Lovely Ugly Brutal World

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Savage Weekend is an unabashedly atavistic Southern Gothic potboiler rife with violence, lust, betrayal and murder. Though the film itself is not well-known, there are quite a few recognizable faces in it…the most recognizable being William Sanderson (Blade Runner, Newhart, Fight For Your Life) as the perpetually sweaty, vengeful  Otis…

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Not pictured: Darryl, other brother Darryl

And Re-Animator fans will recoginize David Gale as the rugged woodsman Mac…

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Plus there’s a couple of drop-dead sexy brunettes:

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Marilyn Hamlin (Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score)

And…

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Caitlin O’Heaney (He Know’s You’re Alone, Wolfen)

There are so many vivid characters and so much drama going on (writer-director David Paulsen is, after all, better known for soap operas)  that this would’ve been a great film even without the masked killer mystery element, which almost seems like a subplot at times… There are some satisfyingly nasty murders in it and the killer’s mask is unique and grisly. There’s also some bizarre, just-for-jolly moments such as Caitlin’s Cabaret-esque dance…and a farm-chore-as-seduction scene straight out of the Russ Meyer playbook. Made in ’76 and released 3 years later, Savage Weekend bridges the gap between giallo-influenced thrillers and the slasher classics of the 80’s with a gusto that is, well, savage… 

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