitation rock n roll riffs, set against the sound of roaring motorbikes, really shine in a pulp fuzz sort of way, pulsating as hard as it possibly can through the one-channel, DTS-HD Mono soundtrack. The fact that it’s only MONO is cool enough.

The Supplements:

  • SHOOTING SNUFF – An Interview with Carter Stevens where he discusses the last scene of the film, how it came about, that mostly crew was used and not actors, how the only actress had a panic attack and thought she was going to actually die, a naked sheep’s head, and other interesting insights that shatter the myth.
  • UP TO SNUFF – Nicholas Winding Refn Interview – A rather quite fascinating analysis by one of my favorite “Fetish” filmmakers, where he discusses the illusion of SNUFF and how the FBI back in the 70’s had to watch a lot of porn to effectively do their job.
  • PORN BUSTER – This short interview/documentary excerpt gives more light to the FBI’s investigation behind this film and other supposed snuff films of it’s time.
  • U.S. TRAILER – A trailer, brilliant in the only way a mid 70’s trailer could be.
  • GERMAN TRAILER – American Cannibale, gives a pretty laugh.
  • POSTER & STILL GALLERY – All the retro posters, from all parts of the globe, even foreign retitles.
  • CONTROVERSY GALLERY – A very cool collection of newspaper clippings that give context to the fire that fueled the hullabaloo behind the feature.
  • SNUFF: THE SEVENTIES AND BEYOND BY ALEXANDRA HELLER-NICHOLAS – A five-page essay that analyzes Snuff and other works of art from that decade. Worth the read.
  • Optional Intro by Nicholas Winding Refn

 

The Video Specs:

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

The Audio Specs:

English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles:

English SDH

Discs:

25GB Blu-ray Disc

Single disc (1 BD)

Link To Purchase:

Act now and get the extremely limited edition “Blood Red” Blu-ray case, first pressing only.

http://www.amazon.com/Snuff-Blu-ray/dp/B00E96AYDO/

 

 

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Christopher Gibson

Chris can be found only at night, playing vast hours of XBox 360, reading uniquely disturbing novels, and scouring Netflix for late sixties horror flicks. He has 69,000 Gamerscore and counting. Supposedly at the age of three, he beat Super Mario Bros. on NES, though possesses no recollection of this. Writing novels since the age of fourteen, he hopes to one day publish them. On Friday nights, he is seen at the local indie film theater, then the pubs next door shortly after, for thorough critique among friends. Follow him on Twitter @Literaryman420 

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