The Chooper’ll Gitcha!


Ray Dennis Steckler’s The Chooper (released by the distributors under the snappier, more exploitable title Blood Shack) is perhaps the first New Wave horror movie. It plays like a Scooby Doo episode directed by Michelangelo Antonioni…which basically means loads of beautifully shot landscapes and existential ennui punctuated by characters getting bumped off one by one by the Chooper (supposedly a vengeful Indian spirit…but he dresses more like a ninja, brandishes a fencing sword in lieu of a tomahawk and acts like those guys who jump out at you and go oogie boogie at Jaycees haunted houses.) It’s the ultimate “Don’t go in there, you idiot!” movie. Fun stuff. There is a bittersweetness though for us Stecklerites, knowing that Ray and star Carolyn Brandt had divorced at that point (shades of Godard and Karina in Made In USA) and that it was the last film appearance of the great rockabilly singer/actor Ron Haydock…who was flattened by an 18 wheeler the same day Elvis died. Ain’t that a bitch?



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